A significant programme of work has recently been undertaken to inform both planning and commercial strategies for a major brownfield site in the Thames Gateway. The proposals comprise of 470,000 sqm employment floorspace on the site of a former oil refinery on the north bank of the River Thames.
Three core activities are proposed for the site: energy generation, commercial floorspace for sustainable industries and strategic distribution for the food sector.
Our Planning & EIA Team have been involved with this project for three years, advising on the extent of parameter plans, scope of technical documents and form of employment uses that are proposed on the site. The Design and Landscape teams provided a Design Code and Landscape masterplan to underpin the parameters, and the Design team are now instructed to work with our Cambridge Planning team to prepare and submit detailed designs for the Central Hub of the new development which will comprise a multi-storey high spec building for offices, education and conferencing facilities, creche, leisure and community uses with strategic views across the Thames from a public viewing platform.
An Outline Planning application was submitted in September 2018 for 480,000 sqm of commercial (B1/B2/B8) floorspace and a new Rail Freight Terminal. This follows previously securing permission for the demolition of all existing structures and remediation of 72 hectares ahead of planning. A Planning Performance Agreement has been in place for 12 months, with a decision expected in Summer/Autumn 2019.
Once approved it will take four years to remediate/decontaminate, following which it is proposed to develop plots for a range of industrial, large scale logistics and energy related uses – utilising river and rail links to the adjacent London Gateway Port. The types of facility proposed will be highly automated and facility new entrants into the UK Food & Logistics markets that could not be accommodated elsewhere in the Southeast of England.
The development will sit alongside the existing Oilport which will be retained, requiring the type of buildings to conform to PADHI & COMAH Land Use Planning Guidelines or revocation of hazardous substances storage consents.
- The site extends to 172 hectares, and is nearly two miles long at its widest point. It is the largest brownfield urban regeneration project in Europe;
- The proposals will provide a wide range of employment opportunities for up to 4,750 Full Time Equivalents;
- The permitted units can extend up to 42 metres in height