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Allies and Morrison submits masterplan for mammoth Canada Water scheme

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Allies and Morrison’s masterplan for the £4 billion regeneration of Canada Water – a scheme that developer British Land is calling the largest single-owned development in London – has been lodged with planners

A bumper outline application has been submitted to Southwark Council for the 21ha site, which comprises up to 3,000 homes, 40 new buildings, three clusters of high-rise towers and a new town centre ‘the size of Leicester Square’.

The proposals also feature detailed plans by the practice for two mixed-use buildings as well as a separate housing block by Duggan Morris Architects.

The submission follows the signing, in March, of a development agreement between the local authority and British Land, which will see the local authority take a flexible 20 per cent stake in the whole development.

The deal includes a commitment to deliver 35 per cent affordable housing on the site, with 70 per cent of those at social rents. It will also give the council an option to buy the site’s social-rented homes.

The masterplan covers the former Daily Mail printworks, the Surrey Quays Shopping and Leisure Centre, the Dock Offices and the former Rotherhithe Police Station.

Alongside the outline, detailed proposals have been submitted for a trio of buildings housing 650 homes, approximately 93,000m² of workspace, a leisure centre and ‘enhancements’ to Canada Water dock.

The first wave of proposals includes a mixed-use building designed by Allies and Morrison with a 35-storey tower comprising 186 homes and 10,700m² of office and retail in an adjoining six-storey building.

Allies and morrison's new office space for canada water

Allies and morrison’s new office space for canada water

The practice has also designed a second building overlooking Canada Water with 15,800m² of flexible workspace, wide planted balconies and a public leisure centre beneath, complete with an eight-lane swimming pool.

The third building, designed by Duggan Morris Architects, is a redbrick six-storey block comprising 83 flats with a courtyard garden located on Roberts Close next to Russia Dock Woodland.

Early plans are emerging for subsequent phases, with Hawkins\Brown involved in concept work for the redevelopment of the Printworks, vacated by the Daily Mail in 2012 and now used as a nightclub and events space. 

Maccreanor Lavington has also been appointed to prepare a feasibility study for a building in one of the project’s later phases. The public realm elements of the masterplan was designed by Townshend Landscape Architects.

British Land’s Roger Madelin, head of the Canada Water development, said the area – currently home to a popular sprawling shopping centre and car park, a cinema and a bowling alley – would be transformed into a new ‘urban centre’.

‘Drawing on our experience of creating vibrant, mixed-use places across the capital, this major urban centre at Canada Water will provide an exciting place to live, work and visit, delivering high-quality design, active spaces and significant economic and social benefits for the local community,’ he said.

Madelin, former head of Argent’s King’s Cross regeneration, added: ‘To have one ownership and an opportunity for vacant possession somewhere that is policy compliant and well connected is extraordinary. I never thought there would be another one after King’s Cross, and here there is.’

Describing his regeneration vision, Madelin said he envisaged Canada Water becoming an area where Londoners would be able to take an Italian-style passeggiata – an early evening stroll – around the dock and public squares.

‘Our aim is to make this part of London the place where more people propose than any other part of London,’ he said.

Madelin also said the scheme would seek to meet a broad range of demands for different housing tenures, from affordable homes to supported housing, rental units and co-living.

‘Out of our 3,000 apartments, there aren’t actually that many £1 million two-bed apartments that we have [available] to sell. That product is not what it used to be five years ago.’

Subject to planning approval, construction of the first buildings will begin in spring 2019 with the entire scheme expected to completed by 2033.


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