Plans for London’s next business district at Royal Albert Dock given green light

  • Newham Council’s Strategic Development Committee granted planning approval for the scheme on Wednesday 23 July 2014 
  • The proposals will create a new business district aimed at businesses from Asia creating up to 20,000 new jobs 
  • Scheme will deliver over 4.7m sq ft of business led floor space with supporting retail and residential

Plans from Chinese developer ABP and UK development manager Stanhope to transform the Royal Albert Dock into the capital’s next business district, creating up to 20,000 new jobs, have been awarded planning approval by Newham Council.

The 35 acre scheme for businesses from Asia will bring much-needed investment worth £6bn to this part of London and the UK, bolster trade links with Asian markets and attract new companies to set up European HQs.

The proposals, which have been masterplanned by leading architects Farrells, will deliver 4.7million sq ft of business led floor space with supporting residential and retail units. For the first time, local residents will also be able to enjoy around 1km of waterfront, along with eight new public squares, a dockside promenade and green links through the site.

ABP has already received over 60 expressions of interest from Chinese companies committing to office space on the site and earlier this year ABP established First Stop London, a corporate landing service to help Chinese enterprises locate in London and access the support they need to succeed.

Chairman of ABP, Xu Weiping, said: 

“I am delighted with Newham Council’s decision to grant permission for Royal Albert Dock. ABP’s £1bn scheme will transform this derelict site into London’s next business district, bringing significant social and economic benefits to the local area and creating up to 20,000 new jobs. 

“This permission is not just important for ABP; it is a huge step forward for the wider regeneration of the Royal Docks. 

“We look forward to getting started on the first phase which will deliver around one-third of the site. We have seen high demand from China and the Far East and hope to complete this first phase by 2018, generating economic activity and creating thousands of new jobs over the next five years.” 

Sir Terry Farrell said: 

“Historically the trading heart of the capital, this development will re-instate the Royal Docks as a commercial and trading centre for the 21st century. The masterplan creates a state-of-the-art business district for financial, high-tech and knowledge driven industries which will act as a catalyst for the transformation of the wider Royal Docks and East London continuing the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics. 

This will be a place buzzing with activity during the day, in the evenings and at weekends with over 4.7 million square feet of high quality work, living, retail and leisure space with over a kilometre of activated waterfront. Running from East to West there will be a new waterside promenade, lively new high street, eight new London squares and an ecological corridor acting as a buffer to the main road. Signature headquarters buildings in the central square include biomes on the roofs and all of the buildings within the masterplan will be highly sustainable.” 

The site lies within the Royal albert Dock Enterprise Zone and when complete will have some of the best transport connections in the capital via the DLR, London City Airport, the road network and Crossrail, which will be complete in 2018.

The first phase of the development will include a Central Square, new routes through the site, offices and residential. A key route through the site, from Beckton Park DLR station to Building 1000, will be delivered as part of this phase.

The approval is for a detailed application for Phase 1 and for outline planning approval for remaining 374,067 sq m site.

Notes to Editors 

  • ABP (China) Holdings Group Ltd was founded in 2003 and has forged a reputation for developing large scale enterprise districts. The company is an established developer across China with a track record of investing and transforming areas in need of regeneration with significant projects that allow companies to thrive and prosper. It has a number of other large scale projects under construction and on track in China, including developments in Shenyang and Qingdao.
  • It was announced by the Mayor of London on 29 May 2013 that ABP (London) would lead the development of the 35-acre Royal Albert Dock site, as part of a £1bn deal, with UK partner Stanhope acting as development manager. ABP were chosen following a procurement process to identify a developer to develop out the site for employment focused uses. The £1bn deal relates to the estimated gross development value of the development.
  • The Hybrid planning application for up to 437,185 sq. m of floorspace with part submitted in outline and part submitted in detail received a resolution to grant consent at Newham Council’s Strategic Development Committee meeting on 23 July 2014.
  • The Outline Component of the application received approval for a comprehensive business-led mixed used development comprising a maximum of 374,067 sq. m (GEA) (excluding maximum basement of 47,417 sq. m (GEA)) of floorspace for the following uses:
    • business use (Use Class B1) up to 256,757 sq. m (GEA);
    • retail, financial and professional services, food and drink uses, community and cultural , and assembly and leisure uses (Use Classes A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, D1 and/or D2) up to 9,839 sq. m (GEA) of flexible floorspace;
    • residential uses (Use Class C3) up to 86,891 sq. m (GEA) including ancillary facilities of 14,202 sq. m not exceeding 845 residential units;
    • car parking structures and energy centre (Sui Generis Use) 20,580 sq. m (GEA);
    • new servicing routes, highways and landscaping, public realm improvement works, provision of public open space, access, and associated development.
  • The Detailed Component of the application received approval for a total 63,118 sq. m (GEA) of floorspace comprising business (Use Class B1) up to 48,986 sq. m (GEA), serviced apartments (Sui Generis Use) up to 8,565 sq. m (GEA) not exceeding 180 serviced apartments, retail, financial and professional services, food and drink uses, community and cultural, and assembly and leisure uses (Use Classes A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, D1 and/or D2) up to 5,567sq. m (GEA) of flexible floorspace, temporary car park (up to 330 car parking spaces) hardstanding (Sui Generis Use) and temporary energy centre (Sui Generis Use) (including a temporary access road and associated works for these uses), access and connectivity improvements, landscaping and public realm improvements, open space provision and associated development.
  • Two separate Listed Building Consent applications for the refurbishment and re-use of the two Grade II listed buildings on site – the Docks Managers Officer and the Central Buffet were also approved.
  • The Royal Docks lies within the stretch of land running from Stratford down the River Lea to the Thames, an ‘arc of opportunity’ with £22 billion of development potential. It is home to ExCeL, the international exhibition and convention centre and London City Airport. The Mayors of London and the London Borough of Newham have set out a joint vision to develop the Royal Docks.

For further information, and photographs for media use, please contact:

Neil Robinson
Director of Global Communications
ABP (London) Investment Ltd
T: +44 (0) 203 8188 540


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