LONDON (Reuters) - London's Canary Wharf district has won permission to build 3,100 new homes alongside the headquarters of some of the world's biggest banks.
Canary Wharf in east London has evolved from derelict dockyards over the last 20 years to rival London's City financial district. Its skyscrapers house over 100,000 financial sector workers. The estate, made up mainly of offices, first said it was considering building homes in September last year.
The planned 20-acre Wood Wharf development will create a neighbourhood of homes, offices, shops, restaurants and cafes, said developer Songbird Estates - majority owner of Canary Wharf Group.
Building is expected to begin later this year, with the project's completion aimed to coincide with the introduction of the capital's Crossrail project - a 15 billion pound ($25 billion) railway link connecting east and west London - in 2018.
The plans for the development, which were approved by the local council on Monday after being submitted late last year, provide for 3,100 homes ranging from affordable housing to luxury penthouses, 2.57 million square feet of offices and over 100 shops, as well as a primary school and healthcare facility.
"This major eastern development of Canary Wharf will reinforce the district as one of London's most vibrant and dynamic mixed-use commercial and residential districts," said George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive of Canary Wharf Group.
The Wood Wharf development will also provide high-quality office space aimed at the technology, media and telecoms sector, said Iacobescu, as part of an ongoing strategy by the estate to appeal to clients outside of the financial sector.
The project will create more than 17,000 new jobs, 3,500 of which in the local community, said Songbird Estates.
Reporting by Jack Stubbs; Editing by Pravin Char