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Council endorses Elephant plans

Southwark Council members have endorsed the early development and investment plans for the Elephant and Castle regeneration.

The plans, which build on the Emerging Framework Principles document released last month, outline specific regeneration projects that will take place at four areas around the Elephant and Castle. These regeneration projects are not only part of the area's overall redevelopment plan, but will also assist in the rehousing of residents from the Heygate Estate which is due to be replaced.

The council has undertaken an extensive survey programme with Heygate residents and found that the majority wish to be rehoused in the Elephant and Castle area. To meet this demand approximately 1000 new houses will be built in mixed use tenure schemes catering for Heygate residents. Some housing will also be offered for sale.

Houses will be split over four areas across the Elephant and Castle. These areas are Harper Road, Rodney Road, St. Mary's Churchyard and South Newington. The council will shortly be announcing details of a demonstration housing project at Wansey Street.

There will be two phases to the housing programme. The first phase will see new houses being built across the areas mentioned above. This will be undertaken via development of council owned sites and by securing affordable housing on privately developed residential schemes where possible. The second phase will see new houses built in the new space made available through the removal of the Heygate Estate.

Prior to any work taking place in these areas, the council has pledged to undertake opinion testing of local residents to find out their views of how investment and redevelopment in their areas might make them better places. The findings will then be used to help produce detailed proposals for the areas and inform the overriding aim of providing early development that brings benefits to residents before any commercial activity takes place.

The council claims that all new housing will be built to latest specifications and design. Environmental considerations such as heating, insulation and energy use will also be addressed.

Catherine Bowman, Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: "This decision increases the momentum in regenerating the Elephant and Castle. By focusing on the needs of all the local people and areas we can deliver early benefits for local residents and new housing which will enable the wider scheme to go ahead. I am determined that these schemes will offer the highest quality of design and be an example of what can be achieved throughout the Elephant and Castle."

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