Six months after their selection as Southwark's regeneration partner, Elephant and Castle developer Lend Lease is starting a series of meetings with community groups in to set out the next steps in the area's renewal.
Australian firm Lend Lease leads a consortium which includes First Base and Oakmayne. They says that initial meetings with community groups will take place over the next three months and will be followed by a series of roadshows where local people can meet the development team and discuss the emerging master plan and opportunities resulting from the regeneration.
The developers recently appointed Make Architects to assist in developing the master plan. Make has been involved with the Elephant & Castle for five years.
Lend Lease says that consultation events at different points in the master plan's development will be arranged for local people to view the proposals and help shape the design in preparation for a comprehensive planning application for the area's revitalisation.
"We are looking forward to sharing our thinking with those living and working in Elephant and Castle," says Nigel Hugill, chairman of Lend Lease Europe.
"As with all of our regeneration projects we recognise that building these relationships is vital to the future success of our work. There will be many opportunities for people to come and meet us and to discuss the emerging master plan and the area's future. We will be talking more about this programme in January's edition of Quarter Magazine."
Chris Horn, who as Southwark's development director for the Elephant & Castle had led the process to select a commercial partner, left his post this autumn as part of a management shake-up at the council.
Horn's departure came as a shock to many of those close to the regeneration scheme who fear that the loss of his knowledge and experience will slow down progress.
Having decided in July to enter exclusive negotiations with Lend Lease, the council expects to sign the final development agreement in the New Year.
Meanwhile small businesses at the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre continue to be apprehensive about their future prospects in the absence of a firm timetable for the closure of the centre – owned by unsuccessful regeneration bidders St Modwen – and uncertainty about the availability of replacement small shop units in the various new developments.
First Base will start building its 44-storey tower on the London Park Hotel site in the New Year. This will contain 470 affordable, social rented and for sale properties, along with a cafe and a new home for the Southwark Playhouse.
St George's controversial Vantage Metro Central residential development on New Kent Road is now well under way.
Oakmayne's revised New Kent Road/Elephant Road Oakmayne Plaza scheme that includes cinemas, shops, restaurants and student accommodation is due to be considered by the council's planning committee this month with construction anticipated to commence in 2008.
• If you are involved in a local organisation and want to make sure your group is included in the ongoing consultations and engagement programme, contact:
- Ciaran Quigley – Community Development Manager at First Base 020 7851 5555
- Kura Perkins – Elephant and Castle Communications Manager at Lend Lease 020 7182 9497
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