The first step has been taken to allow the redevelopment of the 14.57 acre Harmsworth Quays printing works site in Canada Water, South East London to go ahead. Southwark Council has given its approval for the Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT) to assign its leasehold interest in the site to British Land.
The decision is a key milestone for the development which has the potential to deliver significant improvements to the local area.
British Land will now begin working up proposals in consultation with Southwark Council and the local community to realize the full potential of this important site. Vacant possession of the site will be available later this year following the relocation of DMGT’s printing operations to Thurrock.
Southwark Council, which is currently developing policy to guide the redevelopment, will be adopting a preferred option of its Area Action Plan in May for consultation. This will emphasize the council’s and community’s vision to create a mixed-use town center at Canada Water.
British Land has a long term interest and investment in the area, both from its joint venture with the council at Canada Water, a major regeneration zone in Southwark, and through its ownership of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre. At Surrey Quays British Land is planning a £38 million (approx. €44.7 million) investment, including an extensive refurbishment of the existing canter and a 100,000 ft² (approx. 9,300 m²) extension, along with improvements to the public spaces and connections to Surrey Quays and Canada Water tube and bus stations.
Both Southwark Council and British Land have committed to exploring the potential to create a new campus for Kings College as part of the scheme, to complement their proposals for the adjoining site at the Mulberry Business Park.
Nigel Webb, Head of Development for British Land, said: “We are delighted that the London Borough of Southwark has agreed the assignment for Harmsworth Quays. We can now begin the process of working with the local community, the London Borough of Southwark and other key stakeholders to bring forward a new, mixed use development in the heart of Canada Water.
“We have demonstrated our long term commitment to Southwark through our interests and investments in the area, both as part of BL Canada Quays bringing regeneration around Canada Water Station and at Surrey Quays Shopping Center. We believe the Harmsworth Quays site is a fantastic opportunity to deliver the ambition of the Canada Water masterplan and we look forward to working with the London Borough of Southwark to develop the emerging Area Action Plan.”
David Dutton, Director for DMGT, said: “After many successful years at Harmsworth Quays, DMGT is delighted to be transferring its interests in the site over to British Land. The redevelopment of our printing plant provides an exciting opportunity for the area and we are confident British Land is ideally placed to deliver what the area needs.”
Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Southwark Council, said: “Rotherhithe has seen some great improvements over the last few years including the new Canada Water library and better transport links thanks to the new London Overground service. We want to keep the momentum going by ensuring that land is put to really good use.”
She continued: “In addition to new homes, the redevelopment of Harmsworth Quays has the potential to deliver the town center and jobs that Rotherhithe really needs. I'm delighted that British Land have also agreed to work with the Council to explore whether we can build a new campus for Kings College London on the site, which is something I know would be welcomed locally."
Source: British Land