The news this week that British Land are preparing master plans for both the the old Harmsworth Quays site and Surrey Quays Shopping Centre brings a major new element into the discussion of the future of Canada Water and Rotherhithe. Up until now, the redundant printing site for the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail and the Metro has been the sole focus of discussion. Large though it is and central to the area bounded by Salter and Rotherhithe Roads, the addition of the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre site makes these plans fundamental to the future of the whole community. Stretching from Surrey Quays to Canada Water stations and including links almost to Russia Dock Woodlands and Greenland Dock, this huge central area will make a massive difference to the style, impact and success of the whole neighbourhood.

Many people took the opportunity earlier in the year when British Land offered a tour around the redundant SE16 Printworks (as they are now called). The huge industrial size of the spaces and the residual evidence of hard physical labour left a deep impression on many who clambered around the cavernous building. Andie Brynes produced a fine account of her tour here The tours were the opening element of extensive community consultation led by Soundings, engaged by British Land to work with the community to inform the development of the Master Plan for the site. They ran workshops and walkabouts. They held a display in Surrey Quays Shopping Centre (which they also own) and surveyed hundreds of people’s opinion. The result was summarised in a report issued in June which was presented back to the community on 26 June at an informal exhibition and discussion.

On 30 June, British Land announced that due to feedback on the importance of the link to Canada Water and the need for improved retail and leisure facilities, they had decided to include the Shopping Centre site in the Master Plan. As they already have planning permission for a small extension to the BHS / HSBC end of the Shopping Centre, they will be looking at how that permission can be married with a strong vision for the two sites together. Soundings are holding an interim series of events in mid-July to sound out the community on this new development in their thinking and to check how the themes from the first phase play out in this new environment.

You can find out more detail about the plans, first phase consultation and the new events here at SE16 Print Works. You may also have had a leaflet delivered which is the second newsletter from the project team. The main details of this interim consultation are:

  • Saturday 12 July 10.00am-4.00pm Mini-exhibition + Printworks Site Tour at former Printworks
  • Tuesday 15 July 12.30-8.30pm Mini-exhibition + Presentation & Feedback Session at the Shopping Centre
  • Thursday 17 July 5.00-9.00pm Mini-exhibition + ‘Street & Spaces’ Focus Session at the Shopping Centre

If you want to follow planning developments in Canada Water, make sure you get along to the Canada Water Consultative Forum meetings. Find out details here: Canada Water Consultative Forum