Billionaire’s cultural centre plan blocked

AN INDIAN billionaire has expressed his disap­pointment as plans to build a £1 billion cultural centre and 3,500 homes at a spot in London have been blocked. Essel Group, the Indian conglomerate chaired by Dr Subhash Chandra, confirmed last week that building plans in east London’s Silvertown Quays were unable to progress. The group had unveiled plans last month to re­develop a 62-acre brownfield site, which was sold in 2012 by the Greater London Authority (GLA). The area was understood to be used as a visitor attraction celebrating Indian culture and history in the capital. A proposal was submitted to the GLA to pur­chase the land from the current developers, The Silvertown Partnership (TSP). However, Essel claims its plans for the site have since been halted by a standstill between TSP and the GLA. Chandra has expressed his frustrations with the details, stating the build would collate with the Mayor of London’s #LondonIsOpen campaign. “This is the kind of investment the mayor’s campaign aims to achieve – one that shows Lon­don is united with the world and proud of its histo­ry.” he said. “I am deeply disappointed, therefore, that Essel Group has been prevented from having our vision­ary proposal formally tabled to the Greater London Authority, the owners of the site,”. TSP said although it supports the proposal, the final decision lies with the GLA.

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