Building a Bridge from the Far East to Western Markets

A strategy to create space for Chinese businesses to build a home from home in London gets the green light.

Challenge

A leading Chinese developer of large scale business parks proposed to redevelop London’s Royal Albert Dock. The site covers 35 acres of derelict land in Newham, adjacent to London City airport. ABP wanted to build around 4.7 million square feet of space to house more than 100 incoming businesses from the Far East, providing them with a working base from which to access European markets. It was the company’s first inward investment into the UK.
Asserson’s Planning team was asked to advise on planning strategy for this ambitious project following an introduction made in Beijing and the project was formally inaugurated with a signing ceremony at City Hall in London involving the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Chinese Premier Xi.

Inspiration

Work started on the form and content of a hybrid planning application for the five to eight year phased development of the site. In conjunction with a large team of professional advisers, Asserson Planning advised on the content of the suite of application documents, including an innovative public realm strategy, as well as the various infrastructure agreements required for a scheme of this magnitude.

Result

Planning permission was granted in 2015, and it is anticipated that Phase 1, comprising 750,000 square feet, will be ready for occupation by the first wave of businesses by the later part of 2018, when a new Crossrail station will also open and link to the light rail stations that already service the site.

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