The reason I was given Andy Beckett’s book is that it has the best recent account of the founding of the LDDC.   I had always thought that the LDDC was Heseltine’s baby.   It turns out that the idea was at least as much Geoffrey Howe’s, based on a meeting of the Bow Group at the Waterman’s Arms in June 1978 which led to the idea of an Enterprise Zone, free of planning restrictions.   The LDDC itself was founded in November 1980 with Reg Ward as its first Chief Executive and its headquarters in a Norman Foster building in Millwall Docks designed as the passenger terminal for Fred Olsen Lines in 1969, one of his first major buildings, since demolished (it’s oddly not recorded in the practice’s list of projects).   LDDC’s first projects were the red roads, new housing in Beckton (Savage Gardens) and Limehouse studios designed by Terry Farrell in a playful postmodern style on the site of one of the banana warehouses.  


2 thoughts on “LDDC

  1. pbmum says:

    My mum was one of the first people to move in to the Savage Gardens Estate in Beckton. She moved from Stepney local authority housing when my dad died and left an insurance policy large enough for a deposit on a house, and is still there over thirty years later. It has been good to her allowing her to involve herself in all sorts of community activities that grew up in the early days of development (she was there before the DLR and the ASDA shopping centre) but the actual housing stock, roads etc. have not fared well. I’m there most days (my mum has dementia) and spend each trip avoiding bits of uneven pavement and falling down walls, en route from the Becton DLR station to my mum’s house. Its such a shame as my mum, and many others, moved there with such bright hopes.


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