Editorial: Don’t bet on the Old Kent Road getting London’s first alligator park

(24 January, 2020)

But never say never - and we know some of our readers will snap at the opportunity

34259A CGI of the idea

Snap poll – will the Old Kent Road be home to London’s first alligator park?

At risk of disappointing, the short answer is probably not any time soon.

The idea is the brainchild of the developer Avanton, who has proposed it as one of three ideas for their Gasholder site.

The historic gasholder would be converted into alligator tanks in the centre of a development with housing and offices.

But Avanton admits it has not yet met with Southwark Council to discuss its ideas, much less gotten around to submitting a planning application.

It adds that it would not go ahead with the idea without consulting animal experts about the suitability of the Old Kent Road housing alligators.

On two fronts, this throws up hurdles for Avanton’s alligator attraction. An animal welfare charity has slammed the idea, saying the development is not appropriate for the creatures.

Councillors too have reacted with bemusement, labelling it a “joke”. Alligators should stick to the swamps of Louisiana, thinks one Old Kent Road representative.

It seems, then, a safer bet that the Gasholder will actually end up being a “an artistic garden with water-features” or “a large lido”, the two other proposals for the structure.

But never say never – and if it does go ahead, we know some of our readers will snap at the opportunity to go and visit.


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