British Land’s scheme to redevelop 53 acres of the Canada Water area – including the existing Surrey Quays Shopping Centre – was given unanimous backing by Southwark Council’s planning committee this week after two nights of presentations from planners, objectors and supporters.
The masterplan will see between 2,000 and 3,995 new homes developed, along with new shops, offices and other uses. The first phase includes a new 34-storey tower.
The masterplan area includes Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Surrey Quays Leisure Park, the Printworks, the former Rotherhithe Police Station, and the historic Dock Offices courtyard; and will be managed by British Land in the long-term.
Of the new homes, 35 per cent will be ‘affordable’ with 70 per cent of these for social rent.
It has taken 16 months from submission of the planning application to final committee decision.
“Delivering this masterplan in an area with as rich a history and heritage as Canada Water, Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks is an immense responsibility and one we have taken very seriously and carefully,” said Emma Cariaga, joint head of Canada Water at British Land.
“This is only the first step in the approval process and we are committed to continuing to engage and work with the local community to deliver the project, and ensure that the masterplan benefits those living, working and studying in the area for years to come.”
Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, said:“ We are delighted that this major step towards our vision for Canada Water has been approved.
“The masterplan provides the blueprint for an exciting new town centre that will provide thousands of new homes, particularly hundreds of new social rent homes, new jobs and opportunities, new open spaces and a brand new leisure centre for Rotherhithe in the first phase of the work.
“We look forward to working with British Land over the next few years to bring forward the plans and making sure our local residents are the beneficiaries of the opportunities the regeneration will provide, as laid out in the Canada Water Social Regeneration Charter.”
Much of the discussion at the planning committee meetings focussed on transport, with concerns that local road and rail links will struggle to meet the demand generated by extra residents and workers.
Councillors heard from a Transport for London representative who claimed that under their modelling the crowding situation in 2031 “gets no worse” when freqency boosts for the Jubilee line and East London line already planned and funded are taken into account.
British Land will pay £10 million towards a new entrance for Surrey Quays Station – topping up the already pledged Government funding of £80 million – and £12 million towards bus service improvements.
At Canada Water Station, the developer is making a £2 million contribution to extra staffing and minor layout changes.
The committee also heard from Howard Dawber of Canary Wharf Group who claimed that “there simply is not enough public transport” to meet the extra needs and that the council wasn’t seeking a large enough contribution from British Land towards infrastructure upgrades.
Canary Wharf’s claims were described as “pure commercial self-interest” by British Land’s Emma Cariaga.
The two sessions of the planning committee can be viewed in full on YouTube.
Southwark Council’s cabinet this week agreed to launch a consultation on the future of South Dock Marina and Boatyard.
Tuesday’s cabinet meeting heard a public question and a deputation from members of the bertholders’ association who aired concerns about future residential development which could generate complaints from residents about noisy activity at the boatyard.
In his foreword to the cabinet report, Cllr Richard Livingstone wrote: “The ideas set out in the report include how the marina could be expanded to better meet the demand for people to live on the marina; how the infrastructure of the area could be improved to meet the needs of berth holders and the broader community; how the space at the boatyard could be developed to both enhance its operation and provide new council homes; and how to give berth holders greater certainty on future fee increases.”
The proposed extension of the Santander Cycles bike hire scheme to SE16 will consist of a mere five new docking stations, the Mayor of London has confirmed.
After hints dropped by Southwark councillors and deputy mayor Heidi Alexander earlier in the summer, City Hall confirmed at the end of August that the bike hire scheme would be extended along the new Cycleway 4 between Tooley Street and Canada Water Station.
Now, in response to a question tabled by Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has given more details.
“It is planned that 5 docking stations (approximately 125 docking points) will be constructed along Cycleway 4 as part of the infrastructure build of that route,” said Sadiq Khan.
“Dates for installation have yet to be agreed with Southwark and are subject to agreeing specific locations with the borough and obtaining planning consents. Conversations on this are ongoing.
“The stations will be funded by Transport for London as part of the Healthy Streets funding portfolio.”
Santander Cycles currently has more than 750 docking stations across Central London.
Although many will welcome the arrival of Santander Cycles in SE16 for the first time, the limited scale of the expansion is likely to come as a disappointment.
Southwark Labour’s 2014 manifesto included a pledge to “work with the Mayor to extend Bike Hire across the borough”.
London’s deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander has confirmed that plans are in hand to extend the Santander Cycles bike hire scheme to SE16.
Ms Alexander was speaking at a London Assembly transport committee meeting held to probe the decision to halt the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf bridge project.
Under questioning from Florence Eshalomi AM about the risk that Southwark is losing out on a number of transport infrastructure schemes, Ms Alexander said: “We are making significant progress on walking and cycling investments in Southwark and this part of London.
“Work has already started on Cycleway 4 which goes from Tower Bridge to Greenwich – and that will be extended to Woolwich.
“We’re also working with Southwark on a new cycle route from Rotherhithe to Peckham.
“I’ve asked TfL officers to accelerate their work to expand the Santander scheme further into Southwark, so that when we get this fantastic new cycleway built from Tower Bridge to Greenwich, further along that route you can get Santander docked bikes, because I know that is an aspiration that Southwark has.”
Southwark Council leader Peter John said last week: “We are also working with TfL on a programme to expand the Santander cycle hire scheme from London Bridge to the [Rotherhithe] peninsular, and this will be part of the cycle hire action plan presented to cabinet in the autumn.”
Southwark Council has launched a public consultation on the ‘Rotherhithe Movement Plan’, a three-pronged set of proposed changes to transport in the area.
The council is proposing to introduce a Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks controlled parking zone (CPZ), replace the Lower Road one way system with two-way traffic and build a new cycle route along Redriff Road and Salter Road.
Southwark Council is to buy the former Red Lion Boys’ Club in Hawkstone Road with the aim of developing new council homes on the site.
The now defunct boys’ club occupied a building that was previously a church on a prominent site near Surrey Quays Station.
The council believes that around 150 new homes could be created in two-tower development if adajcent land already in council ownership is included in the scheme.
The purchase was approved at Southwark’s cabinet last week, with Cllr Leo Pollak telling colleagues that the site has “really significant potential” for new council housing.
Cllr Pollak wrote: The former Red Lion Boys Club site not only creates an opportunity for significant numbers of new council homes but also creates the opportunity for the re-provision and expansion of the community hall for the benefit of the estate TRA as well as the wider community, which we will required as part of any brief for the site.”
The council made a previous attempt to purchase the site in 2015 but its £2.5 million bid was not accepted.