Landscape steals the show from the Dome

Regeneration to surround Millenium Dome with Parkland, public squares and water features

The Millennium Dome is to be surrounded by parkland, public squares and water features after a massive regeneration scheme won over planners. Around 80ha of land around the millennial white elephant will be developed after Greenwich agreed for the tent to be turned into a 20,000-seat arena for entertainment. Work is due to start later this year and be finished in 2006. English Partnerships, which owns the land, gave the dome to US billionaire Philip Anschutz in a desperate bid to rid itself of a fiasco that has cost £800 million to date. Upkeep of the empty dome costs £250,000 a month. Property firms Lend Lease and Quintain Estates have formed a joint-venture firm, Meridian Delta, to build 10,000 homes, 340,000m2 of commercial space and 33,000m2 of shops, a school and a hotel. The deal with Anschutz is being probed by the National Audit Office and London Mayor Ken Livingstone backs a redevelopment that would include affordable housing.

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