With Tower Hamlets Council yesterday giving planning permission for a multi-billion pound extension of Canary Wharf, contractors will begin work before the year is out.
Canary Wharf Group plans to build a net 4.9m sq ft (6.5m sq ft gross) mixed use development at Wood Wharf, which is the eastern continuation to the existing Canary Wharf district.
The scheme will result in a further 30 big tower blocks at Canary Wharf, with roughly half the new space for apartments, making Canary Wharf a place to live as well as work. Completion of the first phase of this development will coincide with the arrival in 2018 of the Crossrail train service at Canary Wharf.
The new Canary Wharf neighbourhood will provide a net 2.6m sq ft (3.4m sq ft gross) of residential space, including 3,100 new homes, ranging from park-side townhouses to high-rise buildings designed by signature architects. Among the new tower blocks will be a network of parks and public squares with approximately nine acres of interconnected public spaces, including 1km of dock-edge walkways.
The new district will also include net 1.9m sq ft of office space (2.6 sq ft gross), targeting the media, technology and telecoms sectors.
The masterplan by Allies & Morrison also includes a primary school, an NHS medical centre, a community centre, a hotel and more than 100 high street shops, restaurants and cafes.
Canary Wharf Group chairman and CEO Sir George Iacobescu said: "We are very pleased to have worked in collaboration with Tower Hamlets and the local community in helping to achieve this important planning permission. This major eastern development of Canary Wharf will reinforce the district as one of London's most vibrant and dynamic mixed-use commercial and residential districts. It will combine new high quality offices aimed at the fast emerging TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) sector; a wide variety of high street shops and restaurants, and a range of new housing opportunities designed around generous newly created public spaces. We expect to be on site in the fourth quarter of 2014, with the first buildings to be occupied as early as the end of 2018."