On Wednesday 7th July Southwark Council has agreed to the terms of the Regeneration Agreement with Lend Lease, allowing for the £1.5bn transformation of the Elephant and Castle to begin.
Unfortunately, the agreement is not available to public scrutiny “as it contains commercially sensitive information”. Although the main points of the development proposals can be found in the Master Regeneration Plan (MRP – scroll down to item 9 Elephant and Castle – Regeneration Agreement and Disposal of Associated Land) , this is “to be considered a draft document” that is meant to evolve and change “in order to take into account the requirements of the development timeline for the Elephant and Castle”.
This means that the full details of the regeneration plan are not yet in the public domain, and that local stakeholders such as residents and shopowners are yet to be informed about items of public interest such as actual percentages of affordable and social housing, public services and amenities, and health hazards like the asbestos removal before the demolition of the Heygate.
Moreover, the demolition of the Heygate will require chopping down 450+ mature trees on the site – a veritable urban forest at the heart of Elephant, as can be seen from this aerial view.
Yet there is no mention of this in the MRP.
Southwark Council has announced that a steering group will be established “to ensure their views are considered for the life of the project” and that a consultation strategy “will be worked up over the coming months in conjunction with local stakeholders and in particular the Community Councils.”
Who will be able to join the steering group and how will this reflect the needs and desires of local stakeholders?
More information on Southwark Council website