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Elephant regeneration race reaches final stage

The £1.5 billion Elephant & Castle regeneration is about to be "lifted off the drawing board and put into action" as the competition to find a developer reaches its final stage.

Elephant regeneration race reaches final stage
Bird\'s eye view sketch from north of the new civic square currently occupied by the northern roundabout.

Southwark Council has received highly detailed stage three submissions from consortia led by St Modwen and Lend Lease.

The Oceancrest consortium, which reached the second stage a year ago, did not submit a third-stage document.

"The plans that local people have endorsed to transform the Elephant and Castle are now being lifted off the drawing board and put into action," says Cllr Richard Thomas, executive member for regeneration.

"This project needs a developer that shares Southwark Council's enthusiasm, passion and commitment, and with these bids, it is clear that the prospective developers are dedicated to creating a stunning place for residents, businesses, shoppers, tourists, school children and families.

"We always knew the project would attract some of the biggest names in the industry, and that's no surprise when the competition is for one of the most important projects in Europe. But this is not just about world class names, it's seeing how those names can transform the area for all those who live and work there.

"The whole process is swinging into action, and there will be an extremely detailed examination of the bids. This is not a beauty contest, and it is now our job to choose the consortium that can bring the best scheme to the residents of Southwark in terms of housing, retail and green and open space.

"In short, to ensure the Elephant and Castle fulfils its potential to become one of the best places in London to live, work, study and play.

"This is a huge responsibility for the council, and local people can be assured that we will select a bidder with high-quality proposals and a vision that is built to last."

What the developers say

Speaking after submitting their bid, Richard Powell of Lend Lease said: "It's been a tough competition involving a huge amount of effort, but our team, including Lend Lease, First Base and Oakmayne, is passionate about the opportunity of delivering such an exciting and important project.

"We understand and share Southwark's vision for the Elephant and Castle and we very much hope to be selected as the community's development partner to build on the momentum achieved to date and deliver the transformation of the area."

Anthony Glossop, chairman of St Modwen Properties – owners of the shopping centre – said: "We committed ourselves to the Elephant and Castle redevelopment in 2001 and our desire to be involved in the redevelopment remains as strong as ever.

"In the many meetings we have held with Southwark Council's officers and members we have been delighted to find that we share the same aspirations and vision.

"The selection process has brought out the best in St Modwen and we were extremely proud of our submission. We firmly believe our proposals will bring significant benefit to the wider community."

What happens next

Southwark Council says that it will now embark on an extremely detailed consultation of the submissions, and the executive is expected to make a decision before Christmas.

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