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British Land, which owns £9bn of property and takes in more than £400m of rent a year, has plans to build up to 3,000 homes at its 53-acre site at Canada Water in Southwark.

The government is lending the developer £100m via Homes England to finance site preparation, infrastructure and development costs.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher said that lending taxpayers money to private speculators was perfectly justified. “We want to deliver more homes and create strong communities where people want to live. Funding for schemes like Canada Water will help accelerate these ambitions,” he said.

Gordon More, interim chief executive of Homes England said: “British Land has a track record of investing for the long-term, creating sustainable places to live and work. Accelerating the delivery of one of the country’s most ambitious and transformative projects by three years is a huge achievement at any time, but to be doing it now, just when the country needs growth and new economic opportunities feels incredibly important.”

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