Controversial plans for a £3million new “vertical village” in east London have been approved by the Mayor’s right-hand man.
Jules Pipe, the deputy mayor for planning, has granted consent for Thameside West, a high-density riverside development with more than 5,000 homes and a new Docklands Light Railway station on a prime waterfront site at Silvertown.
Pipe stepped in to overrule Newham council which threw out the proposals late last year, when it described the cluster of buildings as “overbearing, bulky and incongruous”. Council officers were also concerned about a lack of nearby public transport for future Thameside West residents.
However, Pipe concluded that the development would play a significant role in easing London’s housing crisis. Just under a third of the homes will be affordable – ring-fenced for first-time buyers and stretched renters who could not otherwise afford to live in the area. Newham council has a target that 35 per cent of new homes should be affordable.
Pipe also believes that, by insisting that no more than 1,700 new homes are completed until the DLR station is built, other local stations will not be overrun by commuters.
As well as new homes and a station, the 40-acre Thameside West development will include offices, shops, bars, restaurants, a new primary school and around six acres of open space, including a riverside park directly below the path of the Emirates Air Line cable car.
Thameside West will form part of the wider £5billion regeneration of a swathe of east London from Canning Town to North Woolwich, which will eventually be home for up to 50,000 Londoners. It could also be home-from-home for Sadiq Khan and Jules Pipe. The Mayor is considering quitting expensive City Hall and moving the Greater London Authority to a conference centre adjacent to the Thameside West site.
The site is co-owned by the GLA and Keystone London. Max James, chief executive of Keystone, said he was delighted by the news “which will enable us to create an exceptional new neighbourhood on one of the last major riverfront locations left on the Thames”. Work would begin “shortly”, he said, with a finish date of February 2031 pencilled in. The station should be open in 2023.
A spokeswoman for Newham said the council was “disappointed” by the GLA’s decision. “Newham originally objected to the proposed scheme on the grounds of density and height of buildings, the amount of affordable housing, improvements to public transport and the proximity of the site to strategic industrial land,” she said.
“The GLA did make some improvements …[such as more affordable housing and better cycling facilities] … However, in the new Covid-19 environment the London Borough of Newham is looking at all major new developments giving special regard to the impact on health, local and private space, density, height and local connectivity.”
What else can I buy?
Silvertown’s industrial sites are rapidly being swallowed up by housebuilders keen to cash in on regeneration and the arrival of Crossrail at Canning Town next year.
Property ranges from seven-figure apartments with staggering river views, to affordable starter homes, and everything in between.
In the former category, Johns & Co is selling a corner penthouse on the 18th floor of Marco Polo building at Royal Wharf. The three-bedroom flat is priced at £1.15 million.
Sneaking in below the threshold to qualify for the Government’s stamp duty holiday, buyers could opt for a two-bedroom flat at Gallions Point, a new development by Telford Homes, priced at £471,250.
Buyers on a tighter budget might go for a one-bedroom flat at Kingfisher Heights, a low-rise development close to the Thames Barrier Park. It is on sale with Henry Wiltshire International for £345,000.