An artist impression of Wood Wharf
Regular readers will know that I often take an interest in the plans to build major developments in Canary Wharf and on the Isle of Dogs. I tend to be quite sceptical when I see artists impressions of massive tower blocks because the history of Canary Wharf and other areas suggest that the buildings do not always get developed due to a multitude of reasons. The Riverside development at Westferry Circus is a good recent example of grandiose schemes that hit problems and are mothballed often for years.
However the news of the Wood Wharf project being approved by Tower Hamlets council is perhaps more significant because the plans for more than 3,000 homes to be built is supported by the Canary Wharf Group and would represent the first extension to the financial district since the 2008.
The green bits illustrate much of the Wood Wharf development
Canary Wharf Group has been granted planning permission to build 30 buildings, comprising 4.9m square feet of homes, offices and shops, at Wood Wharf.
The building will be a mixture of residential and business with its centrepiece being a 211-metre 57-storey residential skyscraper facing the South Dock.
25% of the housing stock is earmarked as affordable housing with proposed new primary school, health facility and a library.
The creation of a mainly low-level mixed use area is a move away from the usual business orientated Canary Wharf Group and represents an effort to promote Canary Wharf as a place to live as well as work.
The proposed 57 storey building near South Dock
This attempt to diversify is probably sensible due to the large number of large building offering office space both in Canary Wharf and the City of London. The booming property market is another factor with Canary Wharf looking at the luxury end of the market.
It is expected some of the buildings will be completed at the same time as the arrival of Crossrail in 2018.
More than 100,000 people commute into Canary Wharf every day and it has been estimated that could double in ten years.
What all this means for rest of the Isle of Dogs is unclear, will the Wood Wharf development reduce the amount of development on the Island ? or will it increase it with developers cashing in on the arrival of Crossrail. Either way it will be an interesting development to follow in the next few years.