Imagining The Elephant! – Public Event: Sat 4th June 2011


Public Event meeting on 4th June a massive success, over 80 residents and traders attending. A report setting out the conclusions of the event will be issued shortly, please check back here.

Lend Lease, the council’s developer for the Heygate Estate area, will soon be releasing its Masterplan for the area. It is now over 5 years since any public consultation has taken place on how the area might look in the future, and the Elephant Amenity Network stepped into the breach with a public event on Saturday 4th June.

The aim of the event was to think about what benefits people want to see from the regeneration and to imagine together what could be achieved, to help us influence the regeneration which is due to take place over the next 15 years.

The event was based around a series of workshops led by experts on the following subjects:

  • Morning sessions: Transport, Shopping, Trees and Biodiversity, Housing, and “Planning for Real” (interactive planning).
  • Afternoon sessions: Jobs, Services/amenities, Design and massing, Interim uses (performance, gardening, sport etc.), and Making the most out of the existing buildings.

Venue was Crossways Church, 100 New Kent Road SE17 1SL and ran from 10:30 to 16:00.

DOWNLOAD English version of our Visioning Event flyer here!

DOWNLOAD Espanol Imaginar The Elephant flyer here!




1. How do we provide an integrated transport system at the Elephant and Castle?

  • The quality of the bus and train services
  • The provision for motor vehicles – movement, delivery, residents parking
  • The routes that are most needed for walking and cycling, including green links/green grids and key routes within the Heygate area

2. What is the future for the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre and for existing traders and small businesses throughout the area?

  • How can the regeneration master plan guarantee a place for all existing small businesses and market traders at an affordable rent?
  • Is it desirable to keep the shopping centre?
  • What is to prevent Walworth Road becoming a cloned high street?

3. We have lost 1200 homes on the Heygate, 250 of which were 3 or 4 bedroom family homes.  What should the replacement housing look like?

  • What should be the provision for family homes and the internal and external space standards we expect from the new homes?
  • How much of the replacement housing should be affordable and what do we mean by affordable housing?
  • What input can local people expect to give regarding the choice of housing providers, RSL’s and architects?  (we will be looking at the early housing sites as examples of what is likely to be provided)

4. Did Someone Say Trees?

  • How much do you know about the existing Heygate Forest at the heart of the Regeneration, with its woodland of 500 trees and links to local parks, tree lined streets and other green features?
  • What do biodiversity and green links mean to people and why are they important?  How can we measure biodiversity, and where are the local important sites?
  • What do you feel/think about the future of the Trees etc? We have some ideas and strategies to protect and enhance/make the most of them -valuation, preservation and replacement- and would love to hear yours.

5. The Elephant and Castle development is due to create 5,000 new jobs, but how many will be local jobs?

  • How will the development provide interim jobs?
  • How will the development boost employment in the area in the long term, and employment for whom?
  • Should there be an Official ‘Local Jobs Target’ for the development and how will this be implemented?




6. What types of community interim use would you like to see on the Heygate Estate as it is gradually developed over the next 20 years ?

  • What would local people like to see happen on the Heygate estate?
  • How interim community uses, including food growing, be worked into the phasing of the Heygate redevelopment for the benefit of all?
  • How would the ‘worst case scenario’ (i.e. no interim use or community access/entire estate hoarded off for forseeable future) impact on the local communities quality of life/movement through the area/access to amenity?

7. Is there any interim use to be made of the Heygate buildings?

  • Can the community make any use of the Heygate blocks that would complement interim use of the green space?
  • What kind of uses could these be?  Shops? Studios? Education, training?
  • How could these uses avoid isolation and be integrated into the wider community?  What experiences can we draw upon

8. Questions of density and massing on the Heygate site

  • What types of building will replace the Heygate estate?
  • The Lend Lease building outline implies an increase in the building mass from 16% to 60% and therefore a major reduction in public space.  Will low rise buildings take away even more green space?
  • What are the implications for street frontages adjacent to the Heygate and what can be done about this?

9. As the population of the Elephant and Castle increases, how do we deal with the pressure on local services? 

  • What is being proposed and what are the key quality of life issues?
  • What needs to be done to provide easy access to services and facilities?
  • Could these objectives be the starting point for a neighbourhood plan?

10. ‘Hopes for Elephant Land’ – a master-planning workshop using Planning for Real

Using a large map of the opportunity area, and post-it notes, people are invited to work together to identify opportunities and challenges and to come up with some idea of where the houses and flats, shops, trees, different transport routes, open spaces, community facilities, leisure – sports and culture – should go.

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