Prior + Partners, together with their client The Silvertown Partnership as well as an exceptional design team, have submitted plans for Silvertown, a major new £3.5bn urban residential district in the London Borough of Newham.
Image: Illustrative CGI of Silvertown.
Currently sitting as the largest undeveloped site remaining from the legacy of the Royal Docks, the development presents an industrial landscape full of potential and opportunity, delivering around 6,500 new homes with 50% affordable housing, circa 10,000 jobs, and new space for cultural and community events, all tied together through an extensive public realm that celebrates the neighbourhood’s waterside location.
Images: Photograph of the site today; Illustrative site plan.
The 50 acre brownfield site – of which 11.2 acres is a large water body - has sat vacant for the last 30 years, and been the subject of multiple design applications. Since 2018, Prior + Partners have worked as lead consultant and masterplanner, collaborating with the client and subconsultants to build the case for change at Silvertown around economic, market, community and political drivers that have emerged over recent years, establishing a strong contextual framework for development.
Image: Illustrative CGI of Silo D Park and Silo D Ringer Dock.
The ensuing proposals - which follow an extensive consultation process with local residents and businesses - aspire to establish Silvertown as a hub of new industry. Over 780,000 square feet of next generation work and creative spaces are provided within the historic Millennium Mills buildings – which are to be restored – as well as the surrounding employment quarter, alongside provision for additional future flexible workspace and makerspace.
Image: Illustrative CGI of the restored Millennium Mills buildings, which form a key component of the new employment quarter.
An expansive public realm supports Silvertown’s aspiration to become a new cultural hub for the Royal Docks, embracing brand-new arts and leisure facilities, cafés, restaurants and bars for both residents and visitors. New public squares will play host to cultural events, and provide places for retreat and pause. These are woven into a wider network of parks and streets, each with a distinct character, use, and identity.
Images: Illustrative CGI of Mills Square; Illustrative CGI of Dock Avenue from Pontoon Walk Bridge.
Jointly, this new movement and open space network creates well-defined, legible, safe, and pedestrian friendly routes that tie together significant areas within and surrounding Silvertown, including key transport infrastructure such as the newly opened Custom House Elizabeth Line Station.
Images - Illustrative Collages of: Silverworks Yard; Victoria Green; Dock Avenue.
As part of this public realm approach, the dockside location and over 5 acres of water will be central to the new neighbourhood, with canal walkways, a paddle board club and new bridges.
Images - Illustrative collages of: X Park; Pontoon Waterside; Mills Street; Pontoon Place from Pontoon Walk Bridge
Much needed new homes will sit above local healthcare, nursery and community spaces, as well as a brand-new primary school. The new neighbourhood will also be one of London’s greenest, with all residences and commercial spaces supplied with hot water and heating powered through a zero-carbon district heating system.
Images: Public consultation events
The proposals establish a place that provides significant opportunities for local people and will create more than 10,000 jobs, making the site somewhere to celebrate East London’s pioneering past and brighter-than-ever future. It’s estimated that more than 1,300 people per year will be involved in construction of the site, with a target of 25 per cent of those to come directly from the London Borough of Newham. In addition there will be a mix of apprenticeships and paid work experience opportunities available.
Overall, when the redevelopment of the site is complete, Silvertown will be one of London’s largest housing projects for the coming years, unifying surrounding communities, celebrating heritage, activating the water environment and creating a new centre for the Royal Docks area as an important cultural and employment centre, with the flexibility to adapt to changing needs.
Key diagrams: Key destinations; Water strategy; Landscape overview.
Full planning permission for phase one of the Proposed Development is being sought, which will include 1,248 new homes, including 610 affordable homes, and 82,328 sqm new commercial space. Outline permission is sought for the remainder of the site.
The Silvertown Partnership, which includes Lendlease, an international real estate and investment group, is working in conjunction with the Greater London Authority (GLA), Homes England and The Guinness Partnership (TGP).
Prior + Partners are the lead consultant for the hybrid planning application and masterplanners for the whole Silvertown site. Architects working on various plots within the site include AHMM, dRMM, Pollard Thomas Edwards, Maccreanor Lavington, and Gort Scott with OMMX, with Arup on transport, AECOM on infrastructure and EIA and Energy Strategy, and SLA and Churchman Thornhill Finch on landscape. DP9 are the planning consultant. Prior + Partners role follows previous work to deliver the RMA for Phase 1 for which the Practice achieved planning consent.