Infrastructure operator Network Rail has bought a development-opportunity site next to the Shard for around £100 million, it has been reported.
It has paid an undisclosed sum to Union Car Parks for adjoining sites in St Thomas Street and Fenning Street that have a total area of 0.575 acres, according to website CoStar.
It said the site was recommended by Southwark Council for a major residential development stepping down incrementally from the Shard tower.
However, it added that Network Rail was thought to have bought the sites to mitigate compensation that other developers may be entitled to if work on its Thameslink programme overruns.
"We've already surpassed one degree of global warming," said Kristen Buida, manager of the London Climate Change Partnership.