British Land has received outline planning approval for the first phase of the £1.5bn Canada Water development in east London.

Last night, British Land and joint venture partner partner Canada Quays, which is run by former English Partnerships chief executive David Taylor, were given approval by Southwark Council for site ‘A’, close to Needleman Street, and site ‘B’, adjacent to Surrey Quays Road, which are largely vacant and owned by the council.

The plans for these sites, which cover around 8 acres (3.2 ha), include more than 800 new homes, retail space, a library and a civic square.

The council signed a ten-year development agreement in March 2005 with British Land and Canada Quays, which will see the regeneration of 40 acres (16.2 ha) of Canada Water, SE16.

Over the past year more than 200 meetings have been held in consultation with the community and interested parties to develop the plans.

Taylor, speaking on behalf of BL/Canada Quays, said: ‘We can now move forward to the next stage of the process to prepare detailed designs for the early phases of the scheme.’