A post-war town

Thamesmead has its origins in the post-war reconstruction of London. This period presented an opportunity to address the shortage of homes and provide alternative solutions to London's dilapidated inner city housing.

The publication of the Greater London Plan by Patrick Abercrombie in 1944 shaped the development of London over future decades. There was an increasing emphasis on rebalancing the urban population from overcrowded central areas into new suburban developments and satellite towns.

The 1966 masterplan

In 1966, the Greater London Council (GLC) approved a draft masterplan to deliver homes in Thamesmead for 60,000 people over a period of 10-15 years. The development included a significant amount of open space, homes which would be built above ground level to prevent the risk of flooding, and a series of manmade lakes and canals to retain and divert surface water.

This 1966 masterplan was never fully realised due to a range of factors – site constraints, funding cuts and reduced political support, insufficient provision of facilities for residents, inconsistency in governance, and wider socio-economic circumstances.

Changes in governance

In 1985, the government abolished the GLC. They transferred ownership of Thamesmead to Thamesmead Town Limited (TTL) which was formally established in 1986, following a public vote.

In 2000, a new governance structure was put into place involving three independent companies:

• Gallions Housing Association – a registered social landlord owning the homes and responsible for managing them

• Trust Thamesmead –a charitable trust with responsibility for on community development and regeneration

• Tilfen Land – a commercial company with responsibility for managing commercial and industrial property.

Peabody in Thamesmead

Peabody brought together these three organisations in 2014, meaning that much of the town’s housing, community investment activities and land became owned by a single, well-resourced body for the first time in a generation.

As Thamesmead's main landowner, Peabody is driving the town's regeneration in collaboration with local people and a range of partners.

Thamesmead Community Archive (1)

Thamesmead Community Archive 

Images and stories from Thamesmead’s vibrant past 

Visit the archive