EAN Shopping centre meeting 17 July

From the Elephant Amenity Network

Dear Friend

You will know by now that the shopping centre planning application has been approved, by a very narrow margin.  However there is still some distance to go before the development goes forward and the Mayor of London had to give his endorsement to Southwark’s decision.

We are campaigning now to get the Mayor to refuse to do this, as he has the power to do, and this will be the main item on the agenda of our next meeting,  which will be will be next Tues 17 July 2018, 7pm, Bingo room, Palaces Bingo, 3rd Floor shopping centre.

 Please bring the attached invite.

Meantime – Please  SIGN THE PETITION

Sadiq: Say NO to the displacement of BAME communities from Elephant & Castle

Eight Labour councillors, including the local ward councillors and the deputy leader, have made their dissatisfaction with the decision clear and have also  asked London mayor Sadiq Khan to make improvements.   London Assembly member Florence Eshalomi and a local Labour ward has added their voices to the call.

Campaign groups, including the 35% Campaign, Latin Elephant and Up the Elephant have also vowed to continue the fight.

See http://35percent.org/2018-07-09-delancey/

Hope to see you on Tuesday



35% Campaign update – Delancey’s subsidised profit

Delancey’s subsidised profit

Jul 02, 2018 12:00 am

Courtesy of GLA

Just over a week before the shopping centre planning application goes before Southwark’s planning committee for the third time a slew of viability documents have been released. Given the size of the main document, the full financial viability assessment (FVA) it has not been possible for campaigners to present a complete response, but some interesting facts have come to light nonetheless.

As is usual developer Delancey claims its affordable housing offer is the most it can viably provide, but it falls some way short of what Southwark’s planning policy requires, as is also usual. Delancey has upped the number of social rented units from 33, first to 74 and then to 116, but this is still some way short of the circa 165 units needed for policy compliance. Delancey were helped along by a £11.25m grant from the Greater London Authority (GLA), which promptly found its way straight to Delancey’s bottom line, increasing its profit by exactly the same amount. We can see this be comparing two development appraisals of the scheme. The first, dated 13 June 2018, is for a scheme with 116 social rented units, but without grant funding, and has a profit of £137.1m. The second, dated 22 June 2018, is also for a scheme with 116 social rented units, but includes a £11.25m GLA grant, and, by a miracle of development finance, a profit of £148.4m. Delancey have responded to justified cries of ‘subsidise homes, not profit’ pretty much confirming that this is what has happened, but referring to the difference in the profit levels as a ‘viability gap’ and pleading that it ‘maintains’ the profit, not ‘enhances’ it. Most people will struggle to see the difference and would think the money better spent on the social housing Delancey claims it cannot afford to build.

The price of a unit

Another curiosity is the price of the social rented units. Delancey will not be building them for nothing and they will be sold to a registered provider of affordable housing or Southwark Council. The unit price given in both the June development appraisals is £229,864 (total £26.66m for 116 units). However an earlier development appraisal, dated 20 Feb 2018, for the first revised offer of 74 social rented units gives the unit price as £78,674, (total £5.82m). Clearly Delancey have more than one way of ‘maintaining’ profits; together with the GLA grant profit will have been ‘maintained’ by public money to the tune of £32m, all as a result of Delancey revising upwards its original affordable housing offer.

Delancey also cocks a snook at Southwark’s much trumpeted viability transparency policy, by keeping important information confidential. The Existing Use Value (EUV) of a development site is a critical figure in determining how viable a site is and, simply put, the higher the EUV is the less there will be for affordable housing. Delancey is claiming an EUV of £175,000,000 (Southwark’s independent advisor, GVA assumes a lower figure of £138,000,000). Delancey says there is supporting information to underpin its higher figure, but adds loftily ‘However, the reports contain information to the existing landowner and cannot be divulged’.

All this aside it is quite clear from the viability section in the officer’s report on the planning application that Delancey’s scheme can fund a fully compliant amount of affordable housing. However, Southwark are choosing to appease Delancey by accepting the lower amount on offer and proposing a viability review at a later date, and waiting to see if there can be any ‘uplift’. This is a mistake, because it shifts risk from Delancey to Southwark – if Delancey should make less money than estimated, it will mean less affordable housing, not less profit. The viability review would also be one of the legal s106 conditions on any planning approval, which Delancey has previously succeeded in changing to its own advantage at its ‘ELEPHANT ONE’ development, right next door to the shopping centre.

The decision on this application is in the balance. There will be a demonstration before the planning committee meeting Up the Elephant Tuesday 3rd July @ 5:30pm; Southwark Council Offices, 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2QH (Planning Committee starts at 6:30pm)

More info can be found here

35% Campaign update – Shopping Centre redevelopment – Delancey tries again

Shopping Centre redevelopment – Delancey tries again

Jun 26, 2018 12:00 am

Application returns to the planning committee

Elephant shopping centre owner and developer Delancey will be hoping it is third time lucky when Southwark’s planning committee considers their application for redeveloping the centre on 3 July. The committee chose not approve the application at two meetings in January and the decision was further deferred because of local elections in May.

Delancey’s initial failure, though, was the result of a concerted campaign which united shopping centre traders, the local Latin American community, staff and students from the London College of Communication, local housing campaigners and local councillors. There were over 900 objections.


Delancey has used the time since to make some modest improvements to the application. The number of social rented homes was first increased from 33 to 74 units and then, within the last week, up to 116 units. The units will be purchased and managed by Southwark Council, not a private sector registered provider as previously proposed. Interim retail units are also being built, to accommodate at least some of the displaced traders, on Castle Sq, just over the railway from the centre. Any trader within the ‘red-line’ of the development will be eligible for support from the relocation strategy. A ‘cluster’ of affordable retail and affordable space is proposed for Pastor St, behind the London College of Communication. There is also a qualified commitment to lease a proportion of the proposed leisure floorspace to a bingo operator. Delancey says it “will give first refusal (on commercial terms) to a bingo operator to lease a proportion of the proposed leisure floorspace within the development.”

The Palaces bingo hall and bowling alley in the shopping centre are major attractions in the area.

These improvements are valuable for some, but for most traders it is all too little, too late. Local charity Latin Elephant reckons there are 150 migrant and ethnic businesses at the Elephant. The Elephant and Castle Traders Asssociation counts traders from 16 different countries, stretching from Bolivia to Turkey to Bangladesh and Ghana. They have been informed that they will have to leave the centre by March 2019 (regardless of the outcome of the planning application) and there is little doubt that Delancey’s proposals will not accommodate them all.

Moving the chairs around

The improved housing offer comes at a cost too, but not for Delancey. While there will be more social rented homes, it is at the expense of London Living Rent units, much favoured by Mayor Sadiq Khan as the best tenure for households with middle incomes up to £60k per annum; these have been reduced from 158 in the original proposal to 53 units in the latest offer. At the same time the affordable rent units at 80% market rent have increased in number from 59 to 161. Delancey have reconfigured the offer (as noted by Southwark’s viability advisors GVA) and still stand to make £137m profit, according to their latest Development Appraisal. Delancey is also seeking funding from the GLA to build its affordable housing (£60k per social rented unit) which it will then sell to Southwark Council for an estimated £26.7m (£230k per unit).

Despite all this the affordable housing offer is still does not meet the requirements of the adopted local plan; there would have to be at least 170 social rented units, amongst other things, for this to happen. Delancey instead hopes to get the advantage of new policy that is in pipeline, so called emerging policy, which requires less social rented housing and favours the Build for Rent type scheme Delancey is proposing, rather than the traditional Build for Sale scheme.

Poor design

None of Delancey’s amendments involve changes to the design of the scheme, which Southwark’s Design Review Panel have criticised heavily, in particular in relation to the transport interchange. In their report to the Council’s planning committee they said that the “significant size and scale of the proposed UAL and the shopping centre buildings adjacent to the viaduct which block off access to the station from the north or south along the viaduct.”

It goes on to raise “significant concerns” about the building infront of the railway station “Firstly, the scale of the building and how it affects the generosity of Elephant Court which is severely restricted as a consequence and does not have the proportions of a civic square which a scheme of this scale will require. Secondly, ‘Elephant Court will be an importance entrance point for the railway station at the Elephant and Castle from the west. This includes the interchange from the new underground station at the Elephant and Castle peninsula. The Panel felt the current proposal does not demonstrate how this important transport interchange will be facilitated by the scheme and remained concerned that the new building will impede access to the railway station.

The panel raises significant concerns about the new Northern line entrance, which they felt “lacked visual presence on the street and is currently proposed as a simple single-storey shopfront – no different to a retail unit.”

It also criticises Delancey’s public realm proposals; “In respect of the public realm, the Panel felt the current proposals lacked generosity. They noted that other significant schemes provided appropriate civic spaces and public realm on their sites and felt that the current proposal did not strike the right balance between pubic realm and built form to mitigate against the enormous scale of the proposal.”

All in all then, while the application is an improvement on what was dreadful, there is still a way to go before it is fit for approval. The planning committee must hold firm and reject the application.

A protest has been organised for the evening of the planning committee on 3 July – details here
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Chaucer Ward Panel Meeting, 9th July 2018

Hello All

Please remember that issues/problems discussed at the Panel Meeting are those that affect your street or block.

You are a representative of others where you live.  Anyone who has issues that affect them individually,

please contact us outside of the meeting via email or phone.  We can then address these matters privately.

The next meeting details are

Date    : Monday 9th July 2018

Time    : 7pm – 8.30pm

Venue :  Conference Room,

Southwark Police Station

323, Borough High St


Please note the Station Office is now closed! Please wait by the pedestrian gate next to the vehicle access gate officers will escort you in.

Should you arrive after the meeting has begun please call our mobile number on 0208 721 244

Light refreshments available.


Chaucer Safer Neighbourhood Team


Southwark Police Station, 323 Borough High Street, LONDON, SE1 1JL

Tel 0208 721 2441


Ward Priorities:



3) ST GEORGES CHURCHYARD GARDENS – ASB Rough Sleepers / Drinkers / Drugs / Noise

Follow us on Twitter @MPSChaucer

Also see our webpage on www.met.police.uk


Please follow the link below to rate your contact with the Police


Kings College ‘Student Village’ Presentation 6.30pm Wednesday 27th June

Kings College ‘Student Village’ Presentation
6.30pm Wednesday 27th June
Globe House | Corner of Bermondsey Street & Crucifix Lane

KCL Student Village 


KCL are looking to develop a ‘Student Village’ on Talbot Yard (off Borough High Street)

KCL and their architects BDP show plans for Talbot Yard

King’s College and their lobbyists, Team London Bridge, have always aspired to, and collaborated with, high-rise plans for St Thomas St and the Guy’s/King’s Campus.

They have proposed presentation of their latest development plans for a new ‘student village’ to a Forum meeting, open to all.  These plans were hitherto unknown to the community – certainly to us.

Please join us for the presentation by KCL and planner-architects, BDP, of their plans for a major new development centred on Talbot Street.

Click here to see a copy of the introduction letter from BDP which gives nothing away as to the exact location, height or appearance of the proposal, stating only that “In addition to approximately 420 new bed spaces and ancillary student facilities, the Student Village will also provide new commercial spaces at ground floor level.”   On this basis it is unlikely to be a low-rise ‘village’.

Quill ++ and St Thomas Street ‘Masterplan’


Weston Street Elevation from the Quill++ Planning Application 18/AP/0900. 

We are also inviting the Chair of Team London Bridge, Professor Simon Howell, to the meeting to explain the position of his main employer (King’s College of course) not just on his own high-rise plans but on their role the ’emerging masterplan’ for St Thomas Street.

We know that developers Greystar, CIT (South Bank Tower) and Threadneedle, and architects KPF (and now apparently BDP), have been in secretive collaboration with the council on this private vision for over a year. With the ultra-high-rise application for the Quill++ now relying upon it directly in their planning statements it is long overdue that the Council and TLB to come clean and consult the community on their ’emerging’ St Thomas Street masterplan.


The ‘St Thomas Street East’ Masterplan is referred to in the Quill++ Planning Application.