Southwark Council is to make a formal decision on its development agreement with British Land at Canada Water before the local elections.
Giving formal notice that the decision will be rescheduled for Southwark’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13 March, the council says:
It is likely that it would not be appropriate for this decision to be taken during the pre-election period and would therefore need to be taken in May at the earliest.
It would however not be in the council’s commercial interest to delay the decision until then. The council’s potential partner is incurring significant cost in progressing the project.
Further delay will increase costs and project risk, which is likely to encourage them to renegotiate terms.
A decision is therefore sought at the earliest opportunity.
The decision relates to the council’s interest as landowner of some of the land at Canada Water to be redevelopment under the masterplan drawn up by British Land and is separate from the decision-making process on future planning applications.
The Government has issued a five-year certificate of immunity which prevents the Printworks (formerly Harmsworth Quays) at Canada Water from gaining listed status.
However, the building’s temporary uses have proved so popular that the building may not be flattened in the forthcoming redevelopment of Canada Water. Listen to this Estates Gazette podcast to find out more.
Transport for London has not yet ruled out a tunnel or an enhanced ferry service between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf as an alternative to the proposed walking and cycling bridge.
TfL is pressing ahead with plans for a bridge, but says that next month’s public consultation on the scheme will also feature tunnel and boat options.
A report [PDF] on the proposed Rotherhithe crossing was considered by TfL’s programmes and investment committee last Friday.
Based on the work that has been done to date, TfL has provisionally
recommended that a navigable bridge should be investigated in greater detail, with the initial options assessment concluding:
(a) an enhanced ferry would be the lowest cost option and could be delivered
more quickly. It provides a positive Benefit: Cost Ratio (BCR) but, unlike a
fixed link crossing, it is unlikely to deliver a step-change in walking and
cycling accessibility, or realise significant wider economic benefits;
(b) a navigable bridge has a broadly comparable BCR to an enhanced ferry,
however, it would realise greater total benefits by providing a permanent link
to facilitate a transformational change in accessibility. This aligns more
strongly with developing policy and the scheme’s strategic objectives and,
further, a permanent link has the potential to realise significant wider
economic benefits which have not been quantified in the BCR at this stage. A
bridge has strong support amongst cycling groups, accessibility groups and
other stakeholders, particularly on the south side of the river, but concerns
remain over the need to open for shipping and the impact on residents in the
immediate vicinity; and
(c) a tunnel would offer similar benefits to a bridge and provide a more reliable transport connection, as it would not need to open for shipping. It would have lesser visual impact than a bridge, however, it may be seen as a less attractive environment for users and is forecast to cost significantly more, resulting in a lower BCR.
The report adds:
Work is now underway to investigate navigable bridge options in further detail and, as more information becomes available, the provisional selection will be refined and tested alongside the other options before a final decision is made on the solution for a new crossing.
Whilst the further investigations continue, it will be important not to dismiss other options until they have been considered as part of a public consultation.
Remarks by former TfL boss Sir Peter Hendy – commenting on the “pretty weak business case” for the Rotherhithe bridge – were recently made public as part of the evidence presented to Margaret Hodge’s review of the Garden Bridge.
At last week’s GLA Oversight Committee current TfL commissioner Mike Brown disassociated himself from his predecessor’s comments on the Rotherhithe scheme.
Transport for London has postponed plans to build extra trains to add to the Jubilee line fleet which would have enabled more frequent trains to and from Canada Water.
Plans to boost tube capacity are vital to plans by British Land and Southwark Council to build hundreds of new homes, shops and offices at Canada Water.
Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This major delay is extremely disappointing for us, and for residents, who share our view that the Jubileel line upgrade is central to our plans for positive improvements to the Canada Water area.
“We need these additional trains to meet current and future demand and for residents to easily connect with the rest of London.
“We will be writing to the Mayor of London to outline our concerns and urge consideration for funding to be assigned to this vital upgrade.”
The latest plans for the redevelopment of the former biscuit factory and college sites in Bermondsey have been revealed by Grosvenor, nearly four years after the Duke of Westminster’s company first became a local landowner.
Grosvenor says that its £500 million plan, designed by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, incorporates a permanent home for Compass School Southwark, over 10,000m2 of new office space and 10,000m2 of retail, culture, leisure, community and food and drink uses; alongside 25,000m2 of new and improved streetscapes and playspace, 140 new planted trees and 400m2 of new public lawns.
“We are sharing today our detailed ambitions to create one of the capital’s greatest, mixed
neighbourhoods hosting 1,350 new rental homes for locals and Londoners,” said Katherine Rodgers, development firector of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland.
“We want to see a growing district that is inclusive and physically integrated, with historic buildings retained and new commercial spaces, local amenities and public spaces created.
“We have spent four years getting to know Bermondsey, its people and its communities
and want to help knit together the best of Bermondsey with an investment and long-term
legacy that generates local opportunities and can respond to changing demand.”
The proposals are on show for the next three days and a planning application will be submitted to Southwark Council later this month.
Southwark Council’s deal with British Land for the redevelopment of Canada Water (including Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Harmsworth Quays and the leisure park) was on the agenda at the borough’s cabinet meeting yesterday. Hear the item in full below:
Read the cabinet papers here.
Two planning applications have been submitted relating to the former Old Justice pub (latterly the Winnicott) on Bermondsey Wall East:
The applicant has submitted a viability assessment claiming that the pub is no longer viable due to the rise of social media and a lack of passing trade, despite the venue’s position on the Thames Path.
A planning application has been submitted to Southwark Council for the former Prince of Wales pub in Plough Way – latterly a bookmakers – to become a Pizza Hut takeaway.
Details on the Southwark planning database at 16/AP/3466.
Poundland has submitted a planning application to Southwark Council which effectively confirms that the chain will replace the Co-operative Food store at the Blue.
Watch Cllr Anood Al-Samerai (Southwark Lib Dem leader) question Cllr Peter John (Labour leader of the council) about the impact of tall buildings at Canada Water and elsewhere in the borough.
The video is from the Council Assembly meeting on 16 March.