Photography by Julian Osley

London’s Royal Docks will be reborn as a creative hub after Newham Council granted planning permission for a £3.5 billion redevelopment of the Silvertown area.

Millennium Mills – an art deco landmark built in the early 20th century – is the lynchpin of the Silvertown Quays master plan, drawn up by Fletcher Priest Architects. Vacant since the 1980s, the 450,000 sq ft former flour mill will be turned into a space for tech and media companies.

Plan for Millennium Mills
Drawing of the planned Millennium Mills

The conversion of the mill is scheduled for completion in 2018, when Crossrail is due to arrive at nearby Custom House. A pedestrian bridge will be built to connect Silvertown with the station.

Shops, restaurants, a school and up to 3,000 homes are also included in the Silvertown regeneration scheme, which has been compared to New York’s Meatpacking District – a revitalised former industrial area.

Silvertown Quays plans
How Silvertown could look in the future

‘This part of London is now destined to be a creative hub for our capital, offering a new, easily accessible location for a range of businesses, as well as housing for,’ says Simon Webster, CEO of The Silvertown Partnership responsible for the project. ‘It is a much-needed scheme for this part of London.’

Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales adds: ‘This multi-billion pound transformation is a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate the Royal Docks area, giving it a new lease of life benefiting Newham and the capital as a whole.’

London mayor Boris Johnson, along with the transport secretary and communities secretary, will need to rubber-stamp the plans before work can begin.

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