Residents oppose bridge for controversial £4billion 53-acre Canada Water plan which they say will damage area

Neighbours who oppose a £4billion revamp of Canada Water and Surrey Quays are furious about further details which emerged this week.

Fresh pictures of the new London village with 3,000 homes and a massive pond have been published.

Canada Water would get a new town centre under the huge regeneration plans.

The images, released by Southwark council, show the new pond, dock walkway and giant pergola that are also proposed as part of the multimillion pound project.

The developer, British Land, says it is one of London’s largest regeneration schemes, covering 53 acres.

As part of the plans, a new red timber bridge would be constructed across Canada Water Dock, from the station to the town centre.

A six-metre tall pergola would be built on the south side of the dock for visitors to shade from the sun while relaxing by the water.

The dock would also get a new 15-metre wide, circular dipping pond – free for people to use throughout the day.

Southwark Council documents say: “The quality of the dock environment has declined over the years, and its ecological status is compromised as a result of low water levels and limited management of its planting.

“The dock surrounds offer little by way of public facilities or activity and the contribution to public realm is limited.

“The dock is strongly related to the identity of Canada Water, and the proposal offers an opportunity to significantly improve the dock as a key destination within the town centre.”

Southwark planning chiefs say the development will boost the biodiversity of the area, as well as provide a new spot for local residents to relax in.

But conservationists fear encouraging people to use the area could disturb wildlife.

Commenting on the plans, one resident said: “[The] proposal is a terrible idea, this is not a toy town pond, it is a wildlife natural ecological lake.”

Another said: “[I] don’t believe boardwalk is worth the sacrifice of local nature and don’t believe local residents have expressed a desire for this.”

Once completed, the Canada Water project will provide two million square ft of offices and a million square ft of leisure space, according to developer British Land.

It says: “We have a Master Development Agreement with Southwark Council to deliver a new town centre, with a mix of uses and innovative public spaces designed for a range of ages, incomes and life stages.

“Set around water and green public spaces, together we will create a vibrant destination where people can live, work and be entertained.”

Residents formed an action group called G7, and raised more Than £27,000 to launch a High Court challenge which was rejected in November 2020.

Steve Cornish, 67, chairman of Friends of Russia Dock Woodland, a group which protects The 45-acre woodland and connected Stave Hill Ecological park.

He said: “Any developer, or council, will have to fight us tooth and nail.”

Locals fear shade from the large building due To be built on plot K1, in Roberts Close, could kill the award-winning Butterfly sanctuary on Stave Hill Ecological park, and casst the playgrounds of Alfred Salter and St John’s Catholic primary schools into shadow.

The Canada Water Masterplan has also been criticised for segregating social housing from private housing.

A spokesman for British Land, said after the court case: “We will now continue to work with Southwark council and other partners to deliver The Canada Water Masterplan which will support around 20,000 jobs and provide 3,000 new homes, at least 35% of which will be affordable.”

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