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.


Additional Pop Up Dragon Cafes, 14th and 28th July.

To: Pitt, Katherine
Cc: Linda Hill
Subject: Additional Pop Up Dragon Cafes

Dear Katherine,

Just to let you know we are holding two pop up Saturday events in July – to attract local Southwark residents – especially those on housing estates. The invitations can be widely circulated – it is free but numbers are limited due to space constraints so we are looking for RSVPs as confirmation for attendance,

Do let me know if there are any queries.



Mental Fight Club
‘Our Business is to Create’





MP4 Final Design Public Exhibition


MP4 Final Design Public Exhibition

Lendlease would like to invite you to a public exhibition for the final designs for the fourth phase of Elephant Park.  Masterplan Phase 4 (MP4) includes two development plots on Rodney Place, plots H11a and H11b (see above).

This event will be at Balfour Street Housing Project, 67 Balfour Street, London SE17 1PL on:

  •     11am – 3pm     Saturday 23 June
  •     3pm – 8pm    Tuesday 26 June

Outdoor cinema night in Elephant Park

Elephant Park will be hosting an outdoor cinema night on 12th July, and Lendlease want the local community to decide which classic movie will be shown! So whether you fancy yourself as the next John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and want to dance in the park to Grease, or whether you want to travel Back to the Future with Michael J. Fox, visit the Elephant Park website here to cast your vote on which film should be aired.

This will be just one of a number of events Lendlease have planned for Elephant Park this summer. Keep an eye on the website for further details as these events are announced.