Mayor’s Office grants planning permission for East Bank scheme

12 June 2019


  • Application approved for four cultural and education buildings and up to 600 homes on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park


  • Scheme will deliver 2,500 jobs, 1.5 million visitors and £1.5 billion to the economy


Exciting plans to create one of the world’s largest cultural and education districts at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park have moved a step further after the Mayor of London’s Office granted planning permission for a major part of the scheme.


Today, planning approval has been granted for four key buildings as part of the Stratford Waterfront element of the ‘East Bank’ scheme, along with up to 600 homes.


These buildings will become home to Sadler’s Wells dance theatre, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) including a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, the BBC and a new campus for University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion.


Spread across three sites on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East Bank will be at the heart of a growing cluster of commerce, technology, manufacture, retail, education, culture and the creative industries, delivering 2,500 jobs, attracting 1.5 million additional visitors a year and generating £1.5 billion for the local economy. The 4.25 hectare site will have a bigger ‘footprint’ than the Pompidou Centre in Paris.


Statutory Deputy Mayor Joanne McCartney, who considered the planning application, said: “East Bank is central to the Mayor’s vision of creating a powerhouse for artistic excellence, learning, research, performance and exhibitions on the site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It represents a unique prospect for London that is almost unparalleled on the international stage. 


“This project will touch the lives of everyone visiting, living and working in and around the park – so I am delighted to have granted planning permission today.”


Speaking on behalf of all the East Bank partners, Lyn Garner, Chief Executive of LLDC, said: “This is a huge milestone for the project and testament to the hard work, and commitment of all those involved. East Bank will be the glue that binds together the different elements on the Park from world-class visitor attractions, high-tech business districts, thousands of new homes and wonderful parkland and open spaces.


“Now, with planning permission in place for the biggest and most exciting culture and education project for a generation, we can start to deliver on the promises for jobs, skills and homes for east London.”


The following tenants are set to move into the Stratford Waterfront element of the ‘East Bank’ scheme:



  • University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion will create a new campus for 6,500 students and staff with state-of-the-art facilities including public open spaces, galleries, library and archives.


  • Sadler’s Wells will build a 550-seat theatre presenting the best dance from the UK and around the world, a choreographic centre and a hip-hop theatre academy with engagement programmes for artists, audiences and local communities.


  • The BBC will build a new home for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC singers and rock and pop recording facilities with access to the public for performances.


  • The V&A, including a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, will create a new museum to explore the V&A’s renowned collection, a co-curated space with the Smithsonian, pioneering exhibitions, gallery displays and spaces for community-led projects. 


East Bank will provide skills and jobs for local people, bringing over 10,000 students to the site, and attracting thousands of visitors from London and beyond. It will help to cement the capital’s reputation as a world leader in culture, education and innovation.


Prior to the new buildings opening the East Bank partners have already been working to create links with local residents, schools and community groups. To date some 125,000 people have attended and participated in a range of arts and cultural events, summer schools and workshops.


The other parts of East Bank are UCL East, a pioneering new campus for UCL in the south of the Park and the V&A’s new Collection and Research Centre will be located at Here East in the north of the park.


Last year, the Mayor confirmed that at least 50 per cent of new homes across the remaining development sites on the Park – Stratford Waterfront, Pudding Mill and Rick Roberts Way – will be genuinely affordable.

Notes to editors

The planning consent allows development on the 4.25-hectare plot of 41,965 sqm of educational space, 8,144 sqm of cultural space, 20,770 sqm of performance venue space, 1,934 of retail/food and drink space and 86 sqm of office space – bigger than the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

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