2,500 new homes are to be built in the Royal Docks, if a reworked masterplan for Silvertown Quays comes to fruition.
The £2.5 billion development is directly across Royal Victoria Dock from the ExCel Centre. The little-visited area is most famous for the Millennium Mills building, beloved of film crews, urban explorers and street artists.
Last year, the Mayor unveiled a masterplan to build 1,500 new homes, restaurants, bars, leisure facilities and office space in the largely derelict zone. The area will also include a street of ‘brand pavilions’ — an increasingly popular way for companies to show off their products in a fuzzy blend of shop, attraction and marketing suite.
Meanwhile, Millennium Mills will become an incubator space for new companies to grow. A new bridge will span the dock, linking the site to ExCel and its adjacent stations, which will include Custom House Crossrail.
The latest plans have increased the housing component by 1,000 units in a deal involving Chelsfield Properties and First Base (the ‘Silvertown Partnership). Outline planning permission will be submitted later in the year. If all sails smoothly, work could begin by year’s end with the first companies arriving in 2017. It’s hoped the scheme will create 14,000 jobs and bring £260m a year to the local economy.
On the housing front, it’s not yet known what proportion of the development would fall under the ‘affordable’ definition. The developers merely say (PDF) that ‘a contribution of affordable homes will be available to the local community’.