LDA seeks High Court ruling overs its termination of the contract to build £1.5bn Docklands development

The London Development Agency is seeking to get a High Court judge to rule on its termination of the development agreement with Silvertown Quays Ltd over the £1.5bn development.

The agency has filed papers in the High Court to get a “urgent” determination over whether it terminated the development agreement fairly, in order to head off a potentially costly court case.

The LDA served its termination notice two weeks ago but has been informed by the Silvertown Quays company, and its backers KUD and the Bank of Scotland, that they dispute this.

Silvertown Quays has spent almost £60m working on the 4,900-home mixed-use development since its appointment by the LDA in 2002, despite not having built anything on site. Sources suggest is planning to sue the LDA to get these costs back.

The development was to have been anchored by a new town centre and an £80m Terry Farrell-design aquarium, called Biota!, to be built by Sir Robert McAlpine.

Last autumn the LDA said it would terminate the agreement unless the company could come up with a valid proposal to resurrect the development.

Project backer the Bank of Scotland then brought in British Land and Barratt to come up with an alternative scheme, but the LDA said the proposal was still not tenable, an accusation Silvertown Quays vehemently denies.

The LDA said: “The London Development Agency’s court action will seek an urgent ruling on the termination of its agreements with Silvertown Quays Limited and its partners.”

Sources said they expected a determination by June this year. Silvertown Quays Ltd was not available to comment.