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Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre to endure

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Sunday 10 April 2011 7.40pm
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
Whom shall we ask?

Fristly, we should ask ourselves what we want from any regeneration and what we don't want. Then we should demand from the Council that they take serious what local people want via properly instituted and independent community forums. We should insist on accountability, transparency and commitment to what people want for their area.

None of this is easy but that's what we will need to do to avoid the regeneration creating a right pig's ear of the new housing, retail, open space and transport plans.
Sunday 10 April 2011 9.40pm
edd54 wrote:
I'm open minded to see this shopping centre refurb. I genuinely think with care it could be interesting. And I'd defo live in the shopping centre if apartments opened up! It has quite a kitch charm. I love a bit of the Ele centre.
However I echo everyone else's frustration. Where is the consultation? This work has clearly been going behind closed doors. What about the transport?! The most desperate, important part of this regeneration is getting shot of the horrible roundabout and those nasty underpasses. Without that going, there's no point in any of it.

I've been pondering that walking around the site today - if you keep the centre, does it have the same floor heights, in which case do you have the main floor at basement level again, so, do you get rid of the subways? or do you have steps up to the 1st floor, or down to the basement?

I'm a big enthusiast of C20 buildings and will argue for the preservation of many of them, but in this instance, because of the damage it does to streetscape, I think it has to go.

I can't see how keeping the centre and changing the floor heights is possible/cheaper than demo, so the impermeable site is going to continue, even if they knock through to elephant road.

And if you keep the centre, you can't build new escalators to the tube underneath it (as intended, if unfunded - a strong reason to wait for the later phase and hopefully new tfl money).
Monday 11 April 2011 5.19pm
Wasn't the original plans for the shopping centre scaled back and compromised? Is this not the reason we have a shopping centre that doesn't work and everyone wants rid of? So why are they repeating the same mistake? Very depressing! the previous councillors stalled and stalled whilst these guys are polar opposites pushing any old compromising cr*p through!
Tuesday 12 April 2011 6.33am
If the gains of the regeneration can be achieved by retaining the shopping centre and the benefits of keeping it are so clear, why was it ever decided to knock it down? Should the shopping centre be kept it will be because it's the least risky option for Lendlease and St Modwens - the 'regeneration objectives' won't come into it.

I also doubt whether the eight businesses who occupy the arches Cllr Colley wants to 'punch..through' will be quite as excited as she is by the prospect. Nor is the Market Square 'currently under construction by Oakmayne'; this is 'currently' half-a-building site that will be a compound for the construction of Oakmayne Plaza (373 private homes, 243 student rooms, zero affordable houses) - the local Latin American football league was summarily displaced from Elephant Rd park to make way for this shameful development.

Nearly every benefit proclaimed for the Elephant regeneration masterplan has been thrown overboard - little replacement housing for the Heygate (only 3 out 16 sites built), no 'healthy living/leisure centre' to speak of, no 'Energy Centre', no 'Town Park', no 'new library/life long learning centre', no 'new secondary school', no 'extended Walworth High St' - all listed in the 2004 Masterplan and all dumped. What exactly are people who live in Southwark - in Camberwell, in Peckham - gaining from this? Given the net loss of affordable housing it's actually making life worse for many.
Tuesday 12 April 2011 7.53am
Agree, agree, agree with all my heart. Ten years ago we were all sitting in consultation forums (or fora I think one says) and accepting the original idea.I sat many many an evening in meetings where it was all thrashed out....and then it all went pear shaped and somehow it's being cobbled together with everyone conveniently forgetting the original aims and promises. I am utterly disgusted by the outright manipulation perpetrated on a public which has no real clout...the Heygate residents have been shamefully treated..It's just a pity no one can be brought before the Courts for downright lying and what used to be called "breach of promise". Signed Outraged from SE1.
Tuesday 12 April 2011 11.39am
So refitting the shopping centre is a win-win situation. That was what many wanted for the Heygate; make the block heating work sensibly and remove all the asbestos. The PR to make the scheme work, violence, crime in general, is the same myth that has been used since the closing of the Camberwell Green Fair. The U turn should have an interesting affect on the destroy and rebuild plans for the Aylesbury
Some of the large occupiers have been charities which are mainly funded by the council. Volunteer Centre Southwark is now in the Cambridge House. What has happened to Elephant Jobs I have no idea. If the council and government moved their offices elsewhere the rent and value would tumble as no-one else will want to move in.
There is far better shopping in the area than the centre for my pocket. 56a, Baldwins, Ollie's, Borough market rand a range of other local independents; being greeted by someone who knows you adds to the fun
Monday 25 April 2011 11.23am
totally agree with Jerry. When are we going to see real regeneration - not gentrification?
I would love all existing buidings to stay. not everone may like it, but it's a real example of the architecture of the time as well as real solid build which (if maintained!) can last at least another 30 years if not more ....
Tuesday 26 April 2011 8.48am
mensother wrote:
totally agree with Jerry. When are we going to see real regeneration - not gentrification?
I would love all existing buidings to stay. not everone may like it, but it's a real example of the architecture of the time as well as real solid build which (if maintained!) can last at least another 30 years if not more ....

There are far better example of the architecture of the time, hundreds of them, few if any architects or historians are calling for preservation (compare to the anger around Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar).

Can you tell me what real gentrification is in your view?

In my view the regeneration is about undoing the mistakes of the previous development - reopening the streets, restoring active street fronts (shops etc at ground level), making pedestrians the priority over traffic and restoring social diversity.
Tuesday 26 April 2011 9.05am
I certainly agree that the shopping centre is no great example of anything. I think it could safely be razed and a simpler, two storey building put in its place creating a shopping centre similar in size and scope to what we need to emigrate to the Oakmayne Plaza. And certainly no reason to increase its height by making into a residential tower. We have enough tall buildings planned and it should be an open-ish space to let light and air in.
Tuesday 10 May 2011 10.35am

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