London

Elephant and Castle regeneration plans halted by council

What Elephant & Castle will look like Image copyright Other
Image caption The proposals would have included the demolition of the shopping centre and 1,000 new homes

Plans to regenerate parts of Elephant and Castle in south London have been halted by the local council.

The proposals would have included the demolition of the shopping centre and the construction of 1,000 new homes.

But Southwark Council's planning committee voted against it on issues including affordable housing and plans for traders already in the mall.

The committee did not completely reject the scheme and will discuss it again later this month.

The regeneration proposals included the construction of a new campus at the London College of Communication; more retail space; and a 35-storey tower, alongside other buildings.

But after a seven-hour meeting, councillors voted four-to-three against the planning application.

They said it "failed on a number of significant policy grounds" - particularly on the lack of enough social rented housing and the developer's inadequate protection for traders already in the shopping centre.

It was decided that a new meeting would be called at the end of the month to determine whether the application should be rejected in full.

Image caption The plans have not been completely rejected and councillors will meet again later this month

Jerry Flynn, from the 35% Campaign - a group of residents, traders and others who want the redevelopment to benefit locals - said: "It's great because it shows that we can defeat these things."

"It's not a lost cause, and we'll be carrying on to make sure we can drive a stake through the heart of this one."

Cllr Mark Williams, Southwark's cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said he respected the vote and understood the "strong feelings" of many locals "particularly regarding affordable housing and business space, as these are priorities that the council shares".

He said: "We remain committed to finding a solution for a new shopping centre and home for UAL's London College of Communication that works for everyone."

Protesters against the proposals had marched from Elephant and Castle to Southwark Council's headquarters near Tower Bridge earlier on Tuesday evening.

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