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Bulletin 37
Planning and Design Principles and Technical Appendices

26 04 2002 MDB
Contains substantial CWC input - circulated as a discussion paper

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London Borough of Southwark

Canada Water

Master Developer Brief


April 2002

Prepared by

Lots of people


GVA Grimley
10 Stratton Street

Tel: 0870 900 8990
Fax: 020 7911 2560

Urban Initiatives
35 Heddon Street

Tel: 020 7287 3644
Fax: 020 7287 9489



Executive Summary

  1. Introduction
  2. Location & Development Context
  3. The Council’s Objectives
  4. Site Ownership
  5. Planning
  6. Transport
  7. Selection Procedure & Timetable

Misrepresentation Clause



1.0 Executive Summary

Southwark Council wish to appoint a developer with an innovative team capable of producing and implementing an inspirational masterplan for a key commercial, retail and residential centre at Canada Water.

Southwark Council owns 3.3 hectares in 2 sites of undeveloped land adjacent to Canada Water. The sites have the potential to become the centre to serve a community incorporating the newly redeveloped Rotherhithe Peninsula and the adjacent areas of North Southwark.

The total area suitable for development covers approximately 16 hectares. The remainder of the site, not owned by Southwark Council is developed but underused.

The Council wishes to appoint a Master Developer Partner (MDP) who can deliver a comprehensive regeneration plan for Canada Water which will provide the local community with the facilities it needs and provide financial benefit for the remainder of the borough from the economic gain accruing to the Council’s land holding.

The Council would like the MDP to form a relationship with the other landowners that will result in the co-ordinated development of the whole 40 acres Pedestrian links between the development site and the nearby leisure park should also be enhanced by the scheme.

The MDP will be expected to create a project of vision, with leading edge design incorporating all the requirements of sustainability, from transport solutions to construction practice; from community involvement to long term management. Thus adding significant value to the quality of life of existing and new inhabitants, businesses and visitors alike.

The new development should incorporate all the best principles of government policies both current, for example, The Urban White Paper) and future policies as they evolve. In addition, industry standards of best practice shall be maintained wherever possible including, for example, BREEAM and Ecohome Assessments.

The Council is committed to the retention, protection and environmental improvement of the Canada Water Dock and its wildlife habitats.

The Council supports active community involvement in the development. The community is led by the Canada Water Campaign which is part of the Canada Water Consultative Forum.

The overall vision is of a mixed development providing

The plan for executing the works will be required to demonstrate the least possible disruption to the local community.


2.0 The Community to be Served by the Development

The Rotherhithe Peninsula has been transformed over the past decade into a major new residential area. It provides a full range of residential accommodation from social housing through to high value apartments on the river, with views to Canary Wharf.

The overall feel of the Peninsula is characterised by a low rise, open, semi suburban type of environment, quite unique in the centre of London. A strong community view is that this character should be retained in the development of a “waterside village”. Furthermore, that in the long term there would be high added value to developers by keeping spaciousness and community “Low Clean and Green” concept as defining aspirations.

The surrounding areas to the south of the site have been developed for many years and have a large population that also use the existing facilities within the development site.

The area has thereby increased its wealth base, while retaining a diverse social mix. This has helped to create a balanced community. However the area still lacks a central focus to provide retail, leisure, business, community and visitor attractions.

The project therefore offers a temendous opportunity to create a new focus incorporating all the best principles and practices of living, working and the environment in a unique residential area situated between the City of London and Canary Wharf. It also offers the potential for sustainable development (in all its forms), together with the opportunity to maximise benefits for all sectors of the population.

Canada Water will be supported fully by the Council, which will work in partnership with the Master Developer Partner to deliver an internationally recognised project.

The Borough of Southwark is undergoing a transport led regeneration revolution, with projects as diverse as the Tate Modern and the Globe on the River Thames, Bermondsay Spa, London Bridge and now Canada Water running through the heart of the Borough. The Jubilee Line extension has also played a significant role in opening up the true potential of the Borough.

The Council would very much welcome your response to this Brief.


3.0 Further Information

The objective is for the Council and MDP to work in partnership to co-ordinate and deliver the regeneration of this currently vacant and underused urban area.

The Council is inviting the shortlisted MDP’s to prepare a Masterplan for a new high quality, mixed-use neighbourhood, comprising retail, offices, mixed residential, hotel, leisure, community and other appropriate land uses in a world class environment.

The proposals will need to reflect the considerable potential of the wider area, its proximity to Central London and Canary Wharf and the need to provide a location that balances commercial pressures with local community aspirations. The proposals will also need to reflect the issues outlined in the ‘Social Inclusion’ and ‘Green Spaces’ topic papers to ensure the best possible quality of life for people who live and work in the area.

The MDP will be committed to delivering a comprehensive and co-ordinated regeneration project. The MDP will also have a long term approach to the project (which may have a 2-3 year plus lead in to development commencing), have the capability to fund substantial upfront costs, and be highly experienced in major urban regeneration projects. It will also be a pre-requisite that the MDP will embrace the importance of community consultation in delivering the comprehensive project.

Overall we estimate that regeneration of all the sites on the Canada Water Area will have a 10-15 year timescale from commencement to completion.

Our experience of the selection process recognises that shortlisted developers prefer a streamlined approach to appointment that minimises professional time and maximises potential for success. This has been reflected in the process set out here.

Developers are invited to submit their proposals for the whole site on the basis set out in this document by [Approx September]. It is anticipated that the selection of the preferred development partner will be made within the timescales set out under the “Selection Procedure & Timetable” referred to in Section 7 (??) of this brief.

This Brief should be read in conjunction with the document titled “Planning and Design Principles” and the Technical Appendices. Copies of these two pieces of information can be obtained from the website (

Reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this Brief. However, the accuracy of the information is not guaranteed. Developers are responsible for satisfying themselves that the information, on which they rely when preparing proposals, is correct.

Developers are asked to submit proposals in accordance with this Brief. Should developers not agree with any aspects they should inform GVA Grimley, prior to submission of the proposal.

The Client Team shall not be bound to accept any bid put forward by any of the potential developers.

The Brief shall not form part of any contract.


2.0 Location & Development Context

Canada Water is located at the heart of the Rotherhithe Peninsula, which is bounded in the main by Lower Road to the south west, and Surrey Quays Road to the north and east. Part of the site also extends north of Surrey Quays Road.

The extended Jubilee Line provides a new station towards the northern end of the area for redevelopment and links the West End with. The station also provides a stop on the East London Line which connects New Cross with Shoreditch in a north/south direction. There are plans to extend the line both north and south. The northern would connect with Railtrack’s North London line at Dalston Western Junction. The southern extension will connect New Cross Gate with Railtrack’s Croydon line and, by a new line south of Surrey Quays, with Railtrack’s South London line to Wimbledon. The southern extension is proposed to be completed at the same time as the northern extension, by 2006.

The completed transport improvements mean that Canada Water is now only twelve minutes from Westminster, seven minutes from London Bridge and two minutes from Canary Wharf.

Regeneration on the Rotherhithe Peninsula is not a new concept as many development projects were undertaken by the London Docklands Development Corporation during the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The area surrounding the Canada Water site now provides a high quality environment with a broad mix of residential types, accessible river frontages, views to London Bridge and Canary Wharf and major open spaces such as Russia Dock Woodlands to the east of the site which complements Southwark Park situated to the west.

The Canada Water site demonstrates a mix and form of development that reflects the development requirements at the time when the area offered minimal public transport provision and planning policies were geared towards edge and out of town forms of development. This has resulted in single land use based development at relatively low density with significant surface car parking. The context for development has clearly changed significantly in the intervening years. Section five highlights the planning policy context and the key issues that are relevant to the further evolution of regeneration in the area. Section three highlights the Council’s objectives and indeed its responsibilities to ensure the area is maximised in terms of its contribution towards the environmental and economic health of the Borough and Peninsula in particular.

The changing context of the area and of planning policies and the government’s approach to brownfield sites within city boundaries means that the regeneration potential of the area is substantial. Totalling some 16 hectares (40 acres) the site has the potential to not only contribute to Southwark, but also to London as a whole.

Between 1981 and 1996 the population on the Rotherhithe Peninsula increased to over 16,000 and 5,500 new homes were built. Over 78,038sqm (840,000sqft) of commercial and industrial floorspace has also been completed on the Peninsula. Together with the printing plant there are some 1,000 jobs supplemented by the small business units at St Olav’s Court and the Mulberry Business Park. The development of small businesses in the area has also been helped over the last ten years by the setting up of the Docklands Enterprise. South Dock now houses London’s largest working marina with berths for over 200 vessels.

In the context of its overall potential, development will need to be distinctive, recognisable, economically lively, broad based in appeal, well linked to the surrounding community and imaginative in design. Developers must take the opportunity to create the real streets, and public spaces that characterise other successful mixed use centres. The Council’s goal is to ensure through the comprehensive regeneration of Canada Water, that a sustainable and high quality mixed use project is secured, which in turn enhances and reinforces the overall area.


3.0 Councils Objectives

The Council’s objectives for the comprehensive regeneration of the area are geared towards securing benefits that are appropriate to the area’s current and perceived future context. The objectives are designed to balance commercial requirements with those of existing and future residents, community groups, visitors and others. The objectives are summarised as follows:-

The local community aspirations for the Canada Water area as expressed by the Canada Water Campaign look to achieve the following;

Thus the community objectives are closely aligned to those of the Borough


4.0 Site Ownership

The overall site area covers approximately 16 hectares (40 acres) of which the London Borough of Southwark owns some 2.6 (?? 3.3 shown below) hectares (6.5 acres) of land.

The individual land ownerships are set out below and illustrated on the associated location plan.

Site Ownership Land Use Approx. area (Ha)
A Southwark Council Open brownfield * 2.5
B Southwark Council Open brownfield* 0.8
C Foreign Properties ApS A1 Retail 1.9
D Foreign Properties ApS Residential 0.6
E Foreign Properties ApS Commercial** 0.8
F Shopping Centre Ltd (JV Tesco and Slough Estates) *** Car Park for G 0.5
G Shopping Centre Ltd (JV Tesco and Slough Estates)*** A1/A3 Retail & car park 8.1
* see UDP summary
** planning application has been submitted – decision pending
*** freehold retained by LBS

Area A This site is open brownfield land which is made up of dock infill.

Area B This site is open brownfield land made up of dock infill

Area C This accommodates the two Decathlon warehouses.

Area D This site used to accommodate warehouse units and car park. Planning permission has been recently granted for residential/live work units and a fitness centre.

Area E A retail warehouse is located on this site, although a decision is expected shortly on a planning application for redevelopment of this site for a commercial scheme.

Area F This site is an overflow car park and petrol filling station. London Borough of Southwark own the headlease for this site and Site G below.

Area G is the site of Surrey Quays shopping centre which was completed in 1988. The centre comprises 26,013sqm (280,000 sqft) of retail space including Tescos, BHS, Boots and Dixons.

Area D and E have been included at this stage however they are both subject of planning applications and therefore may be developed separately.


5.0 Planning

Development proposals for Canada Water should recognise current policies both local and national, together with established and evolving guidance. Such policies are being increasingly geared towards urban area, mixed use, higher density development, all of which accords with the Council’s objectives for Canada Water. For more information on the policy background especially in relation to the local policies and information in respect of the consultative forum please refer to the Planning and Design Principles document and Technical Appendices.

Urban Task Force Report 1999

The Urban Task Force 1999 title “Towards an Urban Renaissance” published a report outlining a series of recommendations in respect of improving our towns and cities.

‘As density levels are increased – even to the moderate levels of 40 to 60 dwellings per hectare – the land take diminishes rapidly. More people are close enough to communal facilities to walk and an efficient bus service can be made viable. Moreover, the critical mass of development contributes to the informal vitality of the streets and public places that attracts people to city centres and urban neighbourhoods as well as contributing to energy efficiency’.

The Urban White Paper published in 2000 outlines the Government’s commitment to urban regeneration in policy and financial terms.

Urban White Paper 2000

In summary, within the Urban White Paper the Government identifies the key issues which need to be addressed as follows.

a) accommodating the social changes, including the significant growth in the number of households.

b) encouraging people to remain in our cities.

c) dealing with the poor quality of life and lack of opportunity in some urban areas.

d) addressing the weak economic performance in some towns and cities.

e) making sustainable urban living practical and attractive.

The Government’s Urban White Paper states that its planning policies “do not mean cramming people closer and closer together. It means development at reasonable densities which protect open spaces and respect the need for privacy”

Planning Green Paper 2001

In December 2001 the government published the Planning Green Paper discussing proposed reforms to the planning system. This was followed by the publication of consultation documents on planning obligations, streamlined procedures for major infrastructure projects and compulsory purchase orders. The aim of the paper is to create a planning system that is fundamentally faster and fairer; a system that is easier to use, more accessible to all and more responsive to local demands.

Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 - Housing

The need for higher residential densities is emphasised in PPG3 Housing (DTLR 2000) which states that residential developments of less than 30 dwellings per hectare should be avoided, those with densities between 30 – 50 dwellings per hectare should be encouraged and densities should increase further at locations with good access to public transport.

Development sites should accommodate a mix of uses rather than a single use. PPG1 General Policy and Principles (1997) states that:

‘Within town centres, but also elsewhere, mixed use development can help create vitality and diversity and reduce the need to travel. It can be more sustainable than development consisting of a single use…. What will be appropriate on a particular site will be determined by the characteristics of the area – schemes will need to fit in with, and be complementary to, their surroundings and the likely impact on sustainability, overall travel patterns and car use’.

Planning Policy Guidance Note 6 Town Centre and Retail Development 1996

PPG 6 promotes mixed use developments within town centres. The guidance encourages the development of town centre sites in advance of edge of centre sites. PPG 6 also aims to reduce the use of the private car and encourage the use of alternative forms of transport including public transport, cycling and walking. Public transport nodes should be easily accessible and integrated well within the town centre.

Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 – Transport 2001

PPG13 Transport (2001) clearly states the need to integrate land use and transportation planning. It highlights the importance of ‘key sites’ that are either in town centres or are close to transport interchanges, stating that local authorities should:

‘allocate or reallocate sites which are (or will be) highly accessible by public transport for travel intensive uses (including offices, retail, commercial leisure, hospitals and conference facilities), ensuring efficient use of land, but seek, where possible, a mix of uses including a residential element’.

The recent consultation document for London’s Spatial Development Strategy ‘Towards the London Plan’ (GLA 2001) seeks to encourage sustainable growth in London. There is a particular emphasis in the development decisions and existing and proposed public transport capacity. Therefore local authorities will be encouraged to identify development opportunities at accessible locations. The document states that:

‘These locations are likely to be in Central London, defined areas adjacent to it and town centres, but will also exist at strategic sites with good public transport capacity and accessibility, including transport interchanges. Development at these locations will be at higher densities than currently exist and with a mix of uses and housing tenures. The scale and mix of development will be determined by public transport access and by other local factors’.

Spatial Development Strategy Affordable Housing in London July 2001

This study is about the supply and potential supply of affordable housing. The potential supply is examined across all the London Boroughs. An important output of the study is a Model that estimates the financial viability of affordable housing delivery in each of the 33 boroughs.

The model developed for the GLA offers a platform for evaluating development economics and affordable housing (in relation to other planning contributions) both at the borough level and, with modifications, on a scheme specific basis.

London Borough of Southwark UDP

The Southwark Unitary Development Plan was adopted in 1995 and is currently under review. Until the new UDP is adopted, the relevant policies in the 1995 plan must still be considered.

The Canada Water area is designated as one of several Regeneration Areas within the Borough. In these regeneration areas the Council is seeking ‘to stimulate and direct private investment in partnership with the public sector to targeted areas of Southwark, to assist the local economy, improve the environment and meet community need’ (Objective R.2).

Additionally, Policy R.2.1 states that’ ……..In these Regeneration Areas, or others which may be designated later, planning permission will normally be granted for proposals which:

The site covered by this development brief (land north of Surrey Quays – BHSC 26) is designated as an ‘employment, housing, shopping and community facilities site’ on the UDP proposals map.

Canada Water Urban Study 1999

The Study emphasised that the Jubilee Line Extension ‘changes everything’ opening up a potential catchment area of 20 million people within one hours travel time. The Study concluded that the area needed new mixed use development with distinctive, high quality buildings, taking advantage of views towards Canada Water and the Thames and based on traditional relationships to streets with active frontages and better connectivity to its hinterland.

A series of topic papers have been prepared by the Canada Water Consultative Forum these are included in the separate document titled Technical Appendices.


6.0 Transport

Getting to and from Canada Water by tube and road is relatively straight forward. Although road and tube congestion, the range of tube destinations served, local bus routing, and the general accessibility of the Peninsula could and should all be significantly improved. Movement within the area, primarily by bus, walking and cycling also requires consideration and investment in order to create a place that is safe, easy, attractive and convenient to move around.

Harnessing the transport potential at Canada Water, through developing and implementing a comprehensive and co-ordinated transport strategy, will be key to ensuing the area’s transition from place that happens to be located close to important transport infrastructure to a vibrant, accessible, sustainable, mixed use centre.


7.0 Selection Procedure and Timetable

Key to the public sector’s consideration of the responses will be the developers ability to demonstrate strength as a business and initial consideration of the project, based on limited knowledge at present, but with substantial practical experience of similar projects elsewhere, both in the UK and abroad.

Developers who are interested in being considered for appointment, as Master Developer Partner should provide written responses to the issues raised below;

The process set out below may be adjusted depending on the level of interest. The process may have one, two or three phases, during which the following submissions will be reviewed:


A Background of the Developer

B Masterplan/Design Approach

A strategy for working with the Council and landowners to deliver mixed use regeneration.

C Financial

a) The Council retains its current land ownership and is therefore an investor in the project as well as a facilitator.

b) The Council sells its land ownership to the MDP, and only retains a facilitator role within the project.


Developers are able to make more than one bid, based on different floorspace requirements, if they wish to do so. The requirements of this brief will apply to all bids.

In preparing submissions, queries in relation to the site are to be made through GVA Grimley in writing.

Six copies of the submission should be provided (one unbound). Details of the financial offer and proposed legal framework should be sent under separate cover.

An executive summary of each submission should also be provided (no more than 2 sides of A4) together with an electronic summary of the submission in PDF format no more than 10 pages long to be displayed on the Canada Water web site. Developers are also asked to submit one image (in PDF format) that encapsulates their vision for Canada Water that will be used in press releases etc.

The bids should be addressed to George Bennett, Property Division, Southwark Council, Chiltern House, Portland Street, London SE17 2ES by no later than [Approx September 2002]. Proposals submitted by telephone, fax, or e mail will not be acceptable. If you require any further information in advance of submitting the proposals please contact the individuals highlighted below;



Simon Davis

Kate Hyner

GVA Grimley

10 Stratton Street



Tel: 0870 900 89 90

Fax: 020 7911 2560

E Mail:

Jackie Rose

Canada Water Consultative Forum

Time & Talents

St Marychurch Street

London SE16

Stephen Platts

Adam Faulkner

Pascale Rosenbloom

London Borough of Southwark

Southwark Property

Chiltern House

Portland Street


SE17 2ES

Tel: 020 7525 5321

Fax: 020 7525 5329


Kevin Campbell

Marcus Wiltshere

Urban Initiatives

35 Heddon Street



Tel: 020 7287 3644

Fax: 020 7287 9489

Consultation Protocols

During the preparation of submissions and the evaluation process developers are encouraged to consult with the public and community groups. However to ensure fairness and consistency all contact should follow Environmental Impact Legislation for community consultation.

(Protocol to be discussed at Forum Meeting 13 May 2002)




The assumed timetable for selection is as follows:


Misrepresentation Clause

The Consultant Team for themselves and as agents for the Council, give notice that;

The information contained in this Brief is intended for general guidance of intended purchasers and neither the Consultant Team nor the Council, on whose behalf this Brief is provided, accept responsibility for any inaccuracies the Brief may contain. Any intending purchasers should not rely on this document as a representation of fact, but should satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise of its correctness. All measurements are approximate.

The Brief does not form any part of any offer or contract.

Neither the Consultant Team nor any of their employees has any authority, either orally or in writing, to make or give any representations or warranties in relation to the property.

Unless otherwise stated, all prices and rents are quoted exclusive of VAT.

If you wish to pursue this opportunity and are not represented by Property Advisors, you should be aware of the “Code of Practice for Commercial Property Leases in England and Wales”, which we support and a copy of which we will gladly supply.

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Bulletin 37
Planning and Design Principles and Technical Appendices