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Previous Page: The Elephant and Castle takes shape as central London’s newest district. below: The Heygate estate can soon be demolished. right: Squire and Partners design for Lend Lease’s sustainable tower.

THINGS ARE HAPPENING FAST now at Elephant and Castle. It takes time before a project on the scale of the £1.5 billion regeneration planned can take shape, but in July developer Lend Lease submitted its planning applications for a 37-storey tower – which will also pay for redevelopment of the area’s leisure centre. Meanwhile, residents of Walworth’s monolithic Heygate estate have almost all left and demolition can start soon, paving the way for its transformation. Work is expected to start in spring 2013 on the adjacent Rodney Road site and developer St Modwen, which owns the nearby Elephant and Castle shopping centre, hopes to make an application next year for its comprehensive regeneration. An area that has, perhaps unfairly, been best known for two huge and noisy traffic roundabouts is set to become a desirable shopping and retail centre. Jon Abbott, Southwark Council’s project director for Elephant and Castle, explains: “Lend Lease intends to build the tower with retail and office uses at the base, and the capital receipt from that site will pay for the new leisure centre. A new park is also proposed, as part of the regeneration of the Heygate estate, which will be the largest created in zone 1 of London since 1937.” 66 ISSUE 9 AUTUMN 2012

Abbott says the £20 million leisure centre, which will rise after the current one has been demolished, will change perceptions of Elephant and Castle so the whole regeneration will benefit. There has been no local swimming pool for 15 years, but the new centre will provide a sixlane, 25 metre pool and a learner pool that can also be used for hydrotherapy. There will be a four-court sports centre, a gym, cafe, creche and a soft play area for young children. Construction is expected to start at the end of 2012 and to be complete for fit-out by March 2014. Although the application must still complete the planning process, Southwark Council’s leader Peter John, has said: “Local people have long asked for better facilities, with a swimming pool to match, and I am delighted that they will now watch it happen; I am certain it will exceed their expectations when it completes. It will be the icing on the cake in a part of central London that’s seeing such an exciting transformation. “We’ve already moved fast to begin this project, and the waiting will soon be over as plans become a reality,” added John. The St Mary’s tower will contain 284 homes on a 0.56 hectare site and will be the tallest building yet constructed to meet Level 4 of

the Code for Sustainable Homes. There will be outdoor living space for every home, drainage systems that reuse rainwater for landscaping and water features, ventilation that provides clean air inside the homes and the latest technologies to supply clean and efficient energy, water and power. The tower has been designed by architect Squire and Partners, and will benefit from an adjoining four storey pavilion with a residents’ roof garden and 650 square metres of shops, restaurants and business space. Lend Lease’s Elephant and Castle project director Rob Deck says: “Our proposals for the St Mary’s development represent an important milestone in sustainable urban living. “We will create a place which has not only high-quality homes and impressive design and architecture, but which also enables residents to reduce their carbon footprint and live in a healthy environment where they interact in community gardens and spaces.” Funding is now in place to demolish the Heygate estate from spring 2013, once the final few private interests have been compulsorily purchased. Most residents moved from the estate long ago to council properties or newly built housing association homes elsewhere in the borough. Some 250 tenants have signed ‘right to return’ forms, which provide them with the option of returning to a new housing association property in the Elephant and Castle area. Only three of the original 189 leaseholders remain on the estate. The estate’s replacement has, says Abbott, been designed on the principle of reestablishing a street pattern and being open to the surrounding area. This pattern has not been seen for decades since the Heygate, which was completed in 1974, was built as a series of impermeable blocks in the middle of the Walworth neighbourhood. Over 15 years there will be some 2,650 homes built – a considerable increase on

“local people have long asked for better facilities, with a swimming pool to match, and i am delighted that they will now watch it happen”

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Southwark #9  

A high profile, high-quality business publication, Southwark magazine covers every aspect of Southwark Council's 12 year development program...

Southwark #9  

A high profile, high-quality business publication, Southwark magazine covers every aspect of Southwark Council's 12 year development program...