Source: Donnr MB
Southwark Council is attempting to block the sale of the 14.5 acre printworks site at Harmsworth Quays, south-east London, to British Land.
Earlier this week the site’s leaseholder Daily Mail & General Trust announced that it had sold the site to British Land.
But this afternoon the council, which owns the freehold of the majority of the site, announced that it wishes to acquire the trust’s interest in the site and consult on plans to regenerate it.
In a statement, the council said: “Recent announcements in the press have led to speculation about the future ownership of Southwark Council’s freehold interest in Harmsworth Quays in Rotherhithe.
“The council notes the recent announcement that the Daily Mail & General Trust has entered into a conditional contract for the sale of its [leasehold] interest in the Harmsworth Quays site to British Land.
“Southwark Council, as freeholder of the majority of the site, has held discussions with both parties during which it has been made clear that for the foreseeable future the council does not intend to sell its freehold.”
Councillor Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, said: “Harmsworth Quays is of strategic importance for the regeneration of Canada Water. Following the announcement by the Daily Mail & General Trust of its intention to vacate the site, the council is about to begin a programme of public consultation on its future.
“This work will inform the review of the Canada Water Area Action Plan, the principle planning policy document for the area. Until this work is significantly more advanced the council feels that it would be premature to consider disposal of the site.”
The council’s statement added: “[Our] preferred way forward is to acquire the Daily Mail’s interest in the site with a view to delivering a mixed use scheme with a significant element of employment and commercial uses.”
The total site area is 14.5 acres, the freehold of which 1.9 acres is owned by Daily Mail & General Trust and the remaining 11.6 acres is owned by the council.
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