Elephant and Castle regeneration plan given go-ahead

Computer generated animation of what the area will look like

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A £1.5bn plan to regenerate a traffic-choked area of south London has been approved.

Southwark Council has given the go-ahead to transform a 170-acre site of Elephant and Castle, in a project which will take 15 years.

The area's red shopping centre may be demolished and the gyratory road system re-routed.

It will also mean the demolition of the Heygate Estate to create about 5,300 new homes, shops, and public spaces.

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.

Demolition work will begin later this year

The developer and owners of the shopping centre will discuss its future.

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: "I am delighted that we have come to an agreement with Lend Lease that will transform the Elephant and Castle over the next 15 years to create a new and exciting destination for London.

"This agreement will mean the centre of this great world city will be pulled further south in to Southwark, with the economic and social benefits that this will bring."

Last May, former US President Bill Clinton praised the redevelopment scheme as a global example for sustainable growth.

The Southwark revamp was named among 16 worldwide projects which will release less carbon dioxide than they use.

Work should begin in October with the demolition of Rodney Road.

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