Plans for a new £3.3 billion ‘town centre’ in London to bring hundreds of new homes to the city have been approved.

The first step in British Land’s masterplan to “completely transform” the core area of Canada Water in south-east London was given the green light by Southwark Council on Tuesday.

The real estate firm’s long-term proposals for the 53-acre site, across the River Thames from Canary Wharf, include 3,000 new homes, 35 per cent of which will be affordable, around 2 million square feet of workspace for around 20,000 workers and one million square feet of retail, leisure, entertainment, education and community space.

An artist's impression of the new Canada Water development
An artist’s impression show a glimpse of a £3.3bn plan for a new ‘town centre’ in Canada Water, south-east London (Southwark Council/PA)

It will also create 12 acres of open space, including a 3.5 acre park, a new town square, and a new high street.

The current site includes Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Surrey Quays Leisure Park, printworks and the former Dock Offices courtyard.

Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “The masterplan provides the blueprint for an exciting new town centre that will provide thousands of new homes, particularly hundreds of new social rent homes, new jobs and opportunities, new open spaces and a brand new leisure centre for Rotherhithe in the first phase of the work.

“We look forward to working with British Land over the next few years to bring forward the plans and making sure our local residents are the beneficiaries of the opportunities the regeneration will provide.”

Chris Grigg, chief executive of British Land, added: “We have an incredible opportunity at Canada Water to create a vibrant neighbourhood for people to live, work and enjoy.”

An artist's impression of the £3.3bn Canada Water development
An artist’s impression shows an aerial view of the £3.3bn Canada Water development in south-east London (Southwark Council/PA)

British Land said the initial phase of construction will begin next year and covers three new buildings which will provide 265 new homes, a leisure centre, new public spaces, 330,000 square feet of workspace, and around 2,300 job.

Phase one is expected to be completed by 2024 while the full project is set to take 15 years to finish.

The first building will provide both residential and workspace, the second will be focused on workspace and a new leisure centre, with both buildings providing a small amount of retail at the ground floor.

The third building will be wholly residential.