Following this week’s news that Daily Mail and General Trust is planning to sell its interest in the Harmsworth Quays print works site to British Land, Southwark Council – which owns the freehold to much of the site – has said that it wants to acquire DMGT’s interest in the land “with a view to delivering a mixed use scheme with a significant element of employment and commercial uses”.
“Southwark Council, as freeholder of the majority of the site, has held discussions with both parties during which it has been made clear that for the foreseeable future the council does not intend to sell its freehold,” said a council spokeswoman on Friday.
Cllr Peter John, leader of the council, said: “Harmsworth Quays is of strategic importance for the regeneration of Canada Water.
“Following the announcement by the Daily Mail of their intention to vacate the site, the council is about to begin a programme of public consultation on its future.
“This work will inform the review of the Canada Water Area Action Plan, the principal planning policy document for the area.
“Until this work is significantly more advanced the council feels that it would be premature to consider disposal of the site.”
However, this claim stands at odds with the council’s own annual plan, agreed by cabinet earlier this month, which includes “develop strategy for the disposal of the council’s freehold of Harmsworth Quays” as a target for the cabinet member for regeneration in the year 2012/13.