New future planned for Bishopsgate Goods Yard

A new lease of life is being planned for the historic Bishopsgate Goods Yard which has been dormant for 40 years.

Hackney and Tower Hamlets Councils and the Mayor of London have approved new planning guidance that will shape the future of the 4.7 hectare site in Shoreditch which straddles the borough boundaries.

The planning guidance lays out the vision for the site’s future regeneration, which could provide up to 2,000 new homes, including family and affordable housing, along with a health centre, community facilities and employment space.

An exciting feature of proposed development will be the creation of a high-level public park above the Braithwaite Viaduct, with links to existing green spaces such as Allen Gardens – to create a Shoreditch version of the famous New York High Line park. These plans will see up to 1.7 hectares of open space created for the local community.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: “Bishopsgate Goods Yard offers a great opportunity to develop a large disused area into a new neighbourhood with new homes, business space and with the Braithwaite Viaduct carrying a new park. This planning and design guidance will ensure any new development contributes to and enhances the surrounding area.”

Tower Hamlets Council Lead Member for Housing and Development, Cllr Marc Francis, said: “The planning guidance has been designed to demonstrate how the site can be connected with its surrounding area, how its physical constraints can be overcome and a new sustainable community established.

“We particularly want to make sure any development integrates the Grade II listed Braithwaite viaduct and former entrance gates in a creative way.

“After sitting there unused for 40 years, it really is time to see this site brought back to life. The new Shoreditch high Street station will open on the East London Line extension next summer and it’s the perfect catalyst for the site’s regeneration.”

Sir Simon Milton, Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff to the Mayor of London, and the Mayor s Planning Adviser, said: “This document is an example of how close co-operation at the strategic and local level can help deliver the houses and jobs that are needed to boost London’s economic recovery.”

The planning guidance was amended after a ten week period of extensive community and stakeholder consultation which took place during March to May 2009. The draft was approved as interim planning guidance by Hackney’s cabinet on 23 November and by Tower Hamlets’ cabinet on 2 December. Deputy Mayor of London Sir Simon Milton endorsed the guidance on 9 December.

The local authorities and the GLA have worked closely with the future developers Ballymore Group and Hammerson Plc and with urban designers Terry Farrell and Partners to produce the planning guidance.

They will now work with Transport for London to implement public realm improvements to provide an attractive setting for the new station. They will also consider temporary uses for the Braithwaite arches, such as shops, leisure facilities and cultural uses, to generate activity at the site before comprehensive redevelopment takes place.