West Silvertown, Newham
This former industrial zone south of Royal Victoria Dock is moving ever more upmarket with each stage of its redevelopment
From the mid-19th century until the early 1980s riverside factories and quayside warehousing occupied the former marshes here. Since the closure of most of the industrial premises this side of Silvertown has been undergoing (or expecting to undergo) extensive regeneration.
Laughable as this may now seem given the value of the real estate, whole chunks of Docklands were set aside in the late 20th century for the construction of homes for people of average or below average means. Here in West Silvertown the LDDC* sponsored the creation of Britannia Village, a ‘self-supporting community’ with housing of modest architectural standards. Britannia Village primary school opened in 1999 on a site facing the village green.
Thames Barrier Park was completed in 2000 and boasts one of the most distinctive public gardens created in London in recent decades. The park is flanked by apartment blocks built by Barratt at the same time: Barrier Point and Tradewinds.
West Silvertown station opened in 2005.
In the vicinity of Pontoon Dock, 62 acres of derelict land is being regenerated as “London’s new creative capital”, as shown in the CGI visualisation at the top of the page. Unable to find inspiration in London, the developers have turned to New York for ideas – and propose to create a Docklands version of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District (not during its countercultural phase but its more recent upscale transformation).
In addition to up to 3,000 homes, there will of course be a new public space, restaurants and other leisure facilities – and there may be a retail zone that consists of so-called ‘brand pavilions’ that are more interactive exhibitions than shops. The proposals also include a new bridge across the Royal Victoria Dock to connect The Silvertown with the forthcoming Elizabeth line (Crossrail) station at Custom House.
Postcode area: E16
Station: Docklands Light Railway, Woolwich Arsenal branch (zone 3)