British Land gets go ahead for £3.5bn Printworks scheme

Developer British Land has been given the green light for its £3.5bn Printworks scheme at Canada Water.

Southwark Council has voted unanimously to approve the scheme which is a joint venture between the council and the developer. It will see the construction of over 3,000 new net-zero homes and up to 200,000 square metres of workspace.

The former printing press, known as Harmsworth Quays, was acquired by British Land in 2012 and had been used as a 6,000-capacity nightclub for a number of years.

Encompassing 53 acres, the scheme will be one of the largest mixed-use schemes in London when complete. It will house a new leisure centre, complete with a swimming pool, sports courts and gym. Up to a third of the site will be new public space.

A reserved matter application for the site was submitted in October last year under the Canada Water Masterplan. British Land gained outline consent for the scheme in addition to detailed consent for three buildings in May 2020.

Wates was appointed last year to construct the first plot on the Printworks site, known as A1. The contractor completed piling works in May for a 35-storey building, which will accommodate 186 new homes and office space. A smaller plot, known as A2, will see Mace build a six-storey high mixed-use scheme.

McAleer & Rushe have been appointed to the K1 building, which will see 79 council homes built on the eastern part of the site.

A spokesperson for British Land, said: “We are pleased that Southwark Council has voted unanimously to grant planning permission for the Printworks.

“We have an incredible opportunity at Canada Water to create a vibrant neighbourhood for people to live, work and enjoy. The redevelopment of the Printworks will result in the retention and reuse of this iconic building, to create a best in class and flexible workplace, at the heart of the masterplan.”

The construction programme for the entire site is expected to take 10 years. The first phase began construction in 2021, with the first buildings set to open in 2023-24. The target completion date is between 2031 and 2034.

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