An event to celebrate 10 years and 13 issues of Southwark magazine attracted world-renowned developers and investors, as the latest edition was launched last night (16 July) at One the Elephant.
The venue is part of the ongoing regeneration of Elephant and Castle, which Lendlease has been developing in partnership with Southwark Council for the last five years. Lendlease was the sponsor for the event, as well as the host.
In attendance were other key developers involved with Southwark’s transformation over the last 10 years, including British Land, Berkeley Homes, Countryside, Linden Homes, Grosvenor, Development Securities, St George and Taylor Wimpey, as well as Irvine Sellar, one of the industry’s most determined and visionary investors, responsible for the completion of The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe.
The leader of Southwark Council, Peter John, spoke about the borough’s transformation over the last decade. He said: “The first Southwark magazine carried beautiful CGIs of a building called The London Bridge Tower at that stage – now known as The Shard. The fact it has been built in that 10 year period is remarkable. It has changed the skyline of London and certainly put Southwark on the map in a way that I don’t think any of us could have predicted.
"It is down to a lot of the work you have read about in the magazine over the last 10 years – work which is not just changing the face of London, but delivering jobs, homes, leisure opportunities, restaurants and bars for all Londoners and particularly for Southwark residents."
Rob Heasman, land and planning director for Lendlease, summarised the progress of the Elephant and Castle project since the developer signed a contract with Southwark Council to regenerate the Heygate estate five years ago.
He said that within the next year, 1,500 of the 3000 planned homes in the area will “either be coming out of the ground or be complete”. At Elephant Park alone, 360 are under construction and Heasman also pointed to fact that Lendlease had created 400 jobs for residents, around half of which he said went to people who were previously unemployed. “It just goes to show that the housing gets the headlines but actually regeneration is about a lot more than that,” he added.
Speaking about Southwark magazine, he said: “It is really important to us because it brings together a collection of developers who have a common interest to get projects going.
“Over the last five years, Southwark has delivered more homes in London than any other borough in the capital. That can only be done with a collaborative approach.”
"We've already surpassed one degree of global warming," said Kristen Buida, manager of the London Climate Change Partnership.