A New Vision for Beckton Gasworks

Community news

A New Vision for Beckton Gasworks

Beckton Gasworks has a fascinating history.

Once the largest gasworks in Europe, employing 4,500 people and supplying 4.5 million customers at its peak, it closed in 1969 with the advent of natural gas. It transformed into a recreational space, becoming known as Beckton Alps, a ski slope inaugurated by Princess Diana in the 1980s. The site also gained fame over the years as an iconic setting for various film, TV and music productions including, Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, the opening sequence of James Bond’s For Your Eyes Only and backdrop to Oasis’ 1997 hit D’You Know What I Mean.

The site is now owned by St William Homes LLP (part of the Berkeley Group) and sits within the Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside Opportunity Area, one of largest regeneration areas in London. Little of the gasworks’ infrastructure remains today and most of the land lies derelict, creating an opportunity for redevelopment which embraces the site’s history.

The site has been allocated for comprehensive residential-led, mixed-use redevelopment, providing an opportunity to bring forward high-quality new homes, a mix of commercial and community uses, significant public realm improvements and access to the historic river frontage.

St William is committed to working closely with the local community. Building on engagement commissioned by Newham Council for the wider Beckton Riverside allocation, they appointed architects and community planners JTP to facilitate community and stakeholder engagement in shaping a Vision for Beckton Gasworks (Phase 1).

At a recent Community Planning Weekend, the local community participated in facilitated workshops, walkabouts, site visits and hands-on planning sessions to help co-design a new Vision for Phase 1 of this historic site and its relationship with the wider area. Some of the key elements to emerge from this two-day event included ensuring meanwhile uses to animate the space and raise awareness of the regeneration, celebrating the heritage of the gasworks and diversity of Beckton’s community and connecting the network of green spaces in the area to each other and to the Thames Path.

“Let’s think about the relationship between the river and the docks – there’s this extraordinary resource on our doorstep!”

“Bring the heritage into the now and take it into the future!”

Following the public workshop days, the JTP-led team produced a Vision for Beckton Gasworks (Phase One), including an illustrative masterplan, which was shared with the local community at a feedback session. The team continue to work with local stakeholders and the community to develop proposals for an Outline Planning Application to be submitted in Spring 2024.

St William would like to understand how the local community want to work together, for example a dedicated Community Forum or Working Group. For more information and to register your interest email info@becktongasworks.com or visit the Beckton Gasworks site for further information.