The recent plans for regenerating Elephant and Castle shopping centre have been suspended by the local council, reports Emma Parker
The Elephant and Castle shopping centre opened in South London in 1965, and has been standing ever since facing criticism as being an “eye-sore” and “outdated”. Standing tall behind the infamous elephant statue, the centre appears to have worsened over the years and residents have been complaining that a regeneration is needed.
The proposed redevelopment means that the old shopping centre will be replaced with a brand new and modern town centre including different shopping facilities, housing, business offices and a cinema complex that will provide for both the residents and economy. In 2014, the building was sold to property group Delancey for £80 million, and they are hoping to demolish the building in 2019 to start the rejuvenation. For the past three years, they have worked alongside the local community to propose the plans for the new town centre which included two exhibitions attended by over 1,500 people.
However, despite local opinion that the shopping centre needs to be renewed, it has been forcefully opposed by different tenants, campaign groups, stall workers and councillors. Market stall owners who are working at centre will have to relocate which will cause trouble for their work and they will have to travel further.
A recent cabinet meeting with council members has meant that the new plans have been pushed back a year, and that the plan also needs to involve support for 27 small businesses (among 86 that will be affected by the entire redevelopment scheme) called a ‘packet of measures’ to relocate into the local area and meet their needs.
Due to the campaign, it is unclear when the redevelopment will take place, but soon we may be entering a new and improved town centre with thousands of new opportunities and shopping facilities.