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City Hall calls in Fosters’ rejected £3bn Royal Docks masterplan

Thameside west
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City Hall has stepped in after Newham Council rejected Foster + Partners’ £3 billion masterplan for 5,000 new homes on east London’s Royal Docks

Last month, Newham threw out plans for the 16ha strip of land in Silvertown drawn up for the Greater London Authority (GLA), which jointly owns the land, and developer Keystone London.

Now London’s deputy mayor Jules Pipe has called in the scheme which the GLA argues has the potential to deliver ‘thousands of new homes – including much-needed affordable housing for Londoners’.

The hybrid application, combining outline proposals with some detailed plans, includes 18,600m² of industrial and workspace along with 7,000m² of shops, restaurants and bars.

It included detailed plans for a John McAslan + Partners-designed first phase with 460 homes and 3,417m² of flexible office space on the site of the former Carlsberg brewery.

The rejection was also backed up by a planning officers’ report which laid out 15 reasons it should not progress, including the failure to ‘adequately address the principles of masterplanning’.

Other concerns raised included a lack of integrated designs for the scheme’s cluster of ‘overbearing, bulky and incongruous’ towers and the scheme’s ‘excessive density’ given the site’s poor access to public transport.

The officer’s report also argued that the applicant had failed to demonstrate that 32.5 per cent on-site affordable housing across the site was the ‘maximum reasonable amount’ that could be delivered.

According to the report, local residents had sent in 71 objections to the scheme.

The site is owned jointly by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and a private company, Keystone subsidiary Silvertown Homes. Keystone is a private real estate investor headed by Max James, the former chief executive of Quintain.

The plot is currently home to the Silver Building, already partially converted from a rave venue to a creative and events hub.

A City Hall spokesperson said: ‘This development has the potential to deliver thousands of new homes – including much-needed affordable housing for Londoners – as well as spaces for businesses and a new primary school.

‘As such, the deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills has decided to call it in, to subject it to further scrutiny.’

Map thamesside west early sketch

Early sketch of Thameside West site

Early sketch of Thameside West site

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