Delivering up to 3,000 new net zero homes, office space for an estimated 20,000 workers and up to one million sq. ft. of leisure, cultural and education facilities, the 53-acre Canada Water masterplan is a once in a generation opportunity to reimagine a 21st century town centre for London.
Located in the heart of London – on the intersection of the Jubilee and Overground lines, just an 11-minute tube ride from the West End, 9-minute overground ride to Shoreditch and a short tube, bus, bike or walk to the City – yet surrounded by over 160 acres of green spaces, park, woodland and some of London’s most historic docks, Canada Water’s location is truly unique. The masterplan will add 12 acres of new parks and squares for the local community and visitors to enjoy, as well as green corridors linking everything together.
The masterplan will deliver the right mix of homes, shops, offices, and things to do and see that will appeal to everyone from all walks of life – from pubs, shops and restaurants to a new leisure centre with a swimming pool, gyms and sports facilities. With more people under 35 living within a 45-minute commute than any new regeneration scheme in London, Canada Water is easily accessible to London’s huge and diverse pool of talent.
Emma Cariaga, Joint Head of Canada Water, British Land, said, “We have an incredible opportunity at Canada Water. The chance to reimagine an entire town centre – in the heart of London, surrounded by parks and waterways – comes once in a lifetime.
“A truly unique place, Canada Water is central, but has a local, leafy feel. It is the sort of place where you’ll know your neighbours and feel part of a real community, where businesses can grow and where people will put down roots. A diverse area that is already home to people from all walks of life, the development will not only preserve but enhance all of the local history, character and biodiversity that’s already here.
“Canada Water will be the perfect place for people that want to live and work in green, healthy spaces with a real sense of community within walking distance of a range of amenities – themes that have become increasingly important since the pandemic.”
All of this will be achieved in the most sustainable way, not just in terms of the environment but also the local community. Canada Water will be a net zero neighbourhood by 2030, delivered through materials innovation and a ‘sustainability first’ approach to all elements of design and construction. In addition, British Land has spent the last decade getting to know the local community and establishing initiatives that lay the foundations for local people to benefit from the opportunities the development will generate.
Councillor Helen Dennis, cabinet member for climate emergency and sustainable development at Southwark Council, said: “We are seizing the unique opportunity to transform a historic London docklands location into a distinctive, new waterside town centre in partnership with British Land and AustralianSuper.
“With easy links to central London and all that Southwark offers, Canada Water will have something for everyone. From thousands of new homes, particularly hundreds of much-needed social rent homes, to new shops, offices, open spaces and a brand-new public leisure centre.
“Thanks to ongoing collaboration with the local community, we are bringing forward a vibrant, diverse neighbourhood with a strong connection to the area’s rich heritage. We recently approved planning for a 1.5 million sq. ft commercial scheme at Canada Water Dockside that will further strengthen our exciting plans with British Land to create a thriving business destination and new town centre for Southwark and London alike.”
The masterplan is being brought to life through a 50:50 joint venture between British Land and AustralianSuper, Australia’s biggest profit-to-member pension fund. The joint-venture, which was announced in March 2022, has resulted in additional funding to progress the major regeneration scheme. Phase 1 of the masterplan is already under construction and is expected to be complete in Q3 2024.
 See Appendix: Environmental sustainability credentials for more detail
 See Appendix: Social sustainability credentials for more detail
Building Design and Construction Magazine | The Home of Construction & Property News