Regal submits plans for Orchard Wharf featuring substantial PBSA

Developer Regal has submitted plans for a £500m mixed-use development at Orchard Wharf in London Docklands.

Regal submits planning for Orchard Wharf | PBSA News
Regal submits planning for Orchard Wharf.

Regal has submitted plans for Orchard Wharf in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The revitalised wharf will serve as a functional hub for trade. The development details were reported by PBSA News in December last year.

Additionally, it will also reinstate the area’s historic relationship with the Thames, fostering a vibrant community in this co-location project.

The Thames-side location will add to the vibrant character of the local neighbourhood.

Orchard Wharf PBSA

The site boundary of Orchard Wharf comprises 2.35 hectares of land. The proposals comprise 1,365 purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) beds, 208 affordable homes (equivalent to 35% affordable housing), and a 7,524m² safeguarded wharf and logistics centre.

Alongside this, Regal propose a cafe and community hub, 7,400m² of new open space including play areas and landscaped gardens.

“Orchard Wharf has been a real labour of love, and we are delighted to present our wider vision to deliver a new riverside neighbourhood with significant student and affordable housing, relieving the pressures on the housing stock in Tower Hamlets – all alongside a reactivated working wharf. Regal, with Thames Clipper Logistics, will play a key part in further bringing the River Thames into use to support a more sustainable London for the future.”

Steve Harrington, Planning Director at Regal 

Regal and Thames Clippers Logistics have agreed outline lease terms as part of the redevelopment of the Orchard Wharf site. This will help build a sustainable logistics solution for the future needs of London.

The proposed warehouse will be operated by Thames Clippers Logistics as part of their wider strategy. They want to develop a high-speed light river freight logistics service transporting cargo on behalf of businesses. This would be a high frequency, all tide service, using a RO-RO vessel concept. 

Thames Clipper announced they are delighted with the new partnership.

“Thames Clippers are delighted to be partnering with Regal on the regeneration of Orchard Wharf a protected riverside site as a sustainable freight facility. This project will do much in revitalising the Thames as a clean and efficient transport route into the Capital to meet the demands of a growing city and remove more vehicles from its congested roads.”

Geoff Symonds, COO, Thames Clipper Logistics

Low-carbon Orchard Wharf scheme

The development will meet the co-location aspirations of the London Plan by providing vital low-carbon infrastructure for London’s transport and delivery network fully maximising the potential of the River Thames, alongside high-quality living with outstanding amenity.

Regal submitted a planning application earlier in May 2024, and expect to have permission in place by early 2025 so construction can commence.

Regal believes the project will support a more sustainable capital city for the future.

“Situated between London City Island and Trinity Buoy Wharf, our proposal continues the vibrant character of industrial brick buildings that has come to define the Leamouth neighbourhood over the last decade. 

“Taking full advantage of this extraordinary Thames-side location, elevated gardens above the wharf will offer residents a spectacular outlook, while at ground level, new connections and community space provide an improved environment for the public and visitors.

“We look forward to delivering this transformational project with Regal.”

William Poole, Partner at Howells

Logistics

Orchard Wharf will form part of Thames Clippers’ wider future plans to operate a point to point service from logistics hubs along the Thames Gateway, Canary Wharf and Central London.

The new service is expected to significantly reduce large vehicle movements on roads into central hubs from the east. Goods arriving at Orchard Wharf are expected to be transported onwards by EVs and cargo bikes that will be able to sustain distribution within the catchment area required.

Recently, Regal London launched a new brand portfolio to support its increasingly diversified strategy. The evolution of the brand reflects the company’s ambitions to grow its student accommodation business that challenges the sector’s established players, delivers best-in class, mixed-use schemes, and secure skilled jobs for the communities in which the business operates.