The Isle of Dogs is getting a new community just to the east of Canary Wharf, after Boris Johnson signed off on development plans for Wood Wharf.
Wood Wharf, currently a strip of semi-derelict land between Blackwall Basin and South Dock, will be transformed into a place with 35,000 sqm of retail space, a hotel, business units, parks and public squares, and 3,610 new homes. There are also sensible plans for a new school, community centre and doctor's surgery, bringing some infrastructure into this new neighbourhood.
The hope is that the regeneration will create 17,000 jobs, with the other big talking point being new housing. The most eyecatching proposal is a 57 storey cylindrical tower designed by Herzog & de Meuron, which we've dubbed 'The Loofah'. At least 25% of Wood Wharf's new homes will be 'affordable', with the possibility that could rise to 40%. However, once again we feel compelled to point out that 'affordable' housing doesn't always mean what it sounds like. About 80% of the 'affordable' homes will be up for 'affordable rent', which can mean tenants being charged up to 80% of local market rates. In Canary Wharf, at current rent levels, that would be around £290 a week (£1,247 a month) for a two bedroom flat. The rest of the 'affordable' property will be intermediate housing, like shared ownership.
The first phase of the plans should be in place for the arrival of Crossrail to Canary Wharf in 2018.