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Employment hub, housing and hotel earmarked for site of Marina business in Royal Docks

PUBLISHED: 12:09 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 23 October 2018

CGI of Albert Island, which has been labelled an 'opportunity area' in the mayor's London Plan. Picture: Forbes Massie/Haworth Tompkins

CGI of Albert Island, which has been labelled an 'opportunity area' in the mayor's London Plan. Picture: Forbes Massie/Haworth Tompkins

Forbes Massie/Haworth Tompkins

A marina business which has been in the Royal Docks for 27 years could be converted to a shipyard, employment hub, hotel and homes.

An aerial view of Albert Island, which currently houses the marina, a training centre and a bike track. Picture: Isabel InfantesAn aerial view of Albert Island, which currently houses the marina, a training centre and a bike track. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Albert Island in the Royal Docks is part of former mayor Boris Johnson’s Enterprise Zone – an area earmarked for investment and redevelopment.

The brownfield site currently houses a dirt bike track, construction training centre, and Gallions Point Marina Ltd, which has been owned by Leigh-Jane Miller and her father, Eric, for nearly 30 years.

Earlier this month, Leigh-Jane staged a sit-in when officers came to evict the business from the site, after they won separate court cases to take it over.

Leigh-Jane went to court in January over lease of the site, but in separate rulings, the court ruled in favour of landowners, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and the Royal Docks Management Authority.

Leigh-Jane Miller, owner of Gallions Point Marina Ltd. at the court case at Bow County Court. Picture: Kat HoppsLeigh-Jane Miller, owner of Gallions Point Marina Ltd. at the court case at Bow County Court. Picture: Kat Hopps

The area marked for development stretches from the Royal Docks pumping station in the north, down to the offices of the Royal Docks Management Authority in the south, encompassing the plot housing Gallions Point Marina Ltd.

In a letter on behalf of London and Regional Properties (L&R), who are developing the 25-acre site, to London Mayor Sadiq Khan in March, it states: “The site is not well utilised and the existing uses on site do not provide high levels of employment floorspace or jobs.

“L&R’s proposals are supported at national, regional and local level as it will result in the employment-led regeneration of brownfield land at Albert Island.”

L&R were awarded the contract to redevelop Albert Island in March.

CGI of Albert Island, which has been labelled an 'opportunity area' in the mayor's London Plan. Picture: Forbes Massie/Haworth TompkinsCGI of Albert Island, which has been labelled an 'opportunity area' in the mayor's London Plan. Picture: Forbes Massie/Haworth Tompkins

Under the proposals, there will be an employment hub containing workshops, warehouses and offices, and a shipyard housing the biggest shiplift in Europe to repair Thames riverboats.

There are also plans for a community facility for marine activities, a hotel, new homes, and a “restored and updated” marina.

According to the mayor’s London Plan, the Royal Docks and Beckton Waterfront are an ‘opportunity area’, with the capacity for 6,000 jobs and 11,000 homes.

On the Albert Island website, it states: “Working in partnership with the local community and key stakeholders, the aim is to create a thriving and sustainable commercial, educational and innovation hub on the Thames and to provide a creative boost to the river environment and economy.”

If planning permission is given, building could begin in 2020.

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