Whilst this is great news for the regeneration of the Elephant & Castle, I am hugely sceptical about the quality of student accommodation in the area. The 2 notable examples that stand out for me are Unite's Julian Markham House on Walworth Road, which is an extremely poor quality building in terms of both architectural design and more obviously, materials used.
The other notable villain is McLaren House, whose imposing bulk, although perhaps of slightly better design, does very little to improve St George's Circus, which is a great shame given the importance of the Obelisk and the redevelopment of the Duke of Clarence pub.
I would hope that Oakmayne will ensure that such a prominent scheme is completed to a high standard and one that reflects the hard work being done to regenerate an area of significant history and importance to London, rather than putting profit first at the expense of quality.
The external build quality of the building is not going to be affected by this change, which is good news and makes a change from the bland student blocks elsewhere (and on liberty's own website)....but its inevitable that stickers or beer cans will appear at the windows of some student flats over time unless strcitly managed....which makes the private flats which look across to the student tower(s) less attractive in my view....
The reason that there is no hotel interested is because the regeneration of the area as a whole has been managed appallingly by Southwark council and others. If original timetables had been kept to we would be half way through the regeneration by now and not just fiddling about at the edges.
Compare this to Kings Cross who were far behind Elephant and Castle but are now securing deals with hotels, universties, housing associations, arts businesses and large companies all because they have handled the process so much better.
Elephant and Castle I'm afraid looks as though it will just continue to stumble in a peice meal way and I can't see it in the end delivering to the quality that we have been promised.