Plans for Canada Dock approved by Southwark Council
Last night, Southwark Council’s Planning Committee resolved in a unanimous vote to grant planning permission for plans for improvements to Canada Dock creating a dramatic new public space at the centre of British Land’s 53-acre Canada Water regeneration.
The approved plans will restore Canada Dock’s rich wetland habitat and provide a new boardwalk across the Dock as well as steps down to the water’s edge, an amphitheatre, dipping pond, and pergola. The plans will transform Canada Dock into a place where people can connect with nature, enjoy being close to the water, and come together as a community.
The approved plans comprise of three main elements to enhance the dock for all users, including:
- Improvements to wetland habitats, biodiversity, and water quality, including three distinct wetland habitats, seven new wetland islands, and over one kilometre of shallow edges. Reed beds, new plants, and trees will be planted, supporting a diverse range of plants, birds, and other animal species. The wetland has been designed by Townshend Landscape Architects with support from nature conservation specialists the London Wildlife Trust, who will continue to play an active role in the wetland’s management.
- New steps down to the water’s edge, with waterside seating, a new amphitheatre, pergola, and dipping pond to allow all members of the community to visit, enjoy, and learn about the heritage and ecology of the Dock. Also designed by Townshend Landscape Architects, the steps are designed to provide safe, inclusive accessibility for all members of the community.
- A new 170m long pedestrian boardwalk across the Canada Dock. This boardwalk will improve accessibility and connectivity within the town centre, connecting Canada Water Station with the new urban centre and providing a new way for people to experience the wetland and water without disturbing the environment. Designed by Asif Khan, the boardwalk is a one-of-a-kind architectural landmark inspired by the historic Surrey Docks, the deal porters who carried timber planks through the Docks, and the heritage of the Rotherhithe Peninsula.
We will also incorporate educational elements so people of all ages can learn about Canada Dock’s unique heritage and rich ecology.
Community input has shaped the vision and the plans for Canada Dock as a result of many years of conversations and consultation with local people, from as early as 2015 (you can review the outcomes of this early engagement here). We’d like to thank the 600 people who took the time to visit our virtual public consultation earlier this year and shared their ideas and comments about the proposals, as well as the local schools, community groups and charities we met with, whose influence helped shape the plans.
We plan to deliver these improvements to Canada Dock as part of the first phase of the development. We will therefore shortly be conducting ground condition surveys and water level monitoring within the dock over the course of approximately five weeks and will share more information on this website before starting the works. During the works, careful attention will be paid to avoiding nesting birds, providing alternative habitats to swans and other birds who visit the Dock, and mitigating long term disturbance to wildlife.
Further to the completion of the surveys and water level monitoring, we hope to start on site this year with the improvements being completed during 2023.
We are very excited that we are now able to turn our plans for Canada Dock into reality – and look forward to continuing to work with the community as we do so.