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Elephant & Castle: tube station refurb cost is "final major hurdle" to regeneration deal

A final deal between Southwark Council and developers Lend Lease for the Elephant & Castle regeneration project is being held up by negotiations about the cost of rebuilding the Northern Line tube station.

Elephant and Castle subway
The scrutiny committee will ask whether there's light at the end of the tunnel for the long-awaited E&C regeneration

Southwark Council picked Lend Lease as its regeneration partner in July 2007 but the final development agreement has still to be signed. In August the two parties restated their commitment to work together to reach a deal.

"I, and officers, have had regular meetings with Lend Lease and we are continuing to work through various legal and financial issues to finalise the development agreement for the Elephant," says Cllr Paul Noblet, executive member for regeneration, in a written answer to questions from the council's overview and scrutiny committee.

"We are working with Lend Lease to produce a revised masterplan for the area so we can hit the ground running once the deal is signed, and have been very encouraged by Lend Lease's willingness to engage with us and to spend a large amount of money developing plans for the area.

"The final major hurdle to signing the agreement is the cost of renovating the Northern Line underground station. We have worked very closely with Lend Lease to negotiate with TfL over the finances of the project and are close to securing the final details."

On Monday the cross-party overview and scrutiny committee will question Cllr Noblet and deputy council leader Kim Humphreys about a range of issues relating to the Elephant and Castle, including the rehousing of current Heygate Estate tenants.

The continuing delay to the planned removal of the southern roundabout and subways at the Elephant & Castle is also likely to feature in the committee's discussions.

In another written answer published in advance of Monday's meeting, Cllr Noblet confirmed that he would be fighting hard to ensure that the remodelling of the road junction proceeds as intended.

"The whole of the executive is committed to seeing progress on the scheme, and as such, the Leader and Deputy Leader will meet Sir Simon Milton, from the Mayor's office, to discuss this and other regeneration issues," he said.

"I believe that London-wide government has confidence in Southwark to deliver this and other ambitious and high profile schemes. This confidence is well placed given the Council's success in regenerating Bermondsey Spa and the work which is ongoing at Canada Water.

"I and officers are working hard with the Government Office for London, the GLA, TfL and the Mayor and the Homes and Communities agency to deliver the best possible outcome for local residents."

• The overview and scrutiny committee meets at Southwark Town Hall, Peckham Road, SE5 at 7pm on Monday 3 November. The agenda and papers are available here.

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