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Allies and Morrison's huge £4bn Canada Water project approved

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Southwark Council has approve Allies and Morrison’s masterplan for the £4 billion regeneration of a 21ha chunk of Canada Water in London

Backed by British Land, the scheme potentially includes more than 3,000 homes, 40 new buildings and three clusters of high-rise towers.

In line with planning officers recommendations, Southwark councillors resolved to grant planning permission for the ambitious scheme, which, they said, creates a ‘new town centre’.

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

Overall the development will provides 35 per cent affordable housing with 25 per cent social rent and 10 per cent intermediate. British Land has secured a £39.1 million grant from the GLA for the project.

Alongside the outline, detailed proposal were submitted for three plots with 265 homes, approximately 93,000m² of workspace, a leisure centre and ‘enhancements’ to Canada Water dock.

The first plot, A1, is also designed by Allies and Morrison and includes a 35-storey tower providing 186 homes and 10,700m² of office and retail in an adjoining six-storey building.

Eight of the flats will be discounted rent units and the other 178 private homes.

The practice has also designed a second building, A2, which overlooks Canada Water, with 15,800m² of flexible workspace, wide, planted balconies and a public leisure centre beneath, complete with an eight-lane swimming pool.

Since being submitted, the building’s timber panels have been swapped for terracotta to improve fire safety.

The third plot, K1, is a red brick, six-storey block designed by Morris + Company Architects with 79 flats (down from an original 86) with a courtyard garden located on Roberts Close next to Russia Dock Woodland.

These first-phase schemes could be delivered by 2024.

Web crop morris co canada water

Web crop morris co canada water

The scheme was first submitted in March 2018 but was reduced in height after Historic England argued seven tall buildings in the proposal would harm views of some of the capital’s most famous landmarks.

According to the council officer’s report, the scheme generated 233 objections and 48 letters of support.

Residents were concerned over the height of the scheme and the amount of affordable housing being delivered overall, as well as the low level of affordable housing in the Allies tower block. 

The scale and architecture of Morris + Company’s building also received a high number of objections, according to the report. 

There was also a 330-signature petition from the Canada Water West Resident Action Group, which called for building heights to be limited to that of the existing Ontario Point tower (87m).

Architects involved on subsequent phases include Hawkins\Brown, which has been appointed to draw up plans 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 were designed by Townshend Landscape Architects.

Chris Grigg, chief executive of British Land, said: ‘The resolution to grant planning permission follows five years of extensive consultation and engagement with the local community and a partnership with Southwark Council, who entered into a conditional master development agreement with British Land last year.’

The whole masterplan is expected to take about 15 years to deliver.

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