Plans to demolish Surrey Quays shopping centre for vast Rotherhithe project

One of south east London’s largest new new development has been brewing for some time in Rotherhithe near Surrey Quays and Canada Water stations.

This project sees the 1980s shopping centre demolished. Surrey Quays Shopping Centre was built in 1988 and includes a then-typical out-of-town shopping centre within a large area of surface car parking.

In 2018 detailed plans were submitted for the first stage with regular amendments since, with an ultimate plan for 3,000 new homes and 20,000 jobsthough “redevelopment of the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, former Harmsworth Quays Printworks and Surrey Quays Leisure Park, part of the Canada Water Dock, the former Rotherhithe Police Station, former Dock Offices Courtyard and land at Roberts Close.”

Tower designs are not finalised with some opposition

The planning application currently live only has detailed plans for three plots. Plot A1 has 186 residential units in a 6 and 34 storey building (though that could be cut back).

The tower does appear the weakest element of the entire scheme in terms of design. It has attracted opposition from some quarters due to height, but even ignoring that for a second it’s a dull, lumpen box from some angles.

Plot A2 provides a leisure centre, retail and workspace. Plot K1 would provide 79 residential units, an interim petrol station.

Green space in new development

The police station was mostly closed in 2013 with final vacancy happening in 2018.

British Land (who recently purchased a large plot in Woolwich) aim to “provide 35% “affordable” housing by habitable room”

Pedestrian-only retail thoroughfare

Greenwich Council have been asked for their opinion. This scheme lies two stops further along from North Greenwich station and will have a sizable impact on commuters. Plans for new homes in Greenwich continue to rise. Knight Dragon last month revealed they are looking at adding over 1,000 more homes to the near-16,000 target.

The site is near Rotherhithe Tunnel, and if Silvertown Tunnel proceeds and is tolled alongside the adjacent Blackwall Tunnel more traffic can be expected to head from east Greenwich heading west to Rotherhithe passing this site – which will bring additional vehicle movements.

Timberyard site

The 1,132 home Timberyard development is currently under construction and the 3,500 home Convoys Wharf finally appears to be moving forward.

Convoys Wharf site on right beside Thames


Developers behind the Surrey Quays shopping centre are British Land, and they’re  looking at a “potential new station entrance to Surrey Quays Overground Station” though that goes nowhere near addressing issues of capacity on both the London Overground and Jubilee Line.

Plans for new Jubilee Line trains were scrapped in late 2017 with TfL blaming reducing passenger numbers. Since then growth has rebounded strongly.

A plan for a pedestrian and cycling bridge was scrapped last month with tentative plans for a ferry – though there is no word on frequencies, running times nor  whether it will be free.

A large number of other schemes are underway in the vicinity:

    • Mulberry Business Park (Kings College London) – The creation of 770
      new student beds along with 33 affordable homes and approximately
      4,500 sq m of new office floorspace.
    • Decathlon (Notting Hill Housing Association and Sellar) – Construction
      has begun on the first phase of this mixed-use scheme comprising up to
      1,030 residential units, retail, office, community and leisure uses as well
      as a new Decathlon store. The scheme includes a 150m (40 storey)

  • Quebec Quarter (London and Quadrant) – Construction is ongoing on a
    scheme for 366 residential units, retail, community and leisure uses on
    Quebec Way.
  • 24-28 Quebec Way (London Square) – Construction is ongoing on a
    scheme for 94 residential units and flexible commercial space on Quebec
  • Albion Primary School – permission granted for a six-storey building to
    provide 50 residential units.

Southwark Council will receive these sums from this scheme alone:

  • Estimated council tax contributions of £3.6 million per year
  • Estimated business rates payments amounting to £62.8 million per
  • New Homes Bonus funding of £18.6 million (over a four-year period)
  • CIL payments to the Mayor of London and Southwark Council are
    estimated at £90m subject to the ultimate mix of land uses coming

To see the hundreds of documents related to this scheme click here.



Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

You can support me via Paypal here

Another option is via Patreon by clicking here

You can also buy me a beer/coffee at Ko-fi here

There's also a Facebook page for the site here

Many thanks

J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

One thought on “Plans to demolish Surrey Quays shopping centre for vast Rotherhithe project

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.