Plans by the City of London to move its three historic markets to a single site in Dagenham Dock took a step forward last night after Barking and Dagenham council approved planning permission for the new market building.
There’s still a long process to moving the three markets to the single site, not least due to the need for an Act of Parliament to authorise Smithfield meat market’s move from the City to Dagenham.
If the move takes place, then Smithfield, Billingsgate and New Spitalfields markets will come together onto a single site for the first time in their centuries-long history.
Billingsgate fish market moved to Canary Wharf in 1982, while the New Spitalfields fruit and veg market moved to Leyton in 1991. Smithfield meat market currently remains in its historic home within the City.
If they move to Dagenham Dock, then the current Billingsgate and New Spitalfields sits is earmarked for housing and offices, while Smithfields is to be converted into a cultural centre that’ll sit next to the relocated Museum of London.
The replacement merged mega-market is to be built on the site of the former Barking Reach Power Station, which the City of London bought for around £100 million in 2018, in a preemptive move to secure the plot in case it was needed for the market.
The location, close to the main road, railways and the river was considered to be some of the key factors when looking for a site for the markets.
The outline planning permission granted by the council is for a huge building that’s split into three areas to retain the separation of the three markets.
In addition to the trade side of the market, there are plans for more public amenities and educational facilities.
If all proceeds as the City wants, then the markets could move to their new home in 2025/26.