Elephant and Castle shopping centre demolition approved

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Image copyright Delancey
Image caption Plans for the development include a new university campus

Plans to bulldoze a shopping centre in Elephant and Castle have been approved amid opposition from locals.

The proposals include demolishing the centre, building 979 homes and creating a new university campus.

Southwark Council's planning committee narrowly voted in favour of the plans at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Protesters and opposition councillors have vowed to lobby London Mayor Sadiq Khan to get a "better deal" from developers Delancey.

The are concerns the proposals do not include enough affordable housing and that existing traders would not have enough protection.

After more than four hours, the council's planning committee voted 4-to-3 in favour of the application, with one abstention.

Rebecca Lury, who opposed the proposals, posted a statement signed by several fellow councillors after the vote.

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Councillor Johnson Situ, cabinet member for development, growth and planning, said: "We welcome the planning committee's decision to approve the Elephant and Castle shopping centre application.

"However we recognise the concerns raised by some local residents about aspects of the regeneration.

"I would like to assure them, and the whole community, that we will continue to work with our residents, businesses and Delancey to ensure the new development works for local people.

The plans will go before the Greater London Authority (GLA) for final approval.

Protesters, including local traders, had gathered outside the council building before the meeting took place.

Liberal Democrat councillor Maria Linforth-Hall said: "What nobody wants is to replaced by another Westfield, that's going to have all sorts of chain shops, so that the character that Elephant and Castle has, the diversity, is going to disappear."

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The plans had previously been halted by the committee over issues including affordable housing.

The new regeneration proposals include the construction of a new campus at the London College of Communication, more retail space, a 35-storey tower, and a new Tube station entrance.

Of the 979 new homes to be built 116 will now be Socially Rented properties, up from 33.

Delancey committed to providing 28% of the new properties in line with " London Living Rent" - homes with rents based on two-thirds of the median market rent and a third of average local household incomes.

The new agreement ensures 10% of the retail space across will be kept "affordable" and Delancey has guaranteed a £634,000 tenant relocation fund to support traders.

It also includes 35% affordable housing and is expected to create 1,230 construction jobs over 10 years, developers said.

Image caption The plans were approved at a planning meeting on Tuesday evening