Elephant Amenity Charter

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.


Here’s the charter:

We, the communities and traders of the Elephant and Castle, are being excluded from the multi-billion-pound regeneration being led by Southwark Council.

The redevelopment of the core area is subject to a private deal with Lend Lease, who are drawing up the masterplan for the area. No information on the masterplan and none of its details has been given to us since the Development Framework of 2004.

Meanwhile, the council is building “Early Housing” developments on our much needed open space, green space & play areas, as well as removing our local amenity shops, garages, residents’ parking spaces and other community facilities and substantially reducing levels of daylight for many residents.

Three quarters of the homes in these new developments will not be for the Heygate Tenants, despite this being an explicit rationale for their inclusion in the Southwark Plan, but for private sale. We believe that the regeneration process must be fair, just, and socially inclusive, and must provide for affordable housing and a better quality of life for all current and future residents of the area.

Our specific requests are set out under three principles below.

Principle 1: Open Masterplanning

For Southwark Council, and its development partners, to operate an “open masterplan” policy. That is, to enter into a development process for the site that is democratic and actively involves the local community. Specific actions requested include:

The developers and the Council to hold a public meeting to explain the masterplan, its benefits and how they will involve the local population in future steps in this process.

Principle 2: Benefits for All

To extend the benefits of the regeneration to the existing population. Specifically:

  • To demonstrate how the planned increases in population and employment will be matched by increases in accessible green space, play space, community facilities and safe walking and cycling routes across the regeneration area. Specifically to identify how the amenities that are to be lost for the New Housing sites will be re-provided with safe and reasonable access for their user catchments
  • For the sustainable strategy for the new buildings to be designed not just for the inhabitants of the new blocks but also to benefit existing residents;To develop, with local people, a strategy for green space and play space and local food production that extends throughout the regeneration area and to apply this to the masterplanning process;
  • To undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the entire regeneration area including the Early Housing Sites;
  • To commit to keeping all open space as fully public access at all times – no “semi private space” and no restrictions on access to the general public through gating.
  • To retain and improve local shops and services reflecting community richness and diversity (this includes East Street market and the traders at the Shopping Centre)

Principle 3: Housing that really is Affordable

Recent (early 2009) discussions with the Housing and Communities Agency, indicate that greater public funding will be needed to save the regeneration. In addition, Southwark must fulfil its promise to replace the 1212 council homes lost by the demolition of the Heygate Estate with the same number of social rented units (preferably council housing) in the new developments. Therefore, as was originally envisaged by Southwark:

  • 50% of all Elephant & Castle housing developments must be social rented by unit, with half the remaining homes intermediate, half for sale
  • 75% of all Early Housing sites should be social rented by unit, with the remainder intermediate, as based on the original tender.
  • There must be no evictions or forced removals from the Heygate estate or elsewhere.  Tenants should be allowed to move directly to the Early Housing sites or given enough time to find accommodation acceptable to them through Homesearch.

Signatories:

Richard Lee, Townsend St
Luke Miller, Friends of Nursery Row Park
Jerry Flynn, Heygate Estate
Vally Wilson, Rodney Road shops
Celia Cronin, Victory Community Garden
Al-Issa Munu, Rockingham /Harper Road
Geoff Adams, Defend Council Housing in Southwark
Nicole Woodbridge
Abayomi Noble, Comus House/Townsend St
John Obwona, Swan Mead/ Leroy Street
Amele Getan, Heygate Estate
Tony McCarthy, Leroy Street
Henry Mott, Southwark Defend Council Housing
Nicole and Jim Beedell, Friends of Nursery Row Park
Gill Manock, St Johns / Brandon Street
Gary Malloy, (Rodney T&RA]
Orenda O’Brian Davis, Webber Row T&RA
Paul Yarrow
Sofia Roupakia, Draper House
Steve Crawford
Lucinda Martin, Library Street
Steph and Jim Lodge, SFoE
Carole Wright, Library St / BOST
David Glue, Abbey St
Barbara Green,  Chris and Laura Harrod-Green, Brandon St
Michelle Baharrier, Cooltan Arts
Edward Carter, Marnock House
Jill Newham
Yvonne Castelle
Thomas Magill
Iain Staffell, Nursery Row Park / Markets
Jack Willcocks
Antonin Pujol
Liliana Dmitrovic, Ari Henry, People’s Republic of Southwark

To sign up and / or get involved:

elephantamenity@googlemail.com
The Amenity Charter is also online here

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