A smaller, cleaner proposal

Our proposal is for a single concrete plant in the southern corner of the land.

The plant would be set back next to the railway, away from publicly accessible and sensitive edges of the site. No concrete block factory is proposed, in contrast to the previous applications.

External boundary: There would be a flexible workspace building along Marshgate Lane and substantial perimeter landscaping for screening and biodiversity.

Scale of activity: The plant would occupy less than half the area of the previous proposals and the overall development would import less materials than currently permitted. Tighter planning controls could be applied on the movement and storage of materials than those that apply today.

Overall this constitutes a smaller-scale operation that would be cleaner and tidier than activities taking place on the site today.

50% less material than current site capacity – less storage, less activity

50% reduction in land area used for freight and materials storage

No Ordinary Concrete Plant

Bow East would be no ordinary concrete plant.

It would be appropriately designed to complement other structures on the adjacent Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that celebrate city infrastructure.

Our proposals feature an architect-designed exterior which – along with advanced control systems you would expect in a state-of-the-art concrete plant – will help manage any potential for external impacts.

Creative process: Designing a plant that’s truly fitting for this location has involved an extensive design and development process. Drawing on the industrial heritage of the Lea Valley we’re proposing a structure that is both contemporary, but also references the designs of the historic Bow Porcelain works that was once next to the site.

Future: The plan could also release the potential for further high-quality mixed development on the remaining part of the land (subject to separate planning application(s) to be determined in accordance with the development plan at that time).

Model of the plant

The best modern environmental controls on a high-tech plant

Enclosed/covered plant storage and site-wide controls on air quality

Walls, fences and planting to help screen and contain site activities


Substantial work has been done to develop a proposal which considers the whole area and its surroundings.

The proposal establishes a complete, joined-up approach to the Bow East site, including integrated design of the landscape, structures, boundaries, highway access and public spaces.

Workspace building: One of the key features is a new building on Marshgate Lane which provides a flexible workspace for those based at Bow East. This space also has the potential for use as a base for visitors, liaison meetings, education projects, etc.

Landscaping: Elsewhere around the perimeter, substantial landscaping is proposed to serve as a screen for the on-the-ground activity, and enhance biodiversity beside the river and along the Greenway.

Business community: The project team is open to suggestions for other ways the site could become part of the fabric of the local business community. One idea which has stimulated some interest would be to grow hops for use by local breweries in the Lea Valley (pictured).

Fewer vehicle movements

Careful consideration has been given to vehicle movements to and from the proposed plant.

Movements: Our proposal would reduce by half the volume of material currently permitted, and it would mean a 30% reduction compared to that proposed in previous planning submissions. That translates into fewer vehicle movements than either current activities or previous proposals (see comparison table).

Lorries & drivers: Our proposals stipulate that trucks would have ‘Euro 6’ engines. These are the cleanest engines available with far lower emissions than many older vehicles already on London’s roads. All trucks and their drivers would meet the FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) Standard. All three joint venture partners are CLOCS ‘Champions’ (Construction Logistics & Community Safety).


Without Bow East more aggregates would come into London by lorry to concrete plants and construction sites.


Most of the aggregates imported by rail into Bow are transferred by road to local concrete plants. Some of these would be expected to close under the new proposal.


Concrete would be made on-site – with no need to transfer aggregates to other concrete plants there are fewer overall lorry movements.

35% fewer lorry movements than current peak levels.

Better road safety proposals on Marshgate Lane.

Only ULEZ ‘Euro VI’ trucks – cleaner and safer than older models.

An impression of the plant at night


Air quality is vitally important to us, our employees and those who live and work nearby.

Several measures are proposed to ensure air quality meets high standards through containment within walls and buildings, suppression systems that prevent material becoming airborne, and a rigorous management regime to maintain a clean site.

Design & layout: The site has been designed to minimise the likelihood of material entering the air as a result of vehicle movements. The design includes enclosures to inhibit the flow of wind across stored materials.

Control: Rainwater would be ‘harvested’ for use in an automatic spray system to dampen stored materials and operating areas to prevent dust generation. Within the plant itself, material that could become airborne would be contained or filtered.

Monitoring: We have already started comprehensive air quality monitoring at multiple points in and around the site. This is being carried out by independent air quality specialists to help provide a clear understanding of the current situation. The air quality monitoring would continue throughout the operation of the concrete plant so we can measure the effectiveness of the control measures we propose to put in place. Detailed data will be made publicly available.

Net emissions: By bringing aggregates into London by train – directly to an on-site concrete plant – truck movements are minimised. The net result is lower emissions and better air quality than if the same material were to be imported by lorry.

Rail freight creates up to 90% lower particulates than road transport

The best modern environmental controls on a high-tech plant

Comprehensive site-wide monitoring for air quality

Impression of the view towards the plant
Impression of the view towards the plant

Proposals Side-by-Side

Current Activity Previous Proposals New Proposal
Activity Rail terminal
for transfer of aggregates and spoil
3 x concrete plants
1 x concrete block works (plus rail terminal for transfer of material)
1 x concrete plant

(plus rail terminal for transfer of material)

Aggregate Volume Up to 2.25 mT Up to 1.80 mT Up to 1.15 mT
Daily Deliveries* ~400 average ~310 average ~260 average
Operational Area ~6 hectares ~5 hectares ~2 hectares
Plant Design None Standard designs for concrete batching & block manufacture Architect-designed to enhance exterior, improve screening & help contain sound & dust
Landscaping/ Screening Limited vegetation along boundary Limited landscaping with perimeter trees Perimeter landscaping & internal planting for screening and biodiversity plus new workspace building along Marshgate Lane
Community Involvment None None proposed Liaison committee to address concerns and opportunity for local community & education projects/ partnerships
Further Development Opportinities None None Allows regeneration of north part of Bow East plus improvements to Greenway & Marshgate Lane

* Total vehicle movements would be double this number (to account for outward and return journeys) but would include all trucks using the site.

** Operating hours for rail terminal would continue under existing permitted development.

How a Concrete Plant Works

Concrete is the world’s most versatile and popular construction material.

A concrete plant is like a giant food mixer. Raw ingredients go in at one end, get mixed together and come out of the other end as wet concrete. There are no chemical processes involved and no emissions from the plant itself.

The ‘ingredients’ are aggregates, cement and water, plus additives which help to control the characteristics of the mix and its setting time. Ingredients delivered by train keep thousands of lorry movements off the road.

Once mixed, the concrete is poured into a mixer truck which delivers it to a construction site to be poured. There are more than 500 different types of concrete, from fast-setting and high-strength to self-levelling and water-permeable mixes.

Employment: A concrete plant would typically employ a manager, staff responsible for controlling the concrete ‘batching’, machine operators for loading and occasionally maintenance staff. Truck drivers would also be based there.