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ZSL London Zoo "£1.5bn aquarium project sinks" - Londons New Aquarium Plans Scrapped.

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by ollielloyd, 28 Sep 2009.

  1. ollielloyd

    ollielloyd Well-Known Member

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    28.09.09

    Plans for a £1.5 billion development in east London which was set to include Europe's largest aquarium were in tatters today after the owners of the site pulled the plug on the deal.

    The scheme for the land adjacent to London City Airport was meant to feature a sandy beach as well as 5,000 homes. But landowner London Development Agency has withdrawn from an agreement with its partners, the Silvertown Quays consortium, after the plans failed to progress in seven years.

    Planning permission was given for the 68-acre site in April 2007 but the scheme, designed by Sir Terry Farrell, fell victim to the property slump.


    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23749022-pound-15bn-aquarium-project-sinks.do


    What a shame. The UK MASSIVELY needs a world-class aquarium. All of ours currently, msotly owned by Sea Life are generic and boring, and the species are just ones we countlessly see over and over in tiny tanks...Very boring.

    Someone needs to create a world-class facility such as The Monterey Bay Aquarium and exhibit sharks etc native to the Atlantic. A pelagic shark exhibit like Mbays Outer Bay would be amazing! I even love the design of the Monterey Bay Aquariums in + exterior. The design for this aquarium was way too futuristic for my liking.


    Found this too from way back in 1992...Guessing this never happened either!

    Aquarium project 'not dependent on London Zoo' - UK, News - The Independent

    London Aquarium gets 750,000 visitors per year.....thats shocking for one of the worlds most touristy cities??!
     
  2. johnstoni

    johnstoni Well-Known Member

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    Have you been to London aquarium?
     
  3. ollielloyd

    ollielloyd Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I have, I really didnt think much of it at all. I'm yet to be impressed by species diversity, or rarity, or originality in aquarium designs or galleries anywhere in the UK really...
     
  4. Cat-Man

    Cat-Man Well-Known Member

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    We need whale sharks!

    Seriousley though, we do need a world class aquarium, whale sharks, dolphins, sealions, belugas and that sort of thing
     
  5. ollielloyd

    ollielloyd Well-Known Member

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    Mmmm, I'm not sure about dolphins or whales, activists would go nuts and it probably wouldnt happen...but sharks like Blue Sharks, Porbeagles, Makos etc, pelagic sharks that dont fare too well historically, i think if a programme like Monterey bay aqs (using a sea pen for acclimitsation) was used, sharks could survive. And these sharks are found locally in the atlantic, and are fished! So a display would be perfect. ocean sunfish also in that exhibit would be amazing.

    We really,really need a big aquarium that stands out from the boring Sea Life Centres, and doesnt have that child-like theme running through.
     
  6. JamesB

    JamesB Well-Known Member

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    Is this Biota or am I getting mixed up with another project?
     
  7. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Yep this was Biota!
     
  8. James27

    James27 Well-Known Member

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    There've been doubts on this for ages though. And we have to bear in mind a UK circus is going with elephants and I personally thought the antis would burn down tents but they haven't, so I imagine if a zoo was to get dolphins they'd get a lot of crap to start with but it'd settle down after a while.
     
  9. JamesB

    JamesB Well-Known Member

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    They could have written it in the article, but I expect most people wouldn't recognise the name.

    I cant say I'm surprised what with the financial situation we are in. We had already been told it was shelved a while back, so it doesn't come as a shock to me really.
     
  10. ollielloyd

    ollielloyd Well-Known Member

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    I'm not suprised either, however what I WAS suprised at was the cost? Like 1.5 billion £?!? That just seems insane? The Georgia Aquarium cost just over 250million DOLLARS? And thats the largest aquarium in the world...the exhibits there looked way better than what was proposed for biota (typical reef, amazon, shark tank...)

    Re dolphins, I'd love to see dolphins in the uk, I just dont know exactly how they can be presented educationally...virtually every dolphinarium in the world ive visited had elements of a circus....I would be up for a marine mammal rescue centre at the aquarium. I am always in shock when dolphins or whales strand around the UK, no attempts are ever made by aquariums to rehabilitate them. I did work exp at Weymouth Sea Life Park, someone told me a dolphin stranded before, and it didnt show any drastic signs a rehab programme couldnt solve, however they put it down rather than bring it to the aquarium? (which had large enough quarantine pools compared to others in the US...)

    Did anyone else hate the design? Just seems to me those kind of buildings will be looked back on like we do now to horrible 80s concrete buildings and just think WHAT WERE WE THINKING? not loving the futuristic look. Much prefer a traditional design (Monterey Bay AQ, Shedd AQ...)
     
  11. ollielloyd

    ollielloyd Well-Known Member

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    Found this too:


    "The aquarium will cover an area of 14,000 square metres - that’s the equivalent of five football pitches. It will be 31 meters tall and 70 tanks will hold 3 million litres of water. Held in these tanks will be over 550 different species of fish and other aquatic life forms."

    3million litres of water...thats just over 600,000 gallons? errr...for a "world class aquarium" thats costing 1.5b that seems incredible small...(Georgia Aq holds over 30 million litres...)
     
  12. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Sad news, but not entirely unexpected in the circumstances.
    I think people are getting a little confused about the financial aspects: here is a quote from the ZSL website
    Biota! forms the main feature of a new 60-acre (24-hectare), £1.5 billion development at Silvertown Quays, which will provide residential, office retail, leisure and entertainment facilities.
    The aquarium would only have cost a small fraction of this total. I guess that the financial viability of the other parts of the development were largely responsible for the decision.
    I would love to see a large state-of-the-art aquarium in the UK. London may not be the ideal site as the land costs are so high. Public aquaria are traditionally sited in seaside resorts; perhaps the ideal place would be beside the sea, but quite near London to make it easily accessible to visitors from other parts of the UK and tourists from other countries - somewhere in Kent or Sussex perhaps?

    Alan
     
  13. Dan

    Dan Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a very reasonable analysis. Anyhing having to do with real estate in London, be it building houses for people to live in, working space or whatever seems to have gone through the roof now, as far as the costs are concerned. Much the same in any metropolis, actually.

    Compare the new Danish aquarium, apparently given the green light: it will be built not that far from the city centre, but still on a piece of land that is pretty much unexploited (an island called Amager).
     
  14. ollielloyd

    ollielloyd Well-Known Member

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    Ohh ok sorry got slightly confused. I thought that was WAY too much for an aquarium....lol. I did read itd cost 80mill tho? I guess thats about right if it had a few million gallons...but still, 600,000???? I know size isnt really eeverything...but that doesnt sound world-class to me.

    The UK really needs a world-class aquarium...and yup I agree, on the coast would be much better! Sussex would be a good location....also near The Isle of Wight, and close-ish to France as well as London?

    Is there any way the public can go about proposing such establishments? I read the Monterey Bay Aq was set up through a conservation based trust or something? Surely theres someone in the UK willing to pour some money into an aquarium?

    What exhibits would you guys want to see in the UK?

    I'd love to see a Pelagic Ocean Exhibit....Sun-Fish, Pelagic Sharks, Tuna etc...
     
  15. dragon(ele)nerd

    dragon(ele)nerd Well-Known Member

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    oh thats a shame I've heard about it beforehand. Another world class aquarium is always good.
    Does any aquarium in the world have like a deep sea exhibit? iwht angler fish and stuff. If so I'd presume it'd be underground.
     
  16. ^Chris^

    ^Chris^ Well-Known Member

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    Well, as someone who lives very close to The Deep, one of my biggest disappointments was that it only holds fish (and the odd invert). I mean, obviously that is the primary function of an aquarium, and I do like fish, but I think that the display would benefit from a few key higher vertebrate species - I'm not talking whales and dolphins- maybe sea otters, a wader aviary, and perhaps one species of pinniped. I think a few choice mammal and bird species would really raise the profile of an aquarium like this in the eyes of the average member of the public.

    Another exhibit I'd like to see are tanks, with underwater-viewing for arctic sea ducks, with arctic fish combined where the ducks wouldn't eat them. Maybe things like harlequin duck, king or stellar eider, long-tailed ducks etc.

    Manatees or walrus would be cool if it could be done well.
     
  17. johnstoni

    johnstoni Well-Known Member

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    I don't think this plan won't be resurrected. I am sure on the next economic upswing ZSL will be trying to launch a similar project. However, I don't think bigger is necessarily better. Their own aquarium at London zoo is an excellent example of how an old-style aquarium can be brought forward into a fantastic facility with just small changes, albeit many of them. Bristol zoo aquarium is also superb, despite being fairly small. If the 'Mcdonald's chain' aquaria we have dotting our coast were to emulate these collections rather than attempting to wow people in what are still rather small spaces, I think our National collection of aquaria would have a world-class breeding and husbandry record.
    The problem with exhibiting large, dramatic, seldom-seen species in aquaria is that they don't always live long, and are noticed when they die. There is then the issue of either replacing them with more wild-caught specimens, or beginning the slow crawl towards more commonly-seen species, which are usually also wild-caught. It does tend to clash with any conservation claims.
     
  18. Chris79

    Chris79 Well-Known Member

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    This project had been on the back burner for well over a year. As it was wrapped up in a much larger residential project (Silvertown Quays), there was always going to be a danger of the whole thing being canned, what with market conditions being the way they are. Such is the risk of zoos joining up with commercial developers in a time of recession (see also Dudley Zoo's ill-fated St Modwen development and Edinburgh's equally maligned Masterplan - although the latter was scuppered by the planners).

    On a brighter note, NIRAH was granted outline planning permission last week after being held up by a legal wrangle. Still a long way from reality though (£375m to raise!!)
     
  19. redpanda

    redpanda Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for my ignorance, but what does NIRAH stand for?
     
  20. ollielloyd

    ollielloyd Well-Known Member

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    Nirah: the freshwater experience

    A new aquarium being built :)

    But the website says its all freshwater? I like freshwater species...but 1 aquarium dedicated to freshwater.....?