Canary Wharf submits Wood Wharf Masterplan to Tower Hamlets Council
PUBLISHED: 14:37 11 December 2013 | UPDATED: 14:37 11 December 2013
One of the biggest and most ambitious planning applications for a Docklands development in three decades looks set to extend Canary Wharf’s “city centre” district by nearly half.
A revised Wood Wharf Masterplan has been submitted to Tower Hamlets Council for 3,000 homes, 2.6 million sq ft of commercial offices, two hotels, a school, parks and waterfront walkways.
It includes what could be one of London’s tallest skyscrapers, a cigar-shaped tower of luxury apartments with a skyline view across London.
There is more residential emphasis and less on commercial space than the original scheme outlined in 2009, in the wake of the recession and growing housing shortage. The original 1,668 homes proposed are now doubled, while the five-million sq ft of offices has been halved.
The scheme extends the Docklands business and shopping district eastward by another 23 acres across the site of the old Poplar and Blackwall docks, which Canary Wharf Group Chairman Sir George Iacobescu picked up for £90 million two years ago from British Waterways and Ballymore Properties.
“This project continues redevelopment of east London almost 30 years after the original transformation of Canary Wharf began,” he said.
“Our revised masterplan will create a mix of new homes, offices and retail areas in a network of streets and public spaces for the fast emerging city centre of Canary Wharf.”
The masterplan outlines the details following initial planning consent in January, 2012.
The more gentle style of the main circular tower replaces the stark squares of the skyscrapers envisaged previously.
Homes proposed range from town houses to mid-rise and high-rise apartment blocks for private sale and rent and intermediate and low-cost rental housing.
Commercial offices vary in size and type, to meet the demand Canary Wharf expects from east London’s expanding telecommunications, media and technology industries. Around 17,000 new jobs would be created including 3,500 local service jobs.
Wood Wharf project director Robert Maguire said: “The principle of the masterplan, the ‘glue’ that holds the neighbourhood together, is its network of streets, squares, parks and water spaces.”
Two hotels are outlined in the scheme, along with a two-form entry primary school, a multi-purpose sports hall and a health centre.
Interconnecting public spaces include two squares and two parks, one along the southern dock edge with more than half-a-mile of quayside pedestrian boardwalks.
A new bus route through Wood Wharf is also on the cards, with pedestrian connections to the Underground and DLR at Canary Wharf as well as the new Crossrail station opening in 2018. There will also be parking for 1,100 cars.
Construction could start next autumn with the first buildings to be completed in 2017, if Tower Hamlets gives the go-ahead.
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