Go-ahead for major mixed-use Silvertown development

The London Borough of Newham has granted outline permission for a 27-hectare mixed-use waterfront redevelopment at Silvertown in east London's Royal Docks, comprising plans for up to 3,000 homes.

Silvertown: major mixed-use development proposed in east London
Silvertown: major mixed-use development proposed in east London

The local planning authority agreed in principle to grant outline planning permission for the Silvertown scheme, which proposes a maximum total of 670,000 square metres of floorspace across the proposed development.

A planning report to Newham Council’s strategic development committee said that the applicant is not seeking permission for a set number of residential units, but said that the application could deliver between 2,300 and 3,000 residential units.

The planning report said that the original submission had proposed a site wide 15-20 per cent affordable housing target.

But it added that, following the submission of the application and negotiation with officers, a revised affordable housing offer is now proposed by the applicant.

Under the revised affordable housing offer there would be a minimum of 20 per cent on-site affordable housing provision in the first phase of the development. But the report said that this could rise to 35 per cent if Greater London Authority affordable housing grant funding is secured and/or if local enterprise partnership funding is secured for transportation improvements.

The report adds that the second phase of the scheme would include provision of 35 per cent affordable housing, subject to viability.

The final go-ahead for the development is subject to conditions and a section 106 planning gain agreement, as well as approval from the mayor of London and the transport and communities secretaries.

The first phase of the 10-year scheme would see the historic Millennium Mills redeveloped to house technology, media and telecoms businesses. The overall development would include up to 179,000 square metres of office floorspace, 44,500 square metres of ‘brand-related’ retail, 20,400 square metres of food and beverage uses, and a maximum of 300,000 square metres of residential.

The report to the council’s strategic development committee said that the office use could be justified despite representing a departure from the local plan.

"While it is considered that the proposed office use would not accord with the council’s core strategy, strategic support for the proposed office use is provided within the London Plan," officers said.

"In addition, and taking into account the specific circumstances in this case, it is considered that the proposed office use could be justified on the basis that the quantum of office floorspace is expressed as a maximum, a significant quantum could come forward as part of the proposed re-use of Millennium Mills and in conjunction with the proposed brand use to facilitate headquarter offices or other back of office functions for occupiers of brand units."

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: "This multi-billion pound transformation is a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate the Royal Docks area giving it a new lease of life benefiting Newham and the capital as a whole."

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