New Elephant centre plans expected 'by Christmas'

By Jim Dunton - Wed 23 October 2013, 3:26 pm

Developer St Modwen is likely to unveil new plans for the redevelopment of the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre by Christmas, Southwark Council leader Peter John has revealed.

In a written answer to  a question posed by another elected member, Councillor John said confirmation earlier in the summer that local road layouts would be remodelled and an “enhanced” Northern Line Underground station provided had given St Modwen the “clarity” required to put together a new scheme.

As Southwark Magazine reported in May, St Modwen and shopping centre co-owner Salhia Real Estate’s earlier plans to redevelop the centre were opposed by the council and its main regeneration partner Lend Lease.

Councillor John said the centre was a “vital gateway” to the new Heygate redevelopment and that the authority was prepared to make its Compulsory Purchase Order powers available to support the right scheme.

“The site is constrained by roads on three sides and a railway viaduct on the fourth,” he said.

“There are many businesses operating within it and there are inevitably third party interests which will need to be acquired to enable a consented and viable scheme to go ahead.

“The council understands that many of the leases are likely to expire around 2015/16 however some do not and therefore it is likely that a CPO may be needed to enable development to proceed. All of these factors mean that any timetable is inevitably provisional at this time.

“However, subject to planning, CPO, other legal issues and commercial considerations we would expect the owners to start development from 2016/17.”