Below you will find answers from British Land to the questions most commonly asked about the Canada Water Masterplan. This was launched in April 2016 and will continue to grow and evolve as the masterplan does. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or further questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We are a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT); this means we are long term investors in the places which we operate. We actively manage, finance and develop high-quality environments throughout the UK that enhance the area and support local jobs and skills.
We have been involved in the Canada Water and Rotherhithe area for many years and support a number of local community organisations and charities, please click here for further information. We are committed to working closely with Southwark Council, local residents and other key stakeholders to deliver a new, major town centre at Canada Water.
The lead masterplanners are a Southwark based company, Allies and Morrison, alongside Landscape Architects, Townshend. There are a wide range of other consultants involved due to the size of the project, please click here for further details.
The area between Canada Water and Surrey Quays is a significant area of change with a number of other developments coming forward. It is identified in Southwark Council’s Area Action Plan as an important opportunity to contribute to the creation of a more successful and pedestrian friendly town centre. The Greater London Authority’s (GLA’s) London Plan also identifies the area a new ‘Opportunity Area’ these are the GLA’s principle areas for regeneration and growth.
We are working with Southwark Council to bring forward a new urban centre for the area incorporating a wide range of uses including offices, retail, leisure, community and public spaces alongside new homes for a range of ages, incomes and life stages. The proposals will connect into the surrounding area and community, and create opportunities for employment, learning, business and enjoyment.
The Masterplan includes Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, the SE16 Printworks (formerly known as Harmsworth Quays), Surrey Quays Leisure Park (acquired in March 2015), Robert’s Close and the Dock Offices. Allies & Morrison are our masterplanners and have been developing our proposals informed at every stage by the input and feedback from the community consultation process.
We are working in partnership with Southwark Council to deliver the Canada Water Masterplan. We are the long leaseholder of the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre Site and the SE16 Printworks Site and the freeholder of the Surrey Quays Leisure Park site. Southwark Council is the freeholder of the majority of the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre site and the SE16 Printworks. We are working with Southwark Council’s regeneration team to bring forward the Masterplan proposals, which in due course, will be the subject of a development agreement between us and the Council.
Separately, Southwark Council is the local planning authority, so we’re in discussions with their planning team on the development of the proposals for the application. This is known as ‘pre-application’ or ‘pre-app’.
The Canada Water Masterplan will be one of the capital’s largest regeneration projects, which we are very excited to be taking forward. Whilst our approach to each project reflects the specifics of the area as well as the needs and aspirations of the community there, we do have experience of other long term, large scale regeneration projects. An example is our Broadgate City of London Campus. At Regent’s Place we’ve been working with the local community there for over 30 years, and recently looked back on what we’re achieved there over this time in our Regent’s Place at 30 report.
Roger Madelin joined as Head of Canada Water in February 2016 and is responsible for the delivery of the Masterplan. Roger brings with him years of experience working with local communities to deliver some of the largest regeneration schemes in the country, most notably as head of the recent King’s Cross regeneration and Brindley Place in Birmingham.
The Masterplan will create a new, major town centre for Canada Water, including a range of offices and workspace, new retail, restaurants and homes alongside culture, leisure, and potential higher education uses set in a network of streets and open spaces including a new park.
Throughout 2016 we have been carrying out a review of the proposals to ensure that we make the most of the opportunities that the combined site now provide; challenging earlier design assumptions, looking at ways to respond further to consultation and researching new innovative approaches. This includes looking at opportunities to accommodate a greater amount of business and other employment generating uses to create opportunities for existing and new businesses to locate here and support a vibrant town centre throughout the day and into the evening.
Since spring 2014, we have hosted a range of exhibitions, topic discussions and consultation sessions on the Masterplan. The feedback from the events has helped shape the proposals and will continue to do so throughout the development of the plans. Please click here to view the draft masterplan shown at the February 2016 exhibitions. This shows a point in time of the development of the proposals and we are looking to share the revised draft masterplan in Spring 2017.
Please click here for February 2016 consultation report which shares the feedback and looks at next steps for the Canada Water Masterplan consultation; setting out how British Land will respond to key themes through the ongoing masterplanning process.
The planning strategy is still evolving but at this point we anticipate that an outline planning application will be made for the whole Masterplan area with any first phase being submitted in detail at the same time. Adopting an outline application approach ensures that the permission will be sufficiently flexible to allow the Masterplan to respond to changing circumstances over the years that it will take to fully build out the Masterplan – currently estimated to be around 15 years.
The Council has long been seeking to replace the ageing Seven Islands and it’s our ambition to deliver a new leisure centre for Canada Water as part of the masterplan. Part of the ongoing Masterplan review will include considering a range of potential opportunities for the location of a new leisure centre. As the proposed new leisure centre will be a council run amenity, the decision on the brief and location of the new centre will be made by the Council. The Council’s website contains further information including FAQs on the proposed new centre.
The Masterplan will provide a range of building heights, including tall buildings. The Canada Water Masterplan is in an area that Southwark Council and the Greater London Authority (GLA) have designated as appropriate to deliver significant new employment, homes and retail, with leisure, education, community uses and quality public spaces. These are ambitious targets and means there is significant demand on the space within the Masterplan area from a Borough and London-wide level.
The Masterplan will deliver a number of new buildings over a period of around 15 years. The February 2016 Masterplan included a range of building heights – from an average of 6 storeys across much of the town centre area to a number of landmark tall buildings (approx. 35 to 50 storeys) with further buildings proposed between these heights. This approach enables the policy aspirations to be met and will support a range of active ground floor uses, whilst enabling provision of open space. Tall buildings should always be of exception quality, and within the Masterplan the taller elements would act as landmarks and reflect the unique nature of Canada Water.
The Masterplan will include affordable housing in a range of tenure types and sizes to create a mixed and balanced community. The ambition is for a proportion of the rented affordable homes to be Southwark Council social rented homes. The level of affordable housing the Masterplan provides will be determined via the planning process.
The masterplan will generate needs for health and education provision which will be provided for. We are working on how the additional need generated by the masterplan can best be met – this may involves on site or off site provision or a mixture of the two, and could mean new facilities such as a doctors or a school, or expansions/relocation of existing amenities.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) allows the Council to raise funds from new developments in the borough. This can be used to fund physical infrastructure which includes schools and other educational facilities as well as health facilities and it is at the discretion of the Council.
We have worked in the Canada Water community for many years. As an organisation, we have a strong record of developing and managing assets for the medium to long term and intend to do this in Canada Water.
Canada Water Dock has been a core focus for the project team who have been looking at the functional and sustainable use of the water to underpin the character of the water use on the site. Specialist consultants from Waterman have carried out studies of the area to understand the potential wildlife habitats, record species present and any protected/notable species which will inform the final proposals.
In summer 2015, local residents took part in sessions that focused on the initial ideas and principles for the dock to test if they were heading in the right direction – click here for a summary factsheet of the sessions.
As part of the Masterplan, we are bringing forward plans for higher education provision. The site is identified as having the potential for a university campus in the Council’s Area Action Plan for Canada Water. A co-operation agreement is in place with King’s College London who already has planning consent for the former Mulberry Business Park which is next door to the SE16 Printworks. At present, we are in discussions with a number of higher education providers, and will share more information on this as discussions progress.
Our vision is for the Masterplan to reflect the green and blue characteristics of the Canada Water area. As part of the proposals, the February 2016 Masterplan included a new 3.5 acre park as well as a green link of activities and biodiversity between Russia Dock Woodland and Southwark Park. The proposals also include a number of new squares and public spaces across the Masterplan area, and green and brown roofs will be used throughout the Masterplan where possible and practical.
The development of the Masterplan would mean that, over a period of time, and probably in several phases, Surrey Quays Shopping Centre would be demolished and replaced completely with a mixed use urban centre, with new streets and public spaces with a greater range of shops and facilities.
We recognise that this is people’s local shopping amenity, so we will endeavour to maintain a good level of retail provision throughout the development phases.
Tesco has a lease on its site until 2028 and the February 2016 Masterplan included Tesco in its current location for the purpose of the planning application. However we are thinking about the long-term vision for the current Tesco site and are currently discussing relocation options with Tesco, with the aim of realising the benefits that opening up this area could bring.
There are no short term plans to close down the amenities on site; longer term the Masterplan will look at how these amenities and activities could be provided across the whole Canada Water Masterplan area. The current Masterplan includes provision of a cinema closer within the heart of the town centre alongside the potential for a wide range of additional leisure activities.
We are delighted to have made these purchases as it represents an exciting opportunity to consider these historic buildings as part of the Canada Water Masterplan. A key focus will be how the masterplan public realm can be enhanced to provide more of a setting for this important piece of the docks’ heritage.
There is no intention to change the appearance of the buildings, which in any case are listed and therefore benefit from significant protection in terms of planning. The status of the tenants within the building will remain unchanged and we expect to continue with the existing maintenance arrangements and suppliers.
Transport is raised as one of the biggest issues around the Masterplan. The Masterplan team is committed to thoroughly testing all types of transport and the impacts the Masterplan would have in future years. British Land are working with all parties involved to develop a robust approach. However, please note that it is not the responsibility of British Land to rectify existing transport issues. In July 2016, a transport workshop was held for local people to attend, in conjunction with TfL and Southwark Council. The Frequently Asked Questions listed below emerged from this process.
Between the Shopping Centre and the Leisure Park there are currently 1,972 parking spaces. Decathlon also has 330 spaces. Southwark Council’s car parking standards are set out in the Southwark Plan and are consistent with the latest version of the London Plan. The car parking standards vary with public transport accessibility, being more restrictive in areas of high public transport accessibility. The Canada Water Area Action Plan sets out a guide of 0.3 spaces per residential unit and commercial uses are also expected to have limited parking provision. Discussions are ongoing with Southwark Council and TfL to determine the appropriate level of parking provision for each of the different land uses with a particular focus on the town centre requirements.
We expect to submit a Car Parking Management Plan as part of the planning process in order to monitor and respond to any parking issues.
We recognise that in urban areas, some journeys will still need to be made by car, for instance by mobility impaired users or for journeys to areas of low public transport accessibility. Similarly, provision will be made for those with mobility issues. However, there are also many journeys that could be made by other means, provided that the routes, connections and transport services are available and serve the places that people need to travel to and from. Car ownership levels also tend to be lower in inner London, and are declining. Reducing reliance on cars, particularly for shorter journeys that are common in inner London, has health benefits in terms of increasing physical activity and improving air quality. It can also reduce congestion, which can make bus services quicker and more reliable.
As developers, British Land has to balance providing car parking to cater for journeys where there are no sensible alternatives, the aspirations to create better networks for non-car users, the degree to which car parking supports commercial viability and the cost of providing car parking spaces. The policy aspirations of Southwark Council and the Greater London Authority are also important considerations. Our aim is to try to shift the balance of journeys away from private car use, offering greater transport choice without limiting accessibility to homes, jobs and services overall.
British Land recognises there is an existing air quality issue on Lower Road. Health and wellbeing is at the centre of the Masterplan vision and air quality is considered one of the key issues that the Masterplan has to respond to. The Masterplan can’t solve the existing issues on Lower Road as through traffic is a major factor, however it will look to ensure that it is made no worse as a result of the scheme.
There are many aspects that affect air quality such as building design, landscape and planting, cycle facilities and education and training. Transport has a significant part to play in contribution to a sustainable and low carbon Masterplan and this will be supported by:
British Land will also explore off-site construction methods and sustainable methods of delivery.
Reducing car use contributes to a number of wider outcomes, including reducing congestion that can affect bus service reliability, improved air quality, a better pedestrian environment and encouraging healthier living. It also means that fewer parking spaces are needed allowing space to be used for other purposes. Practical steps include providing a level of car parking which does not provide excessive capacity, coupled with a design which creates safe, high quality, connected pedestrian and cycle networks with easy access to public transport services. Supporting strategies such as travel plans and car clubs can also incentivise travel by means other than the private car and support health benefits through more active means of travel.
TfL is the highway authority for Jamaica Road and the Rotherhithe Tunnel; Southwark Council is the authority for Lower Road. Both have a statutory responsibility to manage the highway network efficiently and this is an ongoing task. TfL and Southwark Council are aware of existing issues and are working to resolve these where possible. British Land is not responsible for the operation of the road network.
However, we are working with TfL and Southwark Council to determine the transport impacts generated by the Masterplan and to find solutions which would address any adverse impacts. Those may include physical improvements such as changes to junctions or bus lanes to try to reduce congestion and improve bus journey times.
Yes, transport improvements will happen progressively as the Masterplan area is built and occupied. This will include the transport infrastructure within the Masterplan site as well as enhancements to the external transport networks. The aim will be to ensure that additional travel demands generated by each phase of the Masterplan are complemented by new or enhanced services and networks which can accommodate those demands.
Cycle Superhighways are a TfL initiative. Cycle Superhighway 4 (CS4) is a route that includes Jamaica Road and Lower Road. TfL is progressing design options for the route which will consider the need to provide safe cycle facilities, reliability for bus services, maintain local access and minimise any additional congestion.
The new political administration in the Greater London Authority (GLA) means the priorities and delivery of CS4 are being reviewed. It is not currently known when a revised scheme will be published for consultation. We are liaising with TfL on the potential options but we are not responsible for delivering the scheme. TfL’s website for Cycle Superhighways can be found here: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/routes-and-maps/cycle-superhighways
The design of the public realm is an important part of managing the different types of movements and activities that will take place in the town centre and across the Masterplan.
Our aspirations for the town centre are to create streets and spaces where all ages and abilities of pedestrians and cyclists can share space as far as possible, without introducing excessive conflict. We are exploring ways in which movements can be managed and guided through the design of the spaces, materials and routes. We want to avoid extensive separation and control of different users (pedestrians, cyclists, buses, cars) as far as possible while ensuring that the design remains safe for all to use. We will draw on best practice from around the world to create the best pedestrian / cycle environment.
As part of the design process, our assessment of the transport implications of any additional journeys created will look at all transport types. It will consider:
The number of additional journeys generated by the Masterplan, and on each of the transport networks, is dependent on the amount and type of different land uses within the Masterplan. The design is still evolving and we are working with Southwark Council and TfL to produce and agree forecasts for the future pattern of trips across the area. Once these are known they will be made publicly available. Detailed transport strategies and a Transport Assessment considering the effects of the Masterplan and outlining planned improvements to infrastructure will be submitted as part of the planning application.
The Canada Water Masterplan is focused on the four local stations to the masterplan site – Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. The Masterplan team is already engaged with TfL to understand in detail the operation of Canada Water Station. Future discussions and analysis will consider the additional number of station users, whether from increased train frequency or from the Masterplan itself. The demand model used in assessing the Masterplan also includes an assumption for growth from other developments in the area, as well as more general growth in London’s population. A range of solutions will be explored which will include the potential for circulation within the station to be improved. TfL already plans to increase frequency on the Jubilee line and potentially the Overground service and this will be a factor in the discussions.
TfL is aware of capacity and circulation issues at Canada Water station. Future London-wide infrastructure improvements (such as Crossrail, London Bridge reopening and increased Jubilee Line frequency) is expected to provide short and medium term capacity relief at Canada Water station.
The Canada Water Masterplan site is not an island site: it is a large piece of the local area and needs to be properly integrated to enable new links across the whole area and into the wider area. Creating a well-connected pedestrian and cycle network is a key objective of the Masterplan and local policy both to encourage people to walk and cycle and to ensure that this can be done safely. Our assessment will consider the need for connections across and along main roads in the area to link to existing or new routes outside the Masterplan. This will include the key locations and design options for pedestrian and cycle crossings, including the degree of control that is most appropriate. We must also consider the need to balance additional crossings with the potential impact on congestion and, in particular, bus journey time reliability.
Whilst a bridge over Lower Road would provide separation from road traffic for pedestrians, there are a number of issues with this type of crossing. Bridges or underpasses are expensive and without long ramps (which need available land) are unsuited for people with mobility issues, in wheelchairs, with prams or children. There is evidence to suggest that pedestrians generally make better use of controlled crossings at ground level, as these are often seen as more convenient, shorter and offering better personal security than bridges or subways. Bridges and underpasses have recently been removed in Elephant and Castle for these reasons.
The proposed Rotherhithe Bridge for cyclists and pedestrians has been developed by Sustrans. TfL is undertaking further studies into the form and nature of a crossing between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf. Other options are being considered by TfL including an enhanced ferry service (pedestrian and cycle) and other forms of crossing. This study has been requested by the Mayor of London. At this stage there is no commitment to build a bridge.
British Land supported the feasibility study and supports the principle of a crossing because of the improved connections it would bring, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge, or other ‘fixed link’ such as a tunnel, will cost a significant amount to deliver which could not be met by the Masterplan’s planning (financial / Community Infrastructure Levy) contributions alone. It will also take time to deliver due to the planning and consents required. These two reasons are partly why TfL is investigating options to improve the ferry service, which could be delivered earlier, possibly as an ‘interim’ measure should a fixed link be taken forward.
The programme for delivery is a matter for Transport for London but we will continue to work closely with the parties concerned.
As part of our assessment of the Masterplan we expect to commit to enhancements to the bus network in the area. Exactly what form those enhancements take will depend on discussions with TfL and Southwark Council. However, as part of that work, we are very aware of the need to ensure that the Masterplan area is well-connected to the peninsula as well as to the wider area. A ‘shuttle bus’ will be one of the range of options that we expect to be discussing with TfL as the Masterplan progresses. Any new or enhanced bus service will need to be in line with TfL’s bus service planning guidelines.
Our assessment will make forecasts of the number of journeys that the Masterplan is likely to generate and where people will be going to and from. These forecasts will be set alongside existing usages and services so that we and TfL can understand where additional capacity may be needed on existing routes, or where new routes would be beneficial. We will be working closely with TfL on this issue, as they are responsible for managing the bus network and there are a number of complexities that need to be taken into account such as:
We anticipate that the strategy will include a series of enhancements over time, as the Masterplan is built, and that funding for those enhancements will be secured through a legal agreement accompanying a planning permission.
TfL is the ‘owner’ of the Cycle Hire scheme. Southwark Council and TfL are already discussing the need for an extension of the Cycle Hire scheme into this area and elsewhere in the borough, reflecting the eastward extensions that have already taken place north of the river and to support growth in various parts of the borough. We would support the extension of the scheme into Canada Water and would look to safeguard land within the Masterplan area and provide funding in the legal agreement to allow for cycle hire docking stations to be provided in the future.
We have had a number of meetings with TfL River Services and river bus operator Thames Clippers about the role that the river might play in providing transport access and additional capacity for journeys made from the Masterplan area. Our discussions have been exploratory in nature to better understand planned improvements and the costs associated with providing new boats and piers. We will need to balance the cost of providing river connections against the additional capacity that they would contribute, relative to similar investment in other transport modes such as more buses. No decisions have yet been taken.
As the Masterplan is likely to be built out over a minimum 15 year period, flexibility will be retained so that the Masterplan is future proofed’ as new technology brings forward different, more sustainable modes of transport. Transport consultants, Arup, have been tasked with continually reviewing new technology and how to include this into the Masterplan’s transport strategy. As a minimum, we will provide electric vehicle charging points, which is a current policy requirement in the Southwark Plan and London Plan.
We can plan for what we know today and ensure the planning documents (parameter plans / design codes / travel plans) allow for a response to be made as new transport modes, ways of behaviour and technologies emerge.
We want to involve the community in the development of the Masterplan proposals and facilitate local involvement shaping the changes, both ahead of an application being submitted, and long beyond into the construction process. We hold exhibitions, workshops and walk arounds as just some of the ways to make this happen. We also meet regularly with people and organisations in Canada Water to continually learn about the area, the opportunities and the challenges. We’re happy to meet with anyone locally to hear your thoughts and discuss the proposals, please just get in touch.
The consultation process is facilitated by Soundings, who act as an impartial voice in the development process to fully and transparently involve communities at each stage of the design development to help inform the proposals.
At each stage of consultation, Soundings produce transparent records of the process and findings, including a process by which British Land and the project team use feedback to help inform the Masterplan development and respond directly to key issues. The reports combine to produce a Statement of Community Involvement, a public planning document which provides a thorough account of the whole consultation process and tracks its impact on the final Masterplan. The project newsletters, exhibition material and reports from each stage of consultation are available to view here.
We held a series of exhibitions on the Draft Masterplan throughout February 2016 at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and at local tenant and resident association halls. Since this, local engagement has continued with topic discussions to look specifically at how a transport strategy is developed and assessed; drop-ins and walkabouts to gather detailed local information on transport issues; and sessions to help demystify the planning process.
We have also been continuing outreach including a workshop looking at design for ageing well, attendance at local meetings, reviewing the Draft Masterplan feedback and a breakfast event with the Southwark Chamber of Commerce. We will be sharing the revised masterplan for further comment and feedback in spring 2017
For further information, please visit this website which is updated regularly with information on consultation events. Canada Water Masterplan newsletters are circulated to over 26,000 homes and businesses and in the local area with project updates and details of upcoming events. To receive the newsletters by email please sign up to the mailing list by sending an email to email@example.com
A planning application is currently expected to be submitted in late 2017.
Construction cannot begin until planning permission has been granted for the redevelopment of the Canada Water Masterplan. Planning permission is usually granted on the basis that construction of the first phases would start within three to five years of the planning application being approved.
A development of this scale usually takes approximately 15 years to complete over a number of phases. The delivery of the overall Masterplan will be phased into different areas of development that will be progressed in detail and constructed at different times. The aim is to ensure that as much as possible at any point within the Masterplan development, the area still feels like a ‘whole’ place, and not like living or working amongst a building site. We intend to minimise disruption as much as possible and ensure the community is kept informed as well as keep the site active while construction is taking place.