By Ruby Gregory, local democracy reporter
Formula 1 bosses have closed proposals for a London Grand Prix at Royal Docks, which its promoters say would transform the area.
Urban design group LDN Collective and Dar, a consultancy, said turning an area north of the Royal Victoria and Royal Albert Docks into a racetrack would make it an exciting destination with “floating grandstands” for crowds of more than 95,000. people.
Residents of Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich and West Thamesmead would be within reach of any event, which would emulate other city tracks in Montreal and Monaco. Formula E racing, with electric cars, already takes place inside and outside the Excel center.
Max Farrell, chief executive of the LDN Collective, said his vision for Royal Docks could be “what the Olympics did for Stratford and Lea Valley”.
He added: “We know that F1 is interested in hosting a Grand Prix here and we have designed a track that meets all their requirements and regulations. We have discussed the proposals with the Greater London Authority, who are developing a water strategy and planning framework with Newham City Council, which we hope to align with.”
Farrell added: “F1 or no F1, these proposals are transformative and would be a huge boost for London and the UK globally as we emerge from the pandemic.”
Dar’s Dan Horner said the quays were “underutilized” but could accommodate floating pods that would create a “new family-oriented entertainment and events destination”.
He said: “Although floating buildings, structures and spaces are a relatively new concept in the UK, there are a growing number of precedents, especially in Europe, which have been very successful and profitable.
“We believe this is an exciting and viable solution to activate the Pier, turning it into a world-class destination.”
The group’s plans also call for new restaurants, libraries, boutique hotels and small parks to be along the edge of the embankment, and they say the British Grand Prix at Silverstone would benefit from a sister event in London.
However, F1 has scrapped the idea. He was saying: “There are no plans for a Docklands Grand Prix. We have a relationship of many years with Silverstone”.
Newham Council said it did not want to comment on the plans. The City Council did not respond to a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Darryl Chamberlain
gregory ruby he is the local democracy reporter for Tower Hamlets. The Local Democracy Reporters Service is a BBC funded initiative to ensure tips are properly covered in the local media.
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