A consortium of housebuilders is preparing to gentrify another bit of formerly industrious London, with the 62 acre Docklands site of Silvertown set to benefit from a £3.5bn investment that starts with 850 houses being assembled in an on-site factory.
It'll be known as Silvertown Quays once fully developed, with the builders promising to fill its new retail streets with everything apart from massive chain stores. The housing element is going to be rather low rise, with the planning permission requiring that there are no skyscrapers on the site, something being sold as a positive even though it'll lessen the density of housing in the zone.
We've avoided using the word "prefab" thus far, as they probably won't like it, but when they talk about building a "factory" on the site to assemble the homes, it's hard to imagine they'll be particularly glamorous. A spokesperson for the developer says we need to stop thinking about post-war huts though, explaining: "We see it as a vibrant, 24-hour area. And we are obsessed with design. We won’t build homes that are just boxes with no character or identity. They will work well and be beautiful to look at."
Later phases of Silvertown Quays will see more homes added to the first 850, with the hope being that 3,000 houses or pods or human containers or whatever we need to call them will eventually sit on the redeveloped site, within laser-pointing distance of London's City Airport and a short bike ride from Canary Wharf.
People should be moving in by 2020, and they're nearly done getting all the asbestos out of the old Millennium Mills building that's to be a centrepiece of the new site. [Standard]