Elephant and Castle shopping centre is set to be demolished in March despite fierce local opposition.
979 homes will be built as well as a new campus for London’s College of Communication (LCC). However, local concern emerges as developers Delancey fail to include adequate affordable housing in their plans. Indeed, of the 979 luxury new homes to be built, only 116 will now be socially rented properties.
There is also concern over protection for existing traders. Under the plans, up to 100 local traders will lose their plots.
Elephant and Castle shopping centre was one of the first all-inclusive precincts built in post-war Britain and has retained a strong local community with deep-rooted links to London’s Latin and Black communities.
In a statement, the campaign group, Latin Elephant, have said: “It is utterly frustrating to think of subsequent displacement and loss of a valued place for many Latin Americans and BAME groups in London.
They added: “We will continue to fight for a fair and inclusive deal for all BAME and Latin American traders who make Elephant and Castle our home.”
Southwark Council’s planning committee narrowly approved the plans in a 4-to-3 vote after four hours of debate with one abstention. Students from LCC have joined local traders in protest of the redevelopment and their university’s complicity.
The plans will go before the Greater London Authority (GLA) for final approval.
Campaign group 35%, have urged Sadiq Khan to rethink the decision, saying:
Mr Flynn said: “The proposed scheme will change the face of the Elephant and Castle. If it goes ahead it will uproot an entire community who have built their lives around the shopping centre over decades.
“The scheme promises to build a new campus for the London College of Communication and a new Northern line Tube entrance. These would be very welcome benefits, but they should not come at the cost of uprooting an entire community and by sacrificing desperately needed affordable housing.”