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Elephant revamp to move forward

30 November 09 12:04 GMT

Work to overhaul a traffic-choked area of south London could start soon if an agreement is signed by the council.

The plan for regenerating a 170-acre site of Elephant and Castle was adopted by the London Borough of Southwark in 2004.

But the authority has only just agreed terms with a developer and a contract could be signed later.

The area's red shopping centre will be demolished, the gyratory road system re-routed and about 5,000 homes built.

The area has good transport links, is close to the City and the West End and is within walking distance of 11 Thames river crossings.

But the council feels its development has been stifled by its post-war layout, with its six-lane roundabout, high-rise flats and a shopping centre which has been nominated as London's ugliest building.

Over the next eight years, the residential Heygate Estate and current shopping centre is set to be demolished and replaced by 5,300 new homes, a new town centre a market square and new town park.

Southwark Council's executive is expected to agree terms with Lend Lease Europe for the redevelopment.

That agreement has been delayed and had to be renegotiated due to the recession.

Once the terms have been agreed, it is hoped work can begin in mid-2010 on phase one of the project, the demolition of the Heygate Estate.

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