Planning row blocks £1bn Silvertown Quays scheme

Grant Prior 4 years ago
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Plans for a £1bn cultural centre and 3,500 homes at Silvertown Quays in London are being blocked by red tape.

Plans are being blocked for a £1bn cultural centre and residential scheme
Plans are being blocked for a £1bn cultural centre and residential scheme

Indian conglomerate Essel Group started talks earlier this year about taking over development rights for the 62 acre site from the Silvertown Partnership consortium of Chelsfield Properties, First Base and Macquarie Capital.

Essel has lined up a raft of construction partners including Mace, Multiplex, Kier and Ardmore to work on site plans created by HPW Architecture.

But the proposals are now being held up due to a contractual row with site owners the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The delay has prompted a broadside from Essel chairman Dr Subhash Chandra.

He said: “Since the EU referendum, I have watched the Brexit negotiations with cautious optimism, encouraged by the government’s pledge to improve the accessibility of trade with India through the new India-UK Trade Partnership, and by initiatives such as the Mayor of London’s #LondonIsOpen campaign.

“It has been my long-held ambition to build at least three major cultural centres in the world, the first in London, in the Royal Docks, and then in the United States and Asia, that will be dedicated to helping all nations explore peaceful solutions to the current threats facing humanity.

“As part of this regeneration of Silvertown Quays, we have also committed to build 3,500 homes, 35% of which will be affordable housing.

“This is the kind of investment the Mayor’s campaign aims to achieve – one that shows London is united with the world and proud of its history.

“I am deeply disappointed, therefore, that Essel Group has been prevented from having our visionary proposal formally tabled to the Greater London Authority, the owners of the site.

“The GLA, while privately praising our plan, says it cannot formally present it to the Mayor without the authority of The Silvertown Partnership.

“This defies logic because Silvertown is publicly owned land and this approach suggests that the commercial interests of the developers are being put ahead of what is best for London.

“The Silvertown Partnership require the approval of the GLA before they can proceed with a rival offer from another party to develop Silvertown.

“For common sense to prevail, the GLA must seize this opportunity to consider credible alternatives.

“As such, we remain hopeful that the British government and the Mayor of London will not allow this important investment into London to be lost.”

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