Developer sets sights on Canning Town factories for regeneration scheme

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Disused industrial buildings in Canning Town could soon make way for a scheme striving to create a vibrant residential and business community.

Cathedral Group PLC has submitted a planning application to transform the Goswell Bakeries and Moss Electrical warehouse site in Caxton Street North.

The developer has selected award-winning architects Studio Egret West to design 336 mixed tenure homes with growth focussed businesses at the ground and mezzanine levels of the scheme, which is subject to planning approval.

The commercial units are said to target "forward-thinking enterprises in need of affordable space" - with the site offering the potential for companies to adapt space to their trading needs and opening up on weekends.

Richard Upton, chief executive at Cathedral, said the site could become a "catalyst" for a variety of business activity.

"It isn't easy to persuade young, creative enterprises to make their homes in areas that have yet to experience significant regeneration, so do not provide many incentives to visit," he said.

"Yet, as they grow and develop, it is these sorts of enterprises who will act as a magnet for other, similar organisations and also for the wider community, who naturally want to be a part of what's going on.

"Studio Egret West has grasped the opportunity to develop a design which will both shape and reflect the future of the new community on Caxton Street North and we now look forward to working with London Borough of Newham to bring the development to fruition."

After acquiring the Newham site two years ago, Cathedral partnered up with the House of Fairy Tales charity, which moved into one of the warehouses and set up an outreach programme with schools and other arts organisations.

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With exhibitions and workshops already under way the developers hope the charity will play a key role in the new development, as well as sparking the interest of new companies to set up on-site.

If the scheme is given the green light, construction work will begin next September, with the first building expected to be completed in 2016.

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