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Government Pledges 233 Million Into Docklands Site

July 12, 2022

In a bid to bring London's iconic docklands site back to life, the government has pledged £233m of infrastructure funding, backing one of the UK's most significant regeneration projects.

Government public body, Homes England, will provide the £233m in funding to support the £3.5bn regeneration works at Silvertown, east London.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “Not only will this project create a vibrant new neighbourhood with 50 percent genuinely affordable homes, but it will also create highly skilled jobs while supporting the regeneration of the Royal Docks as we build a better, fairer and more sustainable city for everyone.”

The Silvertown site

Located in the eastern London borough of Newham, Silvertown has spent the last 40 years in a largely derelict state, representing one of the largest of London dockland's brownfield sites.

Named after former rubber factory owner Samuel Winkworth Silver, Silvertown is still home to sugar refinery Tate & Lyle. The area suffered severe damage during the World War II bombings, and the site has never been redeveloped sufficiently enough to recover the lost population.

Silvertown sits between The O2, Canary Wharf, and London City Airport. In addition, the borough of Newham enjoys a growing digital infrastructure and world-class transport links - making it the ideal site for the capital's eastward growth.

Related: Living in Forest Gate: Local Guide and Property Market

Interspersing state-of-the-art facilities with affordable housing

This regeneration project supports The Silvertown Partnership (TSP) (a joint venture between Starwood Capital and Lendlease) in developing 6,000 new homes and 1.8 million square feet of state-of-the-art business facilities. These will be created alongside a vibrant new Royal Docks town centre and a new community and cultural space for events.

In collaboration with the GLA (Greater London Authority), TSP has announced its commitment to ensuring that 50 percent of the newly developed homes will be affordable. These homes, including London's Affordable Rent and shared ownership options, are at the heart of the masterplan.

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Vital Homes England funding completes the picture.

Homes England's Home Building Fund provides infrastructure loans to assist in efficiently preparing lands for housing development.

The complexity of regenerating this iconic East London location has been an ongoing source of frustration for politicians and planners for decades. Now, with the assistance of Homes England funding, work is finally underway.

The Homes England funding is set to provide vital loan financing to cover the high up-front infrastructure costs necessary to get the plan off the ground.

The funding will cover investments into:

  • a new pedestrian and cycle bridge spanning Royal Victoria Dock
  • custom House Crossrail site links
  • millennium Mills restoration
  • dock wall repairs (previously one of the primary barriers to the regeneration vision)
  • new public areas for Royal Dock water access via wider canal walkways, jetties, and new bridges

This funding will support TSP in creating exciting new East London communities by reviving large areas of brownfield land, thus significantly boosting the local economy; it's expected that the development will create around 10,000 new jobs.

Chair of Homes England, Peter Freeman, said, "Our commitment to the Silvertown project is another example of how we can work with the private sector to bring forward large, complex sites and help to transform them into the places of the future."

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Reviving London's historic docklands

London's docklands is a historic, iconic part of the capital's landscape long overdue for an exciting revival.

The regeneration of one of Royal Dock's best-known buildings, the Millenium Mills, has long been procrastinated over, given its complexity.

Since its closure in 1981, several attempted plans to transform the building have fallen by the wayside. In recent years it has been best known for its use in the production of various films and TV shows. Now, thanks to this new funding, both the mills and the adjacent Grade II-listed Silo will get the redevelopment they deserve.

This major regeneration plan incorporates infrastructure improvements surrounding the site to further support its success. It is also just the beginning; the government anticipates that as many as 42,500 new jobs and 30,000 new homes (many of which will be genuinely affordable housing) will be created in the area over the next two decades.

Site preparation for the plan's first phase is already underway, and new home construction is scheduled to begin later in the year.

Newham: The latest investor hotspot

Over the past year, properties in the borough of Newham had an overall average price of £440,65. The majority of these sales were terraced properties, going for an average price of £486,753. At the same time, flats sold for an average of £366,235, and semi-detached properties fetched £566,450.

Meanwhile, in Silvertown, properties reached an average overall price of £451,049 in the last year. The majority of sales were flats, selling for an average price of £419,913, while terraced Silvertown properties went for an average of £690,800.

Overall, the past year's sold prices in Silvertown have been down 13% on the previous year and 8% down on the 2019 peak of £490,766.

The pandemic-driven soaring property prices have been slowing as inflation has increased. While low interest rates continue to drive the market, values have been dropping in some areas as the sector begins to cool.

With the Bank of England firmly setting its sights on stalling rising inflation and mortgage rates still at record lows, many investors consider now the perfect time to make moves.

Regeneration areas are prime spots for investment opportunities

Given Silvertown's recent price drops, more room is once again created for the next upward trajectory. Moreover, the regeneration works at the Royal Docks are set to transform the area and boost its economy so significantly that investment in the area seems virtually foolproof.

Newham is also one of the growth boroughs considered the most important for regeneration works since London delivered the Olympic games. Along with Barking & Dagenham, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Hackney, and Waltham Forest, Newham has been benefiting from a range of London regeneration projects in its vicinity, not least with the staggering changes made through the redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula across the Thames.

The North Greenwich regeneration project is turning the riverside area into a green haven, with the Morden Wharf completing the picture. Morden Wharf features new homes, industrial units, innovative workspaces, retail, and new community spaces set within 3.9 acres of a beautifully landscaped public park. The development also includes a new public gathering square to host markets and events and features 275m of river frontage.

Related: Interest Rates Rise To 1.25% - What It Means For You

Properties on the market in Newham

We have a wide variety of available properties in key regeneration areas. Current listings in Newham include:

Grange Road, Stratford £250,000

This two-bedroom ground-floor period flat features two bright reception rooms and access to a large rear garden.


Grange Road, Stratford £200,000

This two-bedroom, first-floor period flat comes with development potential (subject to planning permission) and can also be purchased with the flat below it (also a two-bedroom period conversion as detailed above). Grange Road is well serviced by an array of vibrant local bars, shops, eateries, and other amenities.


Other key London regeneration works to watch

The capital has seen some vast development works in recent years, and transformations are set to continue, with multiple regeneration projects underway and in the pipeline.

Not surprisingly, regeneration works significantly improve an area's growth and present opportunities for healthy investment returns. Large-scale London regeneration projects to watch for include:

Battersea

The long-awaited completion of Battersea Power Station regeneration is finally here, with residents now being welcomed to the second residential element of the Grade II listed building. The station's turbine halls will now feature around 100 shops and eateries, servicing residents of 2,500 new homes (around a third being 'affordable').

View properties for sale in Battersea.

South Bermondsey

Plans to develop 3,500 new homes are scheduled to start in 2023 (planning permission pending), with a third being designated as 'affordable.' Additionally, development plans include a network of shops, eateries, cafes, and public spaces, as well as walking/cycle routes and a new sports complex.

View properties for sale in Dulwich and Bermondsey.

PoplarWith Balfron Tower already redeveloped into high-end flats, a further £280m development is in the pipeline to transform Chrisp Street Market. Aberfeldy Estate - now known as Aberfeldy Village - is also currently undergoing extensive improvements, including the construction of almost 900 new flats.

View properties for sale in Poplar.

Final thoughts

After the uncertainty of recent years and the cloud of rising inflation hovering over us, seeing such extensive funding being poured into exciting London regeneration projects is encouraging. With the Bank of England cautiously raising rates to counter inflation, low interest rates continue to keep property markets buoyant as values plateau or gradually fall, opening up investment opportunities.

For information on the market or to speak with one of our Sales or Letting Agents, get in touch on 0204 5793 011. You can view all our available properties for sale in London here.

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