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Final designs for Elephant & Castle Leisure Centre go on show

The final designs for the redevelopment of the Elephant & Castle Leisure Centre have gone on display with just two weeks until the existing building is closed for demolition.

Final designs for Elephant & Castle Leisure Centre go on show
The proposed 36-storey residential development will help to fund the new leisure centre
New Elephant leisure centre
The proposed new leisure centre seen from St Mary's Churchyard

The new leisure centre and swimming pool, to be built on the western half of the site, will range from two to four storeys in height.

Designed by John McAslan and Partners and S&P Architects, the centre will have timber cladding facing St Mary's Churchyard Park, metallic cladding around the sports hall and a brick facade nearer the homes on Brook Drive.

The current leisure centre will shut at 5pm on Tuesday 5 June in preparation for the demolition of the building – even though a planning application for its replacement has not yet been lodged.

The centre will then be boarded up with demolition taking place in the summer and autumn.

The pedestrian walkway between the Metropolitan Tabernacle and the leisure centre will be closed from June 2012 to December 2015. Lighting in St Mary's Churchyard Park will be upgraded to provide a brighter walking route at night.

Fusion, which manages the centre on behalf of the council, is offering existing members of the Elephant leisure centre a free upgrade to allow access to any of the borough's other leisure centres.

Construction of the new leisure centre is expected to begin at the end of the year with completion due in summer 2014.

Southwark Council has sold the eastern half of the leisure centre site to Lend Lease who will build 284 homes in a 36-storey tower and 4-storey podium building alongside the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

Controversially, all of the homes are for sale on the open market and none are classed as 'affordable'.

The residential development, designed by Squire & Partners, is due for completion in spring 2016.

The most significant change to the scheme since the last public exhibition is a tentative proposal to extend the grass area of St Mary's Churchyard Park by 20 per cent and create a new 'pine grove' along the route to the new leisure centre entrance.

This would involve the relocation of the children's play area just four years after the park was re-landscaped by Martha Schwartz Partners.

• The public exhibition of the new designs continues on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 May (3pm-8pm)

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