The owners of the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre are expected to reveal new plans for the development of the site by Christmas - but it could be another four years until work starts.
"The owners of the shopping centre are aware of the council's determination to see the shopping centre redeveloped and that a refurbishment option would not meet our wider regeneration and place-making objectives," said Southwark Council leader Peter John in a written answer to an official question published this week.
"They are also aware that the Mayor of London supports our approach."
Cllr John said that now a fully costed and funded package of proposals for the northern roundabout and the provision of escalators to the Northern line is in place, the shopping centre's owners are able to draw up their own plans with greater certainty.
"On the basis of this announcement St Modwen have stated that they intend to bring forward new plans to redevelop the site before the end of the year," he said.
Rumours had been circulating that St Modwen – which owns the centre in a joint venture with Salhia Real Estate – had been preparing to sell the site to the council's development partner Lend Lease.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson recently said: "As part of the broader regeneration of the Elephant & Castle area, TfL will deliver a new Northern line ticket hall and a new layout for the northern roundabout.
"The current estimate of the combined costs of these works is £140 million, provided the new ticket hall is integrated into a new shopping centre.
"These works will be funded by Transport for London, developer contributions, Southwark community infrastructure levy and the Greater London Authority.".
Cllr John has warned that there are still a number of hurdles to be cleared before any redevelopment can begin.
"While there is now a transport plan in place the redevelopment of the site is still complicated and challenging," said the council leader.
"The site is constrained by roads on three sides and a railway viaduct on the fourth.
"There are many businesses operating within it and there are inevitably third-party interests which will need to be acquired to enable a consented and viable scheme to go ahead.
"The council understands that many of the leases are likely to expire around 2015/16 however some do not and therefore it is likely that a compulsory purchase order may be needed to enable development to proceed.
"All of these factors mean that any timetable is inevitably provisional at this time.
"However – subject to planning, CPO, other legal issues and commercial considerations – we would expect the owners to start development from 2016/17."
St Modwen's land holding at the Elephant & Castle includes the historic Coronet club/cinema building which was recently placed on the Theatre Trust's list of theatre buildings at risk.
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