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Boris: work starts next year on 44-storey Elephant & Castle tower

The redevelopment of the London Park Hotel site at Elephant & Castle could finally be completed in 2017 under plans agreed this week by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Boris: work starts next year on 44-storey Elephant & Castle tower

This week Mayor of London Boris Johnson selected a new developer to build the Rogers Stirk Harbour-designed 360 tower on the London Park Hotel site overlooking St Mary's Churchyard at the Elephant & Castle.

The name of the developer – chosen from a shortlist of six – is due to be announced at the end of this month.

Construction work is due to start next spring with the tower timetabled for completion in 2016 and the low-rise element of the scheme due to be ready in 2017.

This means that a whole whole decade will have passed from the original decision to grant planning permission for the tower.

The scheme includes 470 homes with 282 to be sold on the open market and 159 shared ownership flats.

The GLA report approved by the Mayor this week indicates that the 29 social rented homes approved under the existing planning permission will be redesignated as 'affordable rent' properties at up to 80 per cent of market rent.

City Hall officers say they have received "in principle agreement" from Southwark Council for such a change.

The site was originally bought by Government regeneration agency English Partnerships with the express intention of developing affordable homes for key workers.

When English Partnerships was wound up the land passed to the Homes and Communities Agency and when that body's London portfolio was transferred to the Mayor of London the future of the site was placed in the hands of Boris Johnson.

The approved scheme includes a theatre space originally intended for Southwark Playhouse. Due to the uncertainty over the future of the Elephant scheme the theatre, currently based in Newington Causeway, has also won the right to return to London Bridge Station when construction work is completed there.

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