Tax avoiding property giant Delancey and University of the Arts London (UAL) have partnered for a development plan which will see the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre demolished and replaced with luxury housing and a new building for UAL’s London College of Communication (LCC) turfing out the working class and largely Latin traders and wider community from the Elephant. This is social cleansing and would only result in the further gentrification of Southwark.
In January Southwark’s Planning Committee rejected the plan after community pressure. Later that month the committee re-met to decide and submit their reasons for refusal but widespread opposition and scrutiny pressured Delaney into postponing
the final vote till the summer and later making some concessions including an increase in the social housing commitment and assurance the bingo would remain.
This is testament to what’s possible when we organise and take action but
there’s still a long way to go and much to win, 7% social housing is an
increase but still shamefully low.
The vote on the revised development plan is likely to take place in July so this is our final opportunity to once again come together, make our demands known and push for a vital increase in social housing, affordable retail units and compensation for all traders and meaningful involvement and accountability for the people who live, work and study in the Elephant.