A thousand new flats will be going up at the Elephant and Castle roundabout, according to initial plans revealed by the owners of the shopping centre in an exhibition opening today, Thursday, July 9.
A three tier open-air retail area and a new campus for the London College of Communication (LCC) will also form part of the new ‘town centre’ scheme, which will sit on the site of the current shopping centre and LCC campus.
The first covered retail space in Europe has stood at the heart of the Elephant since it opened in March 1965, but was finally sold to the current owners in November 2013 for £80million. Delancey, which manages the site on behalf of the DV4 client fund and pension fund asset manager APG, has since remained tight-lipped over their plans for the site while businesses like the Coronet entertainment venue and independent traders at the shopping centre have voiced concerns about their future.
Today the initial outline plans are going on display within the shopping centre for the first time, in order to gain input and feedback from the local community. At this early stage the plans include 1,000 flats, which will be for rent to people living and working in London. It is not clear yet how many of these will be available at social rent levels. Council leader, Cllr Peter John, previously said he would not support a plan for 1,000 flats on that site put forward by former owners St Modwen in 2011, but the council since clarified this was a totally different scheme and his objection was not simply based on the number of units proposed.
The number of shops on the site will increase as an ‘open air space will be spread over three connected levels’ to be comprised of a ground floor of convenience shops connected to the tube station, a first floor level of high street shops and new restaurants and leisure on the second floor. There will also be a new Northern Line station entrance and ticket hall and the railway arches will be opened up to create new lines of access to the site.
The initial concept design for the overall site appears to include three tall towers facing the southern roundabout with no sign of the Coronet to the north – though manager Richard Littman is still waiting to hear if the building, with its original art deco interior, will be listed. Jamie Ritblat, on behalf of Delancey, DV4 and APG, said he wanted everyone to visit the exhibition over the next two days and have their say.
“We want people to be at the heart of our proposals for the revitalisation and renewal of the town centre,” he said. “In that spirit, local feedback is key to ensuring our vision corresponds with that of the local community and wider activities within the regeneration area. “This public exhibition will show for the first time our emerging plans to deliver a fantastic new town centre at the heart of Elephant and Castle.”
The exhibition is in the upper mall of the shopping centre today, Thursday, July 9, from 12noon till 8pm, tomorrow from 9.30am to 5pm and Saturday from 9.30am to 3pm. For those unable to attend the public exhibition, feedback can be given online at: www.elephantandcastletowncentre.co.uk