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Eminent British architect proposes ambitious 50-bn Thames Hub project news
03 November 2011

An ambitious, 50-billion project dubbed the Thames Hub, which would include an airport to handle 150 million passengers, has been unveiled by a group of architects, planners and consultants, to boost the transport infrastructure in and around London.

Eminent architect Norman Foster, chairman and founder of Foster + Partners, who unveiled the Thames Hub plan, believes the project ''will lay the foundations for the future prosperity of Britain.''

Describing his plan as an integrated vision for Britain, Lord Foster said, ''If we are to establish a modern transport and energy infrastructure in Britain for this century and beyond, we need to recapture the foresight and political courage of our 19th century forebears and draw on our traditions of engineering, design and landscape.''

But, ''if we don't then we are denying future generations to come. We are rolling over and saying we are no longer competitive and this is a competitive world. So I do not believe we have a choice.''

Foster's plan, unveiled after a 100,000-study carried out by his firm, rivals that of London mayor Boris Johnson's Thames Estuary airport.

But critics, including local communities and environmentalists, have lashed out at his ambitious project. Paul de Zylva, spokesman, Friends of Earth, said the proposed airport would devastate wildlife. ''The aviation industry has been selling our environment down the river for far too long - ministers must say 'no' to airport expansion and the climate devastation it would bring,'' he said.

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Eminent British architect proposes ambitious 50-bn Thames Hub project