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Planning permission has been granted for the first phase of the £3.5 billion Silvertown Quays development on the Royal Docks.

This will include extensive renovation of the iconic Millennium Mills which will be transformed into a large-scale entrepreneurial hub to house start-ups and emerging businesses.

Because of the scale of the regeneration the brownfield land will be tackled in phases. Newham Council planners have now given the go-ahead for a block of work that includes 1,000 new homes, a third of the planned final total.

Outline planning permission for the entire site was granted in 2016 but there have been a number of changes and hold-ups since then, not least the acquisition of The Silvertown Partnership by Landlease and Starwood Capital in 2018.

When redevelopment of the site is completed in its entirety, developers say Silvertown will provide 21,000 of new homes and non-residential space including commercial, brand, retail, hotel and community use. At 62 acres it is the largest regeneration project in London.

Silo Do will become a central point of the Silvertown Quays regeneration

The site is also home to Silo D, a Grade II listed grain silo, which dates from the 1920s and will also become a focal point of the new development.

The area, which is often used by film-makers as a bleak backdrop in crime dramas, has been the subject of development proposals for many years. In 2007 a planning application was submitted for a mixed-use redevelopment, including 4,900 waterfront homes and a vast aquarium within the Millennium Mills building but that never materialised.

In 2012, part of the land was turned into the London Pleasure Gardens. The aim was to entertain Olympic Games visitors but slick transport to and from Stratford, along with teething problems on the site – including whipping dust – saw visitor numbers drop and the attraction collapse, leaving taxpayers footing the multi-million-pound bill.

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