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A coalition of local people and groups fighting for a fairer regeneration at the Elephant and Castle, including the 35% Campaign, are supporting a legal application to overturn the planning approval for the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre.
The legal challenge argues that Southwark were misled by shopping centre owner and developer Delancey about the amount of the social rented housing that could be provided. If the challenge is successful it would mean that the planning approval awarded to Delancey by Southwark Council would be quashed, stopping the demolition and redevelopment of the centre.
A destructive scheme
The action is being mounted because Delancey's scheme will destroy and displace the local community, while allowing Delancey a required profit of £137m –
- Most traders won’t get a place in the new development
- There is no certainty over the future of the bingo
- Delancey is not providing enough social rented housing – and even that could be lost
The case for quashing the planning approval is that Southwark Council’s planning committee was misled about the maximum amount of affordable housing that the scheme could viably provide. Delancey said it could only afford to provide 116 social rented units, but we now know that with the Mayor’s funding they could give us another 42. This would still only amount to a fraction of the total 979 units of new homes in the development, but social rented housing is the most vital kind of affordable housing and desperately needed throughout Southwark - 42 families should not be deprived of somewhere decent and affordable to live.
Social rent in doubt
Even the 116 social rented homes promised could be at risk; the devil is in the detail and Delancey has managed to pull the wool over the Council's eyes with a deal which could leave us with little or no social rented housing if Delancey doesn’t deliver the “West site”, not due to be built for another 10 years.
We want the planning approval quashed and then we want a development scheme that provides homes and shops that are truly affordable for local people.
Our legal challenge is supported by the Public Interest Law Centre and Southwark Law Centre. We will be represented by barristers Sarah Sackman of Francis Taylor Building and David Wolfe QC of Matrix Chambers.
We must raise at least £5000 to be able to mount this vital challenge and for that we need your help. All funds will go towards the legal costs of the case. If we lose the case we will have to pay the other side's costs. If we win, we will be able to pay our own lawyers!
Please donate to our appeal, any amount big or small!
Please share this page with you friends and contacts!
Any donation you can make will help in this crucial fight to make London a city where the needs of our diverse communities come before the profits of offshore property developers.
You can read more about Delancey's desructive plans here.