Park plan could resurrect rivers

London's hidden rivers could resurface under plans by advisers to mayor Boris Johnson, with parks running alongside to revitalise rundown areas of the city.

But plans for the 235ha Lea River Park rely on 35,000 new homes to fund it and this is threatened by the economic downturn.

Lea River Park development manager Julia Humphreys said: "If the economic downturn was so severe that public funding became eroded that could have an impact."

But Johnson adviser Design for London director Peter Bishop said: "There is still huge demand for new homes. It's impossible to gauge the depth of the economic downturn. London is resistant to the slowdown. The Olympics is among the catalysts. This park will transform people's perception of this part of London, then investment will follow. There is also the argument that the Government spends more when there is a downturn, which could be good for parks."

Groups, including London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, unveiled the plans for Lea River Park last week, to transform east London and bring in investment.

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