History of London Yard

From 1984



Back to: History of London Yard 1800 - 1897

Back to: History of London Yard 1898 - 1983


The London Docklands Development Corporation was an urban development corporation, the second to be established by the Government under the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980. For nearly seventeen years, between July 1981 and March 1998, the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) worked to secure the regeneration of the London Docklands, an area of eight-and-a-half square miles stretching across parts of the East End Boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Newham. The A-Z of the early 1980s shows the Isle of Dogs before the LDDC development took place.

The LDDC set about finding a developer for the site. Mr. J.B. Streefkerk, the Dutch director of property developer V.O.M. remembers seeing London Yard for the first time from an helicopter: - 

"The LDDC officer was sitting next to us in the helicopter pointing out to us the empty docks, derelict sites, abandoned embankments with large, but silent, cranes all in the middle of no-where. He showed us the yellow squares of new sand that had been spread over the sites where the LDDC had removed old buildings to make the them ready for new buildings. On the old map of the Isle of Dogs we noticed a peat swamp. Normally, a lower place along-side the river, where, in the past it was easy to tow your boat in and out of the water. That's the place, we explained to the LDDC officer, that we wanted to see. Next morning we went to the shore line. The old slipway made it easy to reach the water. We took a handful of wet sand from the bottom and smelled and tasted it. It taught us that it had been carried there by the river over many years. Now we knew that we could take away the vertical wall and design a nice step-down terrace to the river for over 120 yards. The LDDC officer looked amazed at his sand eating visitors but a week later we agreed a contract for one of the very first developments on the Isle of Dogs."


By the end of 1988, the London Yard development was complete and all the properties were sold. The development comprises of 312 properties, mainly of leasehold apartments but with some freehold houses on Manchester Road, Rotterdam Drive and Leerdam Drive. The freehold of the communal areas and apartment blocks is owned by the London Yard Management Company Ltd whose shareholders are the 312 property owners. The shareholders elect a Board of Directors who, in turn, collect ground rents; appoint managing agents; set the service charge; administer the code of conduct, including the parking scheme; maintain and renew the infrastructure and ensure compliance with the leases. The Board of Directors are not paid for their efforts.


In 1995, the London Docklands Development Corporation paid approximately 90% of the cost of building a new wall, and repairing the existing walls, between London Yard and the Samuda estate. London Yard Management Company Ltd contributed 5,000.

Initially, the LDDC retained the freehold of the part of Amsterdam Road from Manchester Road to the slipway, plus part of the car park in front of the restaurant. This was probably to ensure public access to the slipway and river walkway. With the expected demise of the LDDC, the Board opened negotiations to obtain the freehold in order to prevent it being acquired by the local authority. In 1997 the LDDC transferred the remaining freehold of the road and car park to the company together with 50,000 to pay for its future maintenance and cleaning. 

Following a study by a firm of consulting engineers the Board declined to accept responsibility for the Thames river wall. This was transferred to the local authority when the LDDC closed. The ownership of the river walkway was also transferred from the LDDC to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets at the local authority's insistence. The beach remains the property of the Port of London Authority.

In July 2001, the River Walkway was opened up between London Yard and Island Gardens when a wall between London Yard and Millennium Wharf (previously Millwall Wharf) was demolished.

London Yard is now a mature modern Docklands development which is expected to occupy this Isle of Dogs marshland  for many years to come. But history shows that land use changes with the needs of the community - so what will London Yard become next .....


Back to: History of London Yard 1800 - 1897

Back to: History of London Yard 1898 - 1983

Authors Note

One of the advantages of publishing on the Internet is the flexibility. Therefore, if you have additional information about, or photographs of, London Yard that would be appropriate, please contact us. We will be happy to update this document to include your contribution.

Angela Brown and Ron Coverson



The authors acknowledge the following sources of information and photographs included in this document:


The Island History Trust

Mr. J.B. Streefkerk

Ted Johns

East London Advertiser

The Islander

The London Docklands Development Corporation

Geographers A-Z Map Company Ltd


2001 - Angela Brown, Ron Coverson and the above contributors.