As an industry, we are constantly striving to satisfy the ever-growing need for affordable homes within Central London to ensure that the people who keep our dynamic capital running can actually afford to live within a reasonable distance of their workplaces. Of course, on the other hand, we have to balance that against the need of (the equally vital) importance of reducing our environmental impact.
With those conflicting demands in mind, we are very heartened by the news that some serious investment is heading to a major 61-acre brownfield site in East London – one that’s been a wasteland since the 80s.
Homes England, the executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has agreed to provide a £235 million infrastructure loan to kick start a £3.5 billion joint venture between Lendlease and Starwood Capital. Together they plan to totally regenerate Silvertown’s Royal Docks in Newham with no fewer than 6000 much-needed new homes and 1.8 million sq. ft. of business, cultural and community space.
Impressive as this is, the jewel in the crown of this ambitious project is to be the creation of a vibrant new Royal Docks Town, with the iconic and sensitively restored Millennium Mills and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge as its main focal points
In these times of unprecedented challenge, for our industry and almost every other, this ambitious project won’t just start the wheels of commerce and industry turn once again in this historic area – it also brings the promise of thriving new communities in an attractive waterside setting. In short, it’s a terrific example of public and private sectors working together to bring brownfield sites dynamically back to life!