Peruvian Wharf will be put back to use after the Port of London Authority sealed a deal to acquire the site from its previous owners, and redevelop the land.

Located in Silvertown, near the Tate and Lyle Plant, the heritage-protected wharf has been purchased for £3 million, with plans to turn the area into a ‘centre for low-carbon transport of building materials’ for London and the surrounding region.

Peruvian Wharf has been unused for several years, with the site turning into a wasteland after the former owner, who remains unnamed, failed to secure planning permission to turn the site back into a cargo-handling wharf.

There will be immediate implementation of plans for the northern half of the site only, due to the status of the dockside as a ‘safeguarded wharf’. These include a regenerated area with 950 new houses and an array of ‘metro-style’ shops.

Mark Watson, the director of Galliard Homes, who secured planning permission for the northern section, said: “We have been working closely with the London Borough of Newham and communities to develop our masterplan and have made a number of additions in response to feedback, such as including space for a local convenience shop and a public station square around the West Silvertown DLR station.”

Further plans to redevelop and reopen the site for cargo-handling are being drawn up as part of a joint venture by the Port of London Authority and the Department for Transport, with a reduction in congestion and pollution as a priority. The site will be leased by building materials manufacturer, the Brett Group.

Robin Mortimer, chief executive of the Port of London Authority, thinks the deal will benefit London in the long term, saying: “We’ve fought long and hard to get Peruvian Wharf back into use. It’s ideally placed to service East London’s growth. 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.”

On a similar note, Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross 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.”

It is not yet known when full construction works will begin, but it is believed the wharf will open to use for the Brett Group in late 2017. It has been protected since 1997.

Photo taken by Barry Caruth, available for use under the creative commons license.