Category Archives: News

No more football on the Elephant Park?

The Elephant Amenity Network turned out in force to try and save Elephant Park last Saturday 26 February.  We joined with the football players of the local Latin American football league and met with the ‘Southwark News’  (see here) in an effort to stop the boarding-up of the park.
The park is the site of what will eventually be the new market square; in the meantime it is to be let by Southwark Council to the developers of Oakmayne Plaza as a site compound.
The planning application for this was given 3 years ago and distinguishes itself by having no social rented or affordable housing of any kind in its 600+ units; Oakmayne offered £1m in lieu and to its shame Southwark accepted.  Since then not a word has been heard – we think that the application may be running out of time, hence the sudden activity. Continue reading

Demolishing the Heygate: Public Meeting 20th July 2010

UPDATE: Read a report of the public meeting on Paul Coleman’s London blog.

A public meeting to understand what is happening to the Heygate Estate and to the first phase of the demolition plans.

The agenda for the meeting includes information regarding the surveys that the council has carried out on ecology, asbestos and the mature trees on site; the provision of heating to the residents who are still remaining on the estate; planning, building control and environmental health notices setting out how the demolition will take place.

Bring your questions and concerns on Tuesday 20 July 7pm

Heygate TRA Hall 25, Brandon St, SE17 1NE

Green light to the transformation of Elephant and Castle

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

Latest news: Eileen House

Eileen House is an office block behind the Bakerloo Line entrance to the tube at the Elephant. It is due to be demolished and replaced by a 40+ story tower block. This development has no social rented units and only 80 affordable homes (part-buy part-rent). This is contrary to policy 4.4 of the Southwark Plan, which specifies that half of all affordable housing in developments in the Elephant and Castle Opportunity Area should be social rented. Nonetheless Southwark’s Planning Control department has reccommended the application’s approval. The application is currently held up by an objection from the Ministry of Sound which is concerned that there will be future complaints about noise from their future neighbours, but a decision is expected in june.

The planning application reference is 09-AP-0343 and d etails can be found here.
The most relevant document is the Officers Report – PLANNING COMMITTEE 08/12/2009 (1)  2009-11-28.
Objections can be made by Southwark residents and sent to
For the rendering of the housing tower and for a discussion, see also the entry on the SE1 Forum.

Radio 4 Programme with Interviews

Elephant & Castle Regeneration

The World Tonight‘ on BBC Radio 4 (May 3rd 2010) had a radio feature with interviews with Jerry Flynn from Elephant Amenity Network and Laura Fudge from Aylesbury Tenant’s First. It’s not bad! The main points are stressed about local demands for social rented housing not being meet and also about the gentrification of the area and the displacement of the local people. You can stream the programme from this link – Radio Programme

LOCAL ELECTION May 2010: Click here to check out the responses of the local candidates to our series of questions about the ongoing regeneration in Southwark

Read our Charter for Community Inclusion and a Better Quality of Life for All

In March 2009 a new “Elephant & Castle Regeneration Charter for Community Inclusion and a Better Quality of Life for All” was  launched by local people and businesses.

Continue reading