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Foster + Partners' £3bn GLA's Royal Docks masterplan rejected

Thameside west
  • 3 Comments

Foster + Partners’ £3 billion masterplan for 5,000 new homes on a huge riverside site at the Royal Docks in east London has been rejected 

A hybrid application had been submitted for the 16ha strip of land in Silvertown, including outline plans for 18,600m² of industrial and workspace along with 7,000m² of shops, restaurants and bars.

It also 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.

However, on Tuesday (13 November) Newham Council’s planning committee unanimously refused permission for the entire application, which is backed by landowner the Greater London Authority (GLA) and developer Keystone London.

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 by officers included a lack of integrated designs for the scheme’s cluster of ‘overbearing, bulky and incongrous’ 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, 71 objections to the scheme had been sent in by local residents.

The site is owned jointly by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and a private company, 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 spokesperson for the Mayor of London, said: ’Newham Council has now referred this application to the Greater London Authority and the Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills will consider it on its merits during the next two weeks.’

Developer Keystone London said it could not comment at this time. Foster + Partners has been approached for comment.

Map thamesside west early sketch

Early sketch of Thameside West site

Early sketch of Thameside West site

  • 3 Comments

Readers' comments (3)

  • Quite a litany of objections, and "Failure to understand the principles of masterplanning' is pretty damning of architects of Foster's calibre - so what's gone wrong?

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  • Was it to be renamed as Greed-Land'?

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  • Was it also twice the client’s budget?! Like Foster’s hotel design for Riva? See recent litigation and BAILLI for judgment. It looks like an inept first year student’s scheme, clearly driven by greed and avarice.

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