Revealed: £1 billion plans for ‘peace theme park’ in Silvertown

An Indian billionaire has launched an extraordinary bid to take control of a site at the centre of one of London’s biggest regeneration plans and build a £1 billion “peace theme park”.

Media tycoon Dr Subhash Chandra said he was in advanced talks about buying the 62-acre Silvertown site in the Royal Docks centred on the derelict Millennium Mills building.

Dr Chandra, India’s 19th richest man with a fortune of $5 billion (£3.5 billion) was due in London today and hopes to talk to Sadiq Khan about his vision. 

He said his company, the Essel Group, would invest more than £1 billion in a cultural centre highlighting the achievements of Indian and other ancient civilisations over 6,000 years.

Vision: how once industrial Silvertown, a set for such dramas as Ashes To Ashes could look under plans by Dr Subhash Chandra ()

“There will be a recreation of how the world looked 6,000 years ago and how it has evolved. It would be depicted through mannequins and all kind of technology, 3D, 4D and animatronics.”

Indian billionaire Dr Subhash Chandra ()

Visitors would start at the top and work their way through museums, art galleries and interactive experiences from origins of the Indus civilisation to the modern day, he said. 

The centre will also provide space for meditation, yoga and dance as well as a spa and wedding venue, a conference centre, exhibition facilities and a TV production studio.

BBC programme Ashes To Ashes 

Millennium Mills, where scenes from films such as The Last of England and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and TV shows such as Ashes To Ashes were shot, would be turned into a hotel under the plan. There would also be museums and a theatre, shops, restaurants, a botanical garden and 3,000 new homes.

Millennium Mills building

Dr Chandra is thought to be one of several potential new owners of the site currently owned by the Silvertown Partnership, a consortium of developers Chelsfield Properties and First Base and investor Macquarie Capital. It won planning permission for its own master plan in 2016, including a park for visitor pavilions created by global brands. 

Dr Chandra said: “We expect 10 million people a year to come to this site. It has been a passion of mine for a long time to build something like this so the coming generations can know how past civilisations could live in harmony with nature and respect each other.”

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