Two new 'Opportunity Areas' planned for Southwark

By Jim Dunton - Wed 15 January 2014, 4:00 pm

Canada Water and the Old Kent Road have been identified as new jobs-and-homes 'Opportunity Areas' in the latest revisions proposed to the London Plan.

London mayor Boris Johnson’s suggestions feature in the document Further Alterations to the London Plan.

Canada Water and the Old Kent Road would be new additions to the capital's existing 33 Opportunity Areas, seen as the city's major sources of brownfield land for redevelopment, along with public transport and infrastructure improvements.

According to the new document, Canada Water has the potential to provide a minimum of 3,500 new homes and 2,000 new jobs through mixed-use regeneration of infill sites and the intensification of existing commercial sites across a 46-hectare footprint.

“Subject to retail demand, Canada Water may evolve to become a major town centre in the network and the scope for a substantial increase in the minimum new homes target and employment capacity should be explored,” it said, adding that developments planned by King’s College could also lead to the creation of a “science cluster”.

The inclusion of 114ha of the Old Kent Road “corridor” in the plan relates to the potential for London Underground to extend the Bakerloo Line to the area.

Johnson’s latest proposals say the area has “significant  potential” for residential development, indicating a minimum new homes figure of 2,500 and the possible creation of 1,000 new jobs.

According to the document: “The employment and minimum homes figures above should be explored further and refined in a planning framework for the area and through a review of the strategic industrial location and capacity to accommodate a phased rationalisation of its functions in the Opportunity Area or reprovision elsewhere.

Johnson said the addition of the two new Opportunity Areas to the London Plan would help the capital reach the 42,000-new-units-a-year target he set in a housing strategy document published in November last year.

“As the capital continues to flourish over the next few years, we will need to create over half a million new jobs and a million more people will have to be housed,” he said.

"That’s why it is crucial that we plan strategically for the future, to ensure we have a cleaner, greener, safer city that abounds opportunity, talent and economic activity.”

Further Alterations to the London Plan is now subject to a 12-week consultation process.

The mayor’s office said a finalised version was expected to be adopted by the middle of next year.