Easing the impact of the E&C Development Framework

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Sunday 6 May 2007 2.06pm
I'm a 5th year (= final year masters) architecture student at the Architectural Association.

I'm developing a (for now unofficial) strategy that will run alongside the official Elephant & Castle Development Framework (DF) that aims to ease the massive social, economic, infrastructural and physical disruption caused by the DF.

My strategy operates on the outer edge of the DF and is a combination of buildings, urban layouts, rules, timetables, social structures and so on.

I'm compiling a list of Elephant & Castle businesses / clubs / organisations / facilities used by local people that are being / going to be pushed out of the area by the DF. I am using this list as an inventory for the buildings / structures etc that need to be included in my design.

My list currently covers all of the shops, cafes etc in the Shopping Centre and Castle House (including Castello's, now in Bermondsey), the shops and businesses / community support centres in the Heygate Estate along Rodney Road, Corsica Studios and other businesses in the railway arches, the Market stalls around the Shopping Centre, the Heygate Drop-in Centre, the Heygate Tenants' Hall, playgrounds, church halls, the Leisure Centre, and so on.

I'm quite sure that I've missed important things off my list - particularly community support groups / organisations that use premises in the area that will be demolished.

Can anyone help me expand my list?

Thanks, Tim
Sunday 6 May 2007 4.18pm
May I say, with caution, that all the shops are being offered alternative space inthe development..that they may not think it worthwhile, big enough, too expensive etc., is another matter....
Monday 7 May 2007 5.01pm
Jackie, valid point. What seems to be missing though is the safety net when
(1) the retailers / businesses can't afford the rent - quite possible in e.g. Oakmayne Plaza where rents will ratchet up to 'market levels' 5 years after the moving in date and
(2) when project delays results in a gap between 'eviction' and new premises being available, leaving businesses with no local premises out of which to operate.
Tim
Tuesday 8 May 2007 5.53am
Well the plan, and I emphasise, the PLAN, is that the new will be built before the demolishment of the old...hence the demolition of the Shopping Centre is planned for 2010, allowing for the new commercial areas to be ready. Whether or not this works out in practice is of course an open question....
Tuesday 8 May 2007 9.47am
I think this is an extremely worthy project - I hope it goes well and I'd be very interested in seeing the final strategy you come up with.

Tim d wrote:
(including CastelloĂ¯¿½s, now in Bermondsey)

Just to say that the Castello's in Castle House has not relocated to Bermondsey - the Bermondsey restaurant has been around for a long time and as far as I'm aware (or last read on a thread on the Multiplex Tower!) the E+C Castello's has simply stopped trading. (But someone will correct me if I'm wrong on that.)

As well as the businesses and other organisations you mention above a lot of the impact will fall on the area surrounding the E+C that are designated for development to help with the decanting of Heygate tenants. Buildings will have to go up in every nook and cranny in order to make the whole scheme work. There was a thread here about a playground on the Gaywood estate:

http://www.london-se1.co.uk/forum/read/1/55542

A much more contentious designation as an early housing site was Dickens Square in the Rockingham Estate (with particular worries about the effect on the adventure playground there) - I'm afraid I'm not 100% sure whether the efforts to overturn that succeeded or not, I will email someone to find out what the status of that is now (or one one of the many helpful people on the site will probably be able to say straight away or navigate the Council's website better than me to find out).

There are a host of other little sites dotted around the E+C area designated for development but only people very local to the site will be able to say whether the building will have a particularly negative impact on them.

A good place to look for an overview of these would be the objections to the original draft UDP for Southwark and the Inspector's report if you haven't already glanced at those.
Tuesday 8 May 2007 3.38pm
Tigris - and the little row of Rodney Road shops that are seen as something of a lifeline for the people who are just that little bit further afield than the Heygate, but impacted on all the same.
Wednesday 9 May 2007 6.49pm
Neil wrote:
a lot of the impact will fall on the area surrounding the E+C that are designated for development to help with the decanting of Heygate tenants.

Thanks Neil (and chustler), very good points.

The issue raised in my mind with for example Dickens Square is that not only might the physical space disappear, but so will the regular events that take place there: the events connected with the Spring Festival, Sustainability week, and so on.

Neil wrote:
A good place to look for an overview of these would be the objections to the original draft UDP for Southwark and the Inspector's report if you haven't already glanced at those.

I have the Inspector's report, could you point me to the objections to the original draft UDP?
Thursday 10 May 2007 9.39am
Also delighted you're doing this Tim and would be interested in seeing your conclusions.

Local examples to me are the Brandon St and Stead Street Developments. The latter completely builds on a large car park which is currently largely used for those driving to East St Market and by a local garage business - and therefore underused on weekdays (when it is paying), empty evenings/night and very busy indeed at weekends.

The original UDP (I think) envisaged that a large part of Nursery Row park would be removed too - but this was reduced in scope (I believe) after protest. However the consultation & planning application has been delayed (cf http://www.elephantandcastle.org.uk/businessandcommunity/newhousingsitedevelopements/) and therefore the actual impact and proposals for this site remain unclear. Whilst the car park is an eyesore and feels dangerous at night, the impact on East St market of getting rid of it (if this is what is proposed), especially at weekends, is unclear to me, although I am sure it is consistent with policy.

Also, as chustler says, it involves the replacement of the existing shops in Rodney Rd with new ones in a huge building (presumably at increased rent). Works on "improving" Nursery Row park are now underway - perhaps this is seen as a carrot to ease the pain of the development, although I've not seen it linked.
Saturday 12 May 2007 1.16pm
Luke, thanks for the point about the parking lots. I guess more people will have to use public transport to get to the East Street market in future. That and the loss of overflow facilities for the neighbouring garages need to be addressed somehow in my strategy.

I'm not sure whether the Wadding/Stead Street developments would actually contain replacement premises for Tigris & other shops on the block that's being demolished to make way for the developments themselves. It would make sense, and it raises the question where they would be housed in the interim during construction. If they're housed too far away from their current site, there's a risk of large disruption to their customer base. It's something I've been working on.
Saturday 12 May 2007 8.44pm
Interesting article in FT today, no idea if it is more than a puff for the developers

http://search.ft.com/ftArticle?queryText=elephant&aje=true&id=070512001057
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