Wildlife in Wharfs
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Regal London Unveils New Vision for Orchard Wharf

River Thames

Regal London has this week unveiled plans for the transformation of Orchard Wharf, a strategically positioned site on the North bank of the River Thames. The new sustainable, vibrant, and mixed community will feature new affordable homes, purpose-built student accommodation, and an urban freight logistics port catering to London’s last-mile distribution needs.

The proposed development aims to unlock a site that has lain untouched since 1993, fostering safe, pedestrian-led connections with the surrounding neighbourhoods.

The new plans, designed by architects Howells, include approximately 217 new affordable homes, 35% of the total. This goes a significant way towards Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Manifesto pledge of 4,000 social homes through the provision of family sized apartments with private amenity, communal podium terraces, sheltered doorstep play space and panoramic views.

In addition, there will be around 1,365 student beds addressing the high demand for student housing in London, contributing significantly to the London Plan’s yearly requirement for student bed spaces. Both tenures will be located atop the Wharf Box, sharing a podium with communal facilities that bring all residents together. Regal London are also investing in activities to enhance the public realm, including small retail and a Visitor Centre serving existing and emerging communities.

The site has been unloved for over two decades, and we have a fantastic opportunity to bring it to back to life. Our vision for Orchard Wharf brings together a significant quantum of affordable housing, purpose built student accommodation and an active river frontage. This will not only open up this corner of the river bank, but will help alleviate pressure on larger homes currently occupied by students and help meet the borough’s housing need.

Steve Harrington
Planning Director, Regal London
Orchard Wharf Sketch

Recognizing the growing demand for waterborne freight and in collaboration with the Port of London Authority (PLA), the safeguarded wharf is set to be retained, marking a significant milestone in the efforts to revitalize this prime location situated within the Leamouth Cluster, identified by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) as a tall building zone.

The scheme is designed to protect residents in terms of noise and air quality, with an enclosed Wharf Box ensuring that the wharf activity remains separate from local activities. Regal London’s plans are set for submission to LBTH in Spring 2024.

In 2020, Regal London submitted a hybrid planning application proposing 826 new homes across five buildings ranging from 15 to 30 storeys, an operational logistics box, and flexible commercial space. The application was subsequently withdrawn in Spring 2023.

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