Canada Water

Southwark’s cabinet this week approved the Canada Water Regeneration Charter, the first in a series of document setting out how the council will work with partners on measures to improve residents’ health and economic wellbeing in parallel with the major physical development schemes. 

“It is important when regeneration and change comes to our borough that key strategic partners are aligned with the priorities of the council and the community, and setting their sights high in realising a wide range of tangible benefits for existing communities,” sais Cllr Leo Pollak, cabinet Member for social regeneration, Great Estates and new homes.

“The Canada Water Social Regeneration Charter, developed with British Land, presents the results of a series of intensive consultation exercises reaching thousands of local people, and identifies a number of emerging priorities for the redevelopment – among them supporting new enterprise and skills development initiatives, creating new opportunities for young people, and spreading the benefits of new investment to neighbouring estates.”

You can watch the cabinet discussion on this page, and all the documents are available on the council website.

British Land says that occupiers from “a range of sectors” are showing interest in moving to the firm’s massive Canada Water development. Building work could start in the second half of 2019 once planning permission is granted.

The developer’s half-year results – published on Wednesday – included a lengthy section on Canada Water which is reproduced below.

Canada Water: A unique redevelopment opportunity in London

Highlights
• 5m sq ft mixed use development scheme
• Master development agreement signed with Southwark Council in May 2018
• Planning application including detailed planning submission on the first three buildings and outline
planning for the whole scheme submitted May 2018
• Valuation up 0.3% to £293m

At Canada Water, we are working with the London Borough of Southwark to deliver a 5m sq ft mixed use scheme,
including 3,000 new homes alongside a mix of commercial, retail and community space. The site benefits from
excellent transport connectivity with Canary Wharf and the West End two and twelve minutes respectively on the
Jubilee line and Shoreditch just ten minutes away by Overground. It covers 53 acres including the dock area,
providing 48 acres of developable land.

We started engaging on our masterplan proposals in 2014 and since then have held over 120 public consultation
and local outreach events. These have attracted over 11,000 people who provided 12,000 comments on our
plans, enabling us to shape a design with strong local appeal. Together with Southwark Council, we have now
committed to a Social Regeneration Charter which will ensure that residents in the borough benefit from the
development.
In May, we submitted our planning application, which included a detailed application on the project’s first three
buildings together covering nearly 580,000 sq ft. Our plans include 265 homes of which 35% will be affordable.
Building A1 will provide both residential and workspace and building A2 will be focused on workspace and a new
leisure centre, with both providing a small amount of retail at ground floor. K1, the third building will be wholly
residential. These buildings are part of a major first phase covering 1.9m sq ft of mixed use space.

The development agreement which we signed in May 2018 sets out the terms of a new headlease, which
consolidates our holdings into a single 500 year headlease with Southwark Council as the Lessor. This structure
effectively aligns the ownership of these assets, with British Land owning 80% and Southwark Council owning
the remaining 20%. Southwark Council will have the opportunity to participate in the development of the
individual plots, up to a maximum of 20% and returns will be pro-rated accordingly. This headlease becomes
effective on the fulfilment of a number of conditions, most importantly achieving outline planning consent for the
whole masterplan and detailed planning consent for the first three buildings.

Subject to planning approvals, construction of the first detailed plots could begin in the second half of 2019.

Potential funding structures will be explored when we have greater visibility on timing, ahead of which, we are
already seeing interest in the space from a range of sectors and discussions are underway on several buildings.

In the meantime, the Printworks has become an established live and electronic music venue, frequently hosting
crowds of up to 5,000. Ticket sales and visitors are now up to 300,000 with 31 shows scheduled for the Autumn
season.

The valuation of Canada Water increased to £293m benefitting from progress made with our planning application
although we continue to incur feasibility costs in relation to the Masterplan.

British Land has reduced the height of the tallest towers proposed as part of its Canada Water masterplan.

The changes follow criticism from Historic England which warned this summer that “the 162m tower in Plot D would block the silhouette of Tower Bridge’s south bastion in kinetic views along London Bridge, visually competing with its monumental character and reducing its landmark status along the Thames”.

Under the latest plans – submitted to Southwark Council this week – the tallest element of the scheme has been reduced from 162m to 138m, with two other proposed towers also reduced in height.

Roger Madelin, Head of Canada Water Development at British Land, said: “The Canada Water Masterplan is a unique opportunity to deliver a genuinely mixed new urban centre in a unique part of London. It’s essential that we get this right, and we are pleased to be submitting our revised plans to Southwark Council.

“This is an exciting regeneration project for which there is a lot of enthusiasm locally, but we remain committed to listening to the community and responding to concerns. Over the past few months, we have been in a constructive dialogue with Southwark Council and the local community to improve our plans.

We are proud to be submitting an updated application for a project which is just as ambitious, but better responds to feedback that has been received from the local community and others.”

Other changes include alterations to the massing of the proposed office and leisure centre building, and revisions to the housing mix. 

See the full details of the revisions by viewing the documents at planning application 18/AP/1904


Councillors will decide next Tuesday whether or not to grant planning permission for the controversial ‘Alice in Winterland‘ commercial event due to take over part of Southwark Park from November to January.

The scheme is on the agenda for planning sub-committee B on Tuesday 30 October.

In his report to the committee, planning officer Alex Cameron concludes: “Overall, given the temporary nature of the proposal, it is not considered that it would affect the long term openness of Southwark Park and would provide facilities for outdoor recreation. While the development is not strictly an appropriate one on [Metropolitan Open Land], it is acceptable  considering it would be temporary and the benefits to the local community.”

Nearly 500 people have signed a petition opposing the event, but others – including the Friends of Southwark Park – are supportive. 

Full details of the planning application are at 18/AP/2766.

Earlier this month the Greater London Authority published its initial response to the massive Canada Water masterplan planning application that is currently being considered by the council.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan delegated the decision to his deputy mayor for planning Jules Pipe.

Unsurprisingly British Land’s plans are “strongly supported in strategic planning terms”. 

Equally unsurprisingly, transport issues are one of the main sticking points. 

You can read the 27-page report by GLA planners here.

Historic England – the Government’s heritage watchdog – says that the tall buildings proposed in the Canada Water masterplan would have “a profound and far-reaching impact on the London skyline” and would harm the setting of two of the capital’s most famous landmarks.

Historic England’s Alasdair Young wrote: “… we have identified the impact of the development in views along the northern half of London Bridge towards the Grade I listed Tower Bridge as being particularly harmful.

“This is because the cluster of tall buildings, as accentuated by the 162m tower in Plot D would block the silhouette of Tower Bridge’s south bastion in kinetic views along London Bridge, visually competing with its monumental character and reducing its landmark status along the Thames.”

Historic England is also concerned about the impact on the protected view of St Paul’s Cathedral from Greenwich Park.

“We consider that the encroachment created by the tall buildings would cause harm to the landmark status of St Paul’s Cathedral,” wrote Mr Young.

He adds that the proposed tall buildings would also spoil the view of the spire of St Mary’s Church in Rotherhithe from Waterside Gardens in Wapping.

The watchdog acknowledges that the proposed tall buildings “largely” [their italics] accord with local planning policy.

Read Historic England’s comments in full here.

The townscape assessment documents referred to in the HE response are available on the planning file for the masterplan application.

 

Transport for London has submitted its initial comments on the implications of British Land’s massive Canada Water masterplan for local roads and railways.

A few key points from the 13-page letter:

  • The Elizabeth line will provide some relief (in the short to medium term) on the Jubilee line.
  • The proposed Bakerloo line extension to Lewisham, proposed to be operational in the late 2020s, is expected to relieve London Overground services north of New Cross Gate, and reduce the interchange demand at Canada Water station.
  • TfL hopes to be able to raise frequencies on the East London line from 16 trains per hour at present to 20 trains per hour.
  • Surrey Quays Station will need upgrading/expanding to cope with extra passengers from the new development – potentially with a new entrance
  • “TfL would support provision of Santander Cycles cycle hire docking stations in the masterplan area, as well as off-site, to help ‘link’ to the current central London zone at London Bridge, acknowledging that further contributions from other developments in Canada Water and Bermondsey will be required to do this.”
  • The design of Redriff Road will need to take into account the proposed Peckham- Rotherhithe cycle route

You can read TfL’s letter here and see all the Canada Water masterplan application documents at 18/AP/1615.

GoodPeople are working with architects Allies and Morrison to recruit two paid work placements to join the practice for two weeks starting on 10 September 2018.

These opportunities will provide valuable experience in Business Support functions such as HR, Finance, IT and Facilities. The work placements are available to people between the ages of 18 and 65 who live in the Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks areas and are currently unemployed or economically inactive.

Full details her: Allies and Morrison Sep 18 Work Placements – Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks.