British Land favoured for £1bn Canada Water project

British Land has been recommended by Southwark Council officers to develop the £1bn mixed-use scheme at Canada Water, one of London’s largest projects. The council’s executive committee is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the officers’ report, which recommends British Land’s proposals ahead of those from Allied London and a joint venture between Urban Catalyst and Multiplex.

The recommendation was made in a report published by the council’s Strategy Director, Paul Evans, which only makes reference to a ‘Team A’ as its choice. However, sources close to the project have confirmed that Team A is in fact British Land.

Working alongside David Taylor, formerly Chief Executive of English Partnerships, British Land proposes a scheme comprising 100,000 sq ft of office space, 100,000 sq ft of retail and 2,000 new homes.

The report reveals that British Land and Taylor won on the basis of quality and the financial strength of their bid. They are praised for “providing confidence and much-needed clarity to the complex process of achieving a quality environment for Canada Water.”

Allied London’s rival scheme comprises 299,239 sq ft of retail and leisure space, 49,514 sq ft of offices, 1,170 homes, a theatre, library, health centre and 1,650 parking spaces.

Meanwhile, Urban Catalyst and Multiplex’s proposals envisage a leisure centre, youth club and ‘lifestyle centre´, plus offices, retail and leisure space and new homes, ultimately providing more than 1.25m sq ft of new development.

The report also mentions a second-placed Team B, which it says has only operated in the UK for two years but has a strong record in Australasia. Judging by the reference, Team B is the Perth-based Multiplex, which was favoured by the council’s professional team, including GVA Grimley, and a MORI poll on the competition.

An outline planning application for the scheme is set to be submitted by the end of the year.

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