35% Campaign update – Shopping centre CPO – Southwark ploughs on regardless

Shopping centre CPO – Southwark ploughs on regardless

Apr 04, 2020 12:00 am

Southwark exercises CPO powers to clear E&C shopping centre site for Delancey -Southwark Council is set to assume Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers, on behalf of offshore developer Delancey, at its Cabinet meeting this Tues 7 April (postponed from 24 March). While this extraordinary move will strengthen Delancey’s hand in ongoing negotiations with various development stakeholders, such as TfL, and will relieve Delancey of funding risks, the scheme itself remains unchanged, delivering only 116 social rented units and displacing traders wholesale.

The Cabinet meeting is also set to approve a report that will override local residents’ legal rights, for the loss of light caused by the redevelopment. A third report will approve the recently announced £200,000 relocation assistance for traders.

The meeting will be by videoconference, but no livestream is advertised.

As we reported in our last blogpost Southwark intends to lease both the shopping centre and London College of Communications buildings themselves. Subleasing arrangements will return the shopping centre and LCC back to the control of Delancey and University of the Arts London, but as nominal public property, residents legal ‘right-to-light’ options can be overridden. Residents will no longer be able to seek an injunction against the development (while remaining able to claim compensation). Southwark say that there will be no cost to the Council from their leasing arrangements, other than officer time, but the report supplies no figures.

No guarantee that scheme will be built anyway

Southwark’s extraordinary measures illustrate its determined support for Delancey’s redevelopment of the shopping centre, despite the shortfall in social rented housing provided and the mass displacement of traders. Local charity and advocate for all traders Latin Elephant estimates that over half still have nowhere to go.

Southwark’s unwavering support extends as far as neglecting to obtain a guarantee from Delancey that the scheme will go ahead, even with the CPO powers being exercised on their behalf, saying ‘it is not necessary to impose… an obligation to build the Scheme as the measures negotiated for inclusion in the indemnity agreement give the Council comfort that EC is likely to proceed with the Scheme.’ 1

72% say keep the centre open

The proposed measures follow a survey conducted by the SE1 news website that shows 72% of local people want the centre kept open, in the light of the Coronavirus public health crisis. In response Delancey reiterated that they still intend to close the shopping centre on 31 July, while waiving rent and service charges (a long-standing traders’ demand) and promising to making pharmacy and food supplies available, beyond then, if the public health crisis continues.

What we say…

The Up the Elephant Campaign, supported by the 35% Campaign, has consistently opposed Delancey’s shopping centre redevelopment scheme, since its inception, over 3 years ago. We support the ongoing legal challenge to quash Delancey’s planning permission.

Over time various concessions, dragged out of Delancey by campaigners, have made marginal improvements to the redevelopment. Southwark’s pledge of £200,000 for the traders is also welcome; it now urgently needs to be distributed as cash grants to traders. Nonetheless, Delancey’s scheme still remains a bad one. Delancey are displacing an entire community of traders, and destroying a social hub for the many working people from all over the world who have made the Elephant their home. The new development will have a miserly 116 social rented homes, out of nearly a thousand new units (if they ever get delivered).

So, Southwark Council should not be bending over backwards helping Delancey, in any circumstances – certainly not now, when half the traders still have nowhere to go, while Southwark has an obligation to help secure traders accommodation in the new development it never properly exercised. We do not need to add that the traders’ desperate situation has been rendered dire by the Coronavirus crisis.

The UP THE ELEPHANT CAMPAIGN HAS THEREFORE MADE THE FOLLOWING DEMANDS TO SOUTHWARK COUNCIL;

You can support us in our fight for fairness for traders, by sharing these hashtags; #supporttradersnotdelancey #supportelephantnotdelancey #ElephantJR.

Or by lobbying the Councillors approving the decision directly: https://twitter.com/peterjohn6https://twitter.com/rebeccaluryhttps://twitter.com/evenor23https://twitter.com/Jasmine_Alihttps://twitter.com/steviecryanhttps://twitter.com/Livingstone_RJhttps://twitter.com/Victoria_Millshttps://twitter.com/Leo_Pollakhttps://twitter.com/kieronjwilliamshttps://twitter.com/JohnsonSitu.

  1. See para 76 Report: E&C CPO 

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Coronavirus latest – help prevent the spread

News of the spread of Coronavirus is naturally concerning, but thankfully to date there have only been a small number of cases confirmed across London.

However, there are things we can all do to help prevent the spread of this and other viruses so please remember that germs can live on some surfaces for hours. Make sure to protect yourself and others by always using a tissue and washing your hands thoroughly.

More information about Coronavirus and what to do if you feel unwell.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for UK employers

35% Campaign update – Shopping centre traders demand fair play

Jan 27, 2020 12:00 am

Elephant traders to send deputation to Southwark Council Assembly –

A deputation of shopping centre traders are due to attend Southwark Council’s Assembly meeting tomorrow, to demand fair treatment from developer Delancey and the Council. This follows Delancey’s announcement that it intends to close the centre on 30 July 2020. All the businesses in the centre, including the market traders, must move before then, but despite a relocation package about 60 traders still have nowhere to go, according to research by local charity Latin Elephant. Representatives from Latin Elephant and Southwark Law Centre will be joining the traders on the deputation.

The trader’s deputation will present seven demands to the Assembly, which is a meeting of all Southwark’s councillors. These are the traders’ demands;

  1. that the shopping centre is not closed until every independent trader is relocated or receives financial compensation. The independent traders have been at the heart of the Elephant and Castle for decades. The Elephant regeneration is trumpeted as a great benefit for the local community and local people; if this is to be true then all the independent traders must be fairly treated, with either new premises or compensation.
  2. that Delancey increases the relocation fund. This is currently £634,700 with traders having to demonstrate ‘hardship’ for Delancey to consider increasing the amount beyond this.
  3. that the rent and service charge costs of the relocation options are brought into line with each other. Of the four main relocation options the most expensive, Perronet House, is owned by Southwark Council. The others are owned by either Delancey (Castle Square, Elephant One) or fellow developer Lendlease (Elephant Park) and have lower rents and service charges.
  4. that the businesses in Arch 7 are fully included in the relocation strategy and can draw from the relocation fund. Railway arches 6 and 7, beneath the shopping centre, are due to be knocked through, displacing established businesses, but they do not qualify for relocation support.
  5. that the market traders around the centre are equally and fairly treated and that all traders get the benefit of rent reductions, until the shopping centre closes. Rent reductions made because of the disruption to trade have not been passed on to the market traders.
  6. that the independent business adviser, Tree Shepherd, applies the agreed criteria for the allocation of relocation spaces in a fair and transparent way. Longstanding traders have not been offered alternative premises or have been offered premises not suitable for their businesses.
  7. that the database of opportunities reflects what was agreed on the approval of planning permission. This database should give information about vacant premises within a mile of the centre and within Southwark, but many do not meet these criteria.

Support the traders – demonstrate!

There will be a demonstration, organised by the Up The Elephant campaign, in support of the traders’ deputation to Southwark Council’s first assembly meeting of the year on Tuesday 28 January Southwark Council Head Offices, Tooley St 6pm – everyone who wants a fairer, inclusive regeneration at the Elephant is welcome

 


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Tomorrow – shopping centre plan goes to court

Dear Friend

A reminder that developer Delancey’s destructive plans for the redevelopment of the Elephant shopping centre will be tested in court tomorrow.

Meet us for a solidarity breakfast of hot drinks and breakfast rolls from 7.30 am at Distriandina, Arch 6 Elephant Rd, just along from the Elephant overground station.

Our coach will stop to pick us up, then rolling round the corner to pick up people from the Metropolitan Tabernacle at 8am prompt.

To reserve a place on the coach please call or text 07792 786 192.

We will travel to the Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, Holborn, London WC2A 2LL and have a demonstration of support at 9am. The case then starts at 10am. You can stay for as long as you wish – the case is open to the public.

Please join us and spread the word – Facebook event page here!

We want as many supporters as possible to come along, to show the strength of our campaign for more social housing and a better deal for traders and a better deal for the local community at the Elephant.

You can read more about our case here.
Hope to see you tomorrow!

Regards
Jerry

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