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Silvertown Quays: officially dead

The £1.5 billion plan to develop the Silvertown Quays area of the Thames Gateway has been officially binned after its main backer failed to come up with the cash

A partnership between the landowner the London Development Agency (LDA), developer Silvertown Quays Ltd (SQL) and the Bank of Scotland, the east London scheme was set to deliver 5,000 homes and a Terry Farrell + Partners-designed aquarium.

However, after LDA grew tired of waiting for SQL to secure sufficient funds and set a deadline of last Saturday (13 February) to prove it had the financial clout to proceed with the project, which has been rumbling along since 2001.

The deadline has passed and the site is now expected to be incorporated into a larger masterplan for the docks, after talks with the Bank of Scotland to find another development partner also failed.

An LDA spokesman said: ‘[We deem] our agreements with Silvertown Quays Limited to have terminated, after the termination notices expired on 13 February 2010.

‘The LDA had, with reluctance, served termination notices on Silvertown Quays Limited last year. The London Development Agency then had discussions with Silvertown Quays Limited’s main backer, the Bank of Scotland. The Bank of Scotland proposed a new development partner and requested some revisions to the planned approach to the regeneration of the site, including a revised timetable for delivery and other changes to the existing commercial arrangements.

He added: ‘Having considered the information provided, the [we] concluded that it could not accept the proposals.

‘The LDA is now considering how best to achieve the future regeneration of the site – a key site for the overall regeneration of the Royal Docks.’

Postscript (18.02.10)

It is understood the Bank of Scotland had been in talks with housebuilder Barratt and developer British Land in a bid to keep the project alive - but that had also been rejected by the LDA.

Previous story (AJ 28.09.09)

Massive Silvertown Quays development mothballed by LDA

The long-awaited £1.5 billion plan to develop the Silvertown Quays area of the Thames Gateway have been shelved due to a lack of funding.

The scheme, which is a partnership between the landowner the London Development Agency (LDA), developer Silvertown Quays Ltd (SQL) and the Bank of Scotland, was set to deliver 5,000 homes and a Terry Farrell + Partners-designed aquarium.

However, the LDA has become tired of waiting for SQL to secure sufficient cash and has effectively pulled the plug on the flagship project, which has been rumbling along since 2001.

An LDA spokesperson said: ’With regret, after a prolonged period without progress, the LDA has decided to serve termination notices in respect of its arrangements with SQL. 

‘This decision reflects the Agency’s concern to ensure that this land is released for longer term planning of development at Silvertown Quays – a key site for the overall regeneration of the Royal Docks.’

Architects hit by the decision include Terry Farrell + Partners, Patel Taylor, PKS Architects and Jestico + Whiles.

Readers' comments (4)

  • What the hell is that??????
    Good to know it's been dropped.
    Architects are going to have stop copying and throwing stupid images to client's faces...
    Things are really getting out of hand.
    Architects must start thinking about what architecture is about.
    Certainly not marketing tools.
    Let's have real design with real concepts!

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  • 'copying', you mean there's more of them?

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  • It looks like a recycling bin.
    Good news for architecure and urban regeneration. The designer, developer as well as the planner should feel shamed.

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  • This is yet another blow for the Royal Docks. I am not surprised this Aquarium project sank (largest in Europe). Who is going to invest in a project near the London City Airport with all the aircraft noise? (worst during early mornings and evenings). Does any want to live near an airport?. You can't open windows or enjoy open spaces. Even Boris Johnson who is bothered by aircraft noise at Heathrow, diod nothing to stop expansion at London City Airport! (he did say it would blight the area, then misteriously changed his mind!).

    There is so much that can be done with the Royal Docks. But what can be done with a noisy airport with smells of aviation fuel?

    It is a scandal that Newham Council has approved expansion of flights by 50% from 76,000 to 120,000. That would mean 1 flight every 90 seconds. Newham Council and London City Airport say they attract investment to the area. Really?. This is proof enought that it does n't!

    When the airport was built in 1987, it was limited to 30,000 flights as it was in a residential area and only small propeller were allowed planes. However all the promises about no expansion have been broken. These days they are using bigger and noisier regional sized JET planes.

    Many professionals who have moved into regenerated parts of the Royal Docks in Newham are making a move out. And the noise is effectibg areas in Thamesmead (Thames Gateway) and Tower Hamlets. And this is the same Borough charged with the Olympics and regeneration of East London!

    Newham Council has approved expansion even though another brand new waterfront office complex Building 1000 remained empty for 5 years. And even then it was bought by Newham Council at a cost £100m, no doubt to hide the embarisment of the Council's partnership with the airport. Another 3 office buidings were never built. So in all the airport has costs £400m for the offices plus £1.5bn for Silvertown Quay.

    But don't expect to read too much in the paper. The local paper will not print anything bad about Newham Council they depend on the advertising from the council and airport....

    If people want to know more check Fight the Flight (this is a residents campaign group).

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