Agencies to stump up more than £300m to breathe life into 6,000-home east London regeneration scheme

A public funding package of more than £300m has been agreed to try to kickstart the 6,000-home Silvertown Quays project in East London, which has resisted all attempts to get it off the ground over the last two decades.

Homes England said it has agreed a £233m infrastructure loan to pay for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge on the site in the Royal Docks, the restoration of the iconic Millennium Mills building and the repair of the dock walls, while the mayor of London has agreed £80m in housing grant to subsidise the delivery of affordable housing in the 1,500-home first phase.

Housing minister Stuart Andrew said the investment in the £3.5bn Silvertown scheme will “revive London’s historic docklands to deliver vital new homes”, and that this kind of regeneration was “key to our levelling up mission”.


Plans for the 6,000-home scheme

The 62-acre project is being delivered by The Silvertown Partnership, a joint venture between Australian developer Lendlease and Starwood Capital, which bought the scheme off a previous joint venture comprising Chelsfield Properties, First Base and Macquarie Capital.

Chelsfield won permission for a revised scheme for Silvertown Quays following attempts to build out a previous Terry Farrell-designed masterplan by special purpose vehicle Silvertown Quays Ltd, which had been backed by the Bank of Scotland. This had failed in 2010, eight years after having been picked by then mayor Ken Livingstone’s regeneration vehicle, the London Development Agency.

Homes England today said that enabling works for phase one of the scheme had already begun, which would allow the construction of the first of the new homes to begin later this year ahead of first completions in 2024. Homes England’s investment will also see new public realm provided, giving access to the water at the Royal Docks via new bridges, wider canal walkways and jetties.

However, the funding comes just two years after a previous £105m loan package was agreed between Homes England and the project, which it said at the time was also to pay for up-front infrastructure costs.


Part of the funding will see the historic Millennium Mills building refurbished

The affordable homes funding from City Hall will ensure that nearly half of the 1,500 homes delivered in the first phase of the scheme are affordable, according to the Greater London Authority, with the Guinness Partnership selected as the housing association to take on the affordable element.

Guinness said it has signed a deal with The Silvertown Partnership to take on 720 homes in the first phase. In total, the GLA said, 6,000 homes will be built over the next decade on the site, with the area expected to house 13,000 people and provide around 10,000 jobs.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am delighted to see work getting underway at this landmark East London location that has vexed planners and politicians alike for the last 40 years.

“The regeneration of this area is long overdue and I’m excited by the plans for Silvertown which respect its past whilst embracing East London’s vibrant and creative future.”

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Catriona Simons, CEO at The Guinness Partnership said she was “delighted” to be working with The Silvertown Partnership on the development. “We look forward to being part of the area and its future,” she said.

Peter Freeman, chair of Homes England, said the Silvertown project was an example of how the organisation worked with the private sector to bring forward large, complex sites. “This infrastructure funding will enable The Silvertown Partnership to create new communities in the heart of East London and bring swathes of derelict brownfield land back to life,” he said.