Inner city ‘island’ challenge

Major proposals to redevelop Stratford Island in East London have been given the go-ahead by Newham Council. The scheme, near the 2012 Olympic site and upmarket Westfield Shopping Centre will transform the area, creating a new gateway for the town centre. It will offer 587 new homes across three buildings, including one refurbished former office block. Stratford will also gain 24,800 square feet of leisure space and restaurants, and 12,500 square feet of office space.

Stratford Centre, which lies within Stratford Island, is managed by Catalyst Capital. Head of Retail, Andrew Turton says, “The Stratford Centre is a thriving community shopping destination with an annual footfall of 24.5 million people. These plans will create a great place to live, shop, eat and spend time, both during the day and into the evening.”

Motion provided transport advice for the development. Motion comments, “This was a complicated inner city scheme. Stratford is as accessible as central London due to excellent transport links. There is therefore no allocated parking for residents apart from accessible parking. The site lies within a one-way gyratory system. Proposals are currently being developed to change the flow of traffic around the ‘island’ to a two-way system. Our transport assessment and access design had to take this into account so as to accommodate both the existing and future highway arrangements”.

The new development is intended to complement existing Stratford Centre businesses, which include a traditional market. New public spaces and a square will be created to improve the public realm. Two new pedestrian routes will be built. A more active frontage to the street will be achieved, partly by demolishing ramps to a multi-storey car park and building more space-efficient enclosed ramps. Construction of the scheme is expected to begin in 2016.

An abridged version of this article first appeared in the Autumn 2015 issue of Insight.

Image copyright: AHMM Architects

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