By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor
Sydney, Australia-based Lend Lease Group has been granted planning permission from the Southwark Council for a redevelopment project that will feature 284 new homes in the Elephant & Castle area of London.
St. Mary’s Residential marks the start of the regeneration of Elephant & Castle, a once vibrant center for shopping, entertainment and culture, which has been in dire need of a revamping as it slowly became overwhelmed by traffic and undermined by questionable quality developments.
Lend Lease is the developer and commercial partner to the Southwark Council, the planning authority and the majority landowner in the area. The envisioned $2.38 billion master-planned regeneration project, which spans over 26 acres, aims to deliver around 2,800 new homes, 50,000 square feet of office space and 150,000 square feet of retail, community, leisure and restaurant space. The master plan, designed by MAKE Architects, aims to re-establish a new public realm of squares and streets which would mirror the old Georgian street network and reintegrate the new development with the surroundings.
The St. Mary’s Residential 1.16-acre site-plan calls for the construction of a 37-story residential building, which will feature 284 units ranging in size from studios to one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The development will also include a four-story pavilion building that will feature three levels of apartments with more than 12,000 square feet of ground floor retail and office space. Designed by award-winning architects Squire and Partners, St. Mary’s Residential will incorporate the sustainable urban living concept through the inclusion of features such as a green roof, outdoor green space for each apartment, the latest technologies to supply clean and efficient energy, water and power; drainage systems that reuse rainwater for landscaping and water features; and ventilation that provides 100 percent clean air inside the homes. All the units will comply with Code for Sustainable Homes level 4, Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design.
“The development will offer exceptionally located homes which put sustainability, comfort and modern lifestyle at the heart of the design,” said Rob Deck, Lend Lease’s Elephant & Castle project director. “St Mary’s Residential is also a bold visual marker for the wider regeneration of the area. We’re also very pleased that the decision will enable the brand new public leisure center to be built, a vital facility for the community.”
The Southwark Council has also given planning permission for their $31.74 million community leisure center, situated to the west of the St. Mary’s site. The new Elephant and Castle Leisure Center will include a swimming pool, learner pool, four badminton courts, gym, two fitness studios, crèche, café and indoor cycle studio. The new leisure center, which was financed through the land sale of the St. Mary’s Residential development, will be developed by 4 Futures, a partnership between Southwark Council and Balfour Beatty. The design team includes urban design experts John McAslan and Partners and specialist sports architects S&P.
“I’m delighted that this scheme has been given the go-ahead,” said Councilor Peter John, leader of Southwark Council. “While the residential tower will provide brand new homes, the greater significance of this scheme for the broader regeneration of Elephant is that it means we can deliver a brand new £20 million state-of-the-art leisure center.”
The St. Mary’s Residential and leisure center developments will be adjacent to an improved community park and significant improvements will also be made to the local infrastructure.
The St. Mary’s Residential project is expected to break ground during the summer of 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by December 2015. The Elephant and Castle Leisure Center is planned for completion in autumn of 2014.