The Square Mile's Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields wholesale markets may all be moved onto the newly acquired Barking Power Station within the next few years.
The City of London Corporation has completed the purchase of the Barking Power Station site in East London after a lengthy battle with online retail giant Amazon.
The 42-acre site in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham will now be considered as one of the potential options for the authority’s proposals to consolidate its three wholesale food markets.
Proposals would see Billingsgate (fish), Smithfield (meat and poultry) and New Spitalfields (fruit, vegetables and flowers) Markets moved to a single vast venue.
The Barking Power Station’s suitability is still being considered alongside several other potential locations and sites of varying sizes, despite the Corporation having shelled out around £125million to buy it, according to Property Week.
A final decision on a preferred option will be made following feedback from a public consultation in 2019.
James Tumbridge, chairman of the markets committee at the City of London Corporation, said: “I’m delighted we have achieved this major site purchase as a part of our vision for London and our markets. We will now be discussing this site as one of our options with traders, tenants, London bodies and wider stakeholders.
“We will evaluate it against those other options before a consultation in 2019.
“Our review and vision is to ensure a great future for our world-leading and iconic wholesale food markets.”
By moving the three markets to outer East London and redeveloping their current sites for commercial purposes, the Corporation could potentially unlock hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue.
There are already plans to move the Museum of London to Smithfield, while both Billingsgate and New Spitalfields have been earmarked as potential residential development sites under the Corporation’s Project 3,000 strategy to build 3,000 homes across its existing portfolio over the next decade.
A leaked progress report presented to the Housing Delivery Programme Working Group at the beginning of 2018 suggested the Billingsgate site had potential for 1,500 new homes, and 1,200 for New Spitalfields.
Parliamentary legislation will be required to approve any relocation, and a Private Bill will be submitted to Parliament in due course.