Thursday, August 22, 2013

Planning notification: 40 storey buildings at Canada Water

The 42 storey HSBC Tower. Canary Wharf
Photograph by Clive Power
The 15th August edition of Southwark News, which I've only just got around to reading, has a planning notification regarding the Canada Water area of Rotherhithe, which has been going through planning hoops for years.  I am, as usual with Southwark's planning strategy, confused.  The planning page for this application says that the target decision date is/was 14th May 2013, which is of course in the past, so I have no idea why they are publishing the planning request again.

If you are new to the area or have missed the consultation process, planning reference 12/AP/4126 concerns the demolition of the existing buildings on the site of the Decathlon and What retail stores (sites C and E) and the erection of five buildings ranging from 5 to 40 storeys. You can find full details at the Southwark Council website:

Such a shame. Ontario Point, the new monolith next to Canada Water station, is a 26 storey building and that's already too massive. 40 Storeys is the size of Norman Foster's Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe), whilst the vast new Strata building at Elephant and Castle, is just three storeys taller at 43 floors.  The solidly dull HSBC tower in Canary Wharf is, at 42 storeys, joint 4th tallest building in the UK.

There's a useful Wikipedia page, for future reference, that shows the tallest buildings in London, just to enable one to get some sort of perspective on the sheer scale of some of these proposals and to get an idea of what sort of impact some of these planning applications are likely to have on the area, both practically and aesthetically. 


Sean said...

Residential floors are generally much lower than office floors, so it's better to compare height in metres or feet rather than floor count. But when doing so you have to look out for the initials AOD which stand for Above Ordinance Datum and mean height above sea level rather than ground level - although at Canada Water that won't make more than a few metres difference. The tallest one here is 150m, so about the same as Strata SE1 at Elephant and Castle which is 148m, but quite a bit smaller than the Gherkin (180m) or the HSBC tower (200m).

Andie said...

Thanks Sean. Sorry it took me a while to publish your comment - I've been in Paris. Thanks for the information - very useful. I'll bear that in mind for the future.