A strategically important protected wharf in East London is set to return to operation after its acquisition by the Port of London Authority (PLA).
Peruvian Wharf in Newham will be developed as a centre for low-carbon transport of building materials in East London. The wharf has been protected since 1997 under the Mayor of London’s policy to safeguard strategically placed wharves for cargo handling. The PLA completed the acquisition of the site after a long battle over the wharf’s planning status, subsequently acquiring the site when the former landowner didn’t reactivate it for cargo-handling.
‘We’ve fought long and hard to get Peruvian Wharf back into use,’ explained PLA chief executive, Robin Mortimer. ‘It’s ideally placed to service East London’s growth, underlining the importance of retaining strategically located sites for cargo handling.
‘The river will play a key role in servicing the construction of at least 260,000 new homes and communities, offering 360,000 jobs. This will help keep tens of thousands of lorries off London’s roads every year, reducing air pollution and improving local people’s quality of life.’
The PLA has paid more than £3 million for Peruvian Wharf. They will initially complete a new access road to the site, prior to letting it on a long-term lease to the Brett Group, the independent construction and building materials group. Brett will develop an integrated terminal on the site, which is expected to be operational late in 2017.
Deputy mayor for transport, Val Shawcross welcomed the news. She said: ‘Over two million tonnes of cargo are moved between wharves on the Thames each year. This keeps more than 150,000 lorry trips off London’s roads, reducing congestion and pollution. We look forward to seeing Peruvian Wharf back in use and serving construction projects in East London as soon as possible.’
Fifty wharves on the Thames have been ‘safeguarded’ for cargo-handling use by the Secretary of State for Transport, following the advice of the Mayor of London and the PLA. Peruvian Wharf is one of three currently vacant wharves promoted within the PLA’s recently published Thames Vision, to be brought back into long-term use. The others are Hurlingham Wharf in Hammersmith & Fulham (currently being used for the Tideway project) and Orchard Wharf in Tower Hamlets.