Royal Docks wins first Olympic gold

Hundreds of homes and a new community to be built ahead of 2012.
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A scheme of 750 new homes next to the Thames Barrier in Docklands has been approved by Mayor Boris Johnson. Called Barrier Park East, it is the first big residential scheme in London to get the planning thumbs up since the credit crunch began in the autumn of 2007.

Its currently derelict waterfront site is part of the Royal Docks area close to City Airport and in a key regeneration zone ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

'This will create a community on an important stretch of the Thames'

In keeping with the Mayor’s revised London Plan - the blueprint for housing in the capital - 130 of the new homes at Barrier Park East will be for families, with up to four bedrooms and surrounded by open, green space.

Located around the river bend from Canary Wharf, the scheme “will create a new community on an important stretch of the Thames,” the Mayor says. Recent extensions of the DLR to Woolwich and City Airport are boosting regeneration making this former frontier land for homebuyers a likely new hotspot once the market recovers.

The area’s major landowner is London Development Agency, part of the Mayor’s office, which wants to attract businesses as well as homebuyers by using high-quality urban design that will relate to Dockland’s mercantile past.

Already a Royal Docks hub has formed around the ExCel exhibition centre, where smart apartment blocks and a cluster of hotels have been built, though construction of nearby Silvertown Quays - a giant 5,000-home and commercial project that includes the Biota Aquarium designed by architect Sir Terry Farrell - has been delayed because of the economy.

Barratt, developer of Barrier Park East, is expected to start on site early next year, and the first homes will be ready before the Olympics.

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