Right now, 11,000 people live at “the Royals” but within a few years there could be 60,000, with 25,000 more homes and 60,000 new jobs created.

This raw former industrial hinterland, with its big skies, acres of waterways and reinvigorated docks has great potential: think Isle of Dogs in the Eighties but much bigger.

The borough of Newham’s new mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, is determined to ensure local people will benefit from change: “In the nine months I’ve been in office, the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone has become the most exciting area,” she says. “The potential of the Royals is compelling. It is a key new district of a global city. After about 70-plus masterplans, we’ve finally got to a position where things are moving.”

Up to £380 million of business rates derived from developments in the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, including Chinese investor ABP’s business park covering six million square feet at Royal Albert Dock, the University of East London and planned mixed-use developments at Silvertown Quays and Albert Island, is to be reinvested in the area over the next 25 years. The Greater London Authority and Newham’s joint Royal Docks Delivery Team have a five-year plan already under way.

Improving links: London City airport, Custom House Crossrail and Thames

London City airport’s £500 million expansion will open in 2022. Last year 4.8 million people flew from London City, predicted to increase to six-and-a-half million after the runway upgrade and new terminal are complete, creating more jobs and business opportunities. The airport’s 75,000 annual flights are now evenly split between leisure and business passengers.

Meanwhile, Custom House Crossrail will open with the launch of the Elizabeth line, expected by December. The station is set to serve 25,000 passengers a day with 12 trains an hour at peak times.

Other transport upgrades include the Silvertown twin-bore road tunnel, linking the Royal Docks with Greenwich Peninsula and Canning Town, expected in 2024, while a new Thames Clipper river taxi pier at Royal Wharf opens later this year.

Royal Docks new-build homes to buy and rent

Two big new housing-led schemes are planned on GLA-owned land close to Canning Town. These will create a new neighbourhood and double the population living and working around the Royal Docks’ western end.

Brunel Street Works

Brunel Street Works is a £400 million series of blocks rising from nine to 26 storeys on Silvertown Way, south of Canning Town station. A joint venture between Galliford Try Partnerships and Thames Valley Housing, it will create 975 homes over four years. A 110-bedroom Premier Inn hotel and 80,000sq ft of shops, workspace and community facilities are included.

Thirty per cent of the homes will be for private rent, managed by Fizzy Living, while 35 per cent will be cheaper housing, with 172 homes for social rent, and 171 for shared-ownership and intermediate rent, managed by housing association L&Q. Prices will be released this summer. Register an interest with Galliford Try’s housing arm, Linden Homes.

Thameside West

Just over the Docklands Light Railway and Jubilee line tracks to the west of Brunel Street Works, a 5,000-home riverside scheme called Thameside West has been submitted for outline planning by Keystone London with GLA Land & Property. On the 40-acre former Carlsberg Tetley brewery site, it includes 200,000sq ft of industrial and workspace accommodation — a clear trend in London’s new housing market for building “beds over sheds” on former industrial sites.

A detailed planning application has been made for the 500,000sq ft first phase of Thameside West. This will include 460 mixed-tenure homes, 50 per cent of which will be “affordable”. The 50,000sq ft former Carlsberg Tetley HQ, the so-called Silver Building, has been refurbished to provide space for creative industries.

Royal Albert Wharf

At the eastern end of the Royals, Royal Albert Wharf on the Albert Basin has been developed by housing association Notting Hill Genesis. Only one private sale flat is left to buy in the 350-home first phase, arranged in three blocks around the basin. However, 13 three-bedroom flats are available with shared ownership. The private sale flat is £385,000, while the shared-ownership homes start at £131,250 for a 25 per cent share of the full market value of £525,000.

Phase two, launched last year, has 56 apartments for sale with one-bedroom flats from £385,000, two-bedroom flats from £532,000 and three-bedroom homes from £760,000. London Help to Buy is available on selected flats up to £600,000. Notting Hill Genesis will pay stamp duty costs on new homes reserved this month — a saving of up to £16,000 on a flat worth £532,000.

A new phase of 36 one- and two-bedroom apartments is being released this spring.

The historic working pump house has been retained as a focal point of the development and when complete there will be 90,000sq ft of commercial space, enlivening the scheme. This will include a Co-op, RAW Labs café and event space run by Bow Arts, artists’ studios, the Lockside Kitchen café and Caramel Rocks, a fashion training organisation. A gym, nursery and another restaurant, plus more shops and offices are also planned.

Designed by MaccreanorLavington Architects, and built by Galliford Try, the scheme has been named London Residential Project of the Year in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards. It also won Royal Institute of British Architects’ London Award.

“When the resident population increases, the Royals will feel more like a whole neighbourhood,” says architect Gerrard Maccreanor. “You can see how Barrier Park, designed by Patel Taylor, helped create that sense of place. Once Silvertown Quays is developed, that will add so much more in terms of people, restaurants and workspaces, especially with all the waterfront as part of the landscape.”

Gallions Quarter

Next door to Royal Albert Wharf and a key site in the wider regeneration plans, is Gallions Quarter, being developed by Galliford Try Partnerships with Notting Hill Genesis.

Work is expected to start in May on 241 new homes in three new apartment blocks, alongside more than 15,000sq ft of non-residential space. Forty-seven homes will be for affordable rent, with 48 available as shared ownership and 146 for open-market sale. A new public square, new recreation areas, shops and cafés are also planned. The overall scheme will eventually provide 800 homes.

Albert Island

Albert Island is a 25-acre site at the eastern end of The Royals that includes the main lock governing access to the Docks from the Thames. Plans are being prepared for a new Institute of Technology that will focus on innovation and research in transport, engineering and infrastructure.

Also planned is a state-of-the-art new shipyard plus a range of workspaces for light industry, offices for small and medium-size businesses and homes overlooking the lock gates. Developer London & Regional has been selected by the Greater London Authority to deliver the scheme.

Silvertown Quays

The centrepiece of The Royals regeneration effort is the 50-acre Silvertown Quays site. On the south side of Royal Victoria Dock, it features the iconic Millennium Mills building and the listed Silo-D. The site is currently being re-thought in a new joint venture between Lendlease and Starwood Capital which took over the land last year.

“Plans for phase one will be submitted for approval later this year,” according to a GLA spokesman. Existing consent is for seven million square feet of development, with 3,000 homes, of which at least 900 will be lower cost. A new walking and cycling bridge will link the site to Custom House station.

Pontoon Dock

There is planning approval for a 236-home scheme by Linkcity next to Pontoon Dock DLR station and overlooking Thames Barrier Park, of which 154 will be for private rent and 82 will be lower cost. Pontoon Dock homes will be managed by Grainger.

Royal Wharf, London City Island and Goodluck Hope

Nearing completion are Royal Wharf, London City Island and Goodluck Hope.

Developer Ballymore, with partners, is completing these schemes, three of the largest in the Royal Docks and at Leamouth, which in total will see 5,900 homes built, most by next year.

Royal Wharf is the largest of the three, covering 40 acres and providing 3,385 homes of which 90 per cent have been sold, with 1,600 built and the remainder to be completed by next year. Prices start from £385,000.

A total of 10,000 people will live at Royal Wharf when it is complete, almost doubling the population of The Royals. Homes at Royal Wharf have been produced at the astonishing rate of about 500-plus a year, using the Hurks prefab concrete structure.

EcoWorld Ballymore’s nearby scheme at London City Island in Leamouth is constructing 1,706 homes, of which 90 per cent have been sold. English National Ballet and London Film School will both be moving their headquarters to London City Island this year. Available remaining homes start at £420,000.

At Goodluck Hope, also in Leamouth, Ballymore is building 804 homes with first completions scheduled for next year. In all, 153 homes will be affordable in a range of tenures. Prices start at £439,500.

London City Island is a big, bold, colourful and modern development. Goodluck Hope takes inspiration from the tall, individual docklands warehouse form, while at Royal Wharf, there is a clear reference to the lower-rise, gridded streets, open spaces and architectural repetition of traditional London districts such as Kensington.

“The scale we’re operating at allows us to do something exciting,” says Ballymore sales director Jenny Steen

Source: Homes & Property (27/02/2019)