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Squire and McAslan bag planning for 'vanguard' Elephant & Castle scheme

Southwark Council has approved plans for a new £20 million leisure centre and a 37-storey tower in Elephant and Castle, London

The project marks the first phase of Southwark Council and Lend Lease’s £1.5 billion regeneration vision for the maligned post-war south London town centre.

Replacing an existing 1960s leisure centre, the 0.56 hectare scheme features a John McAslan and Partners and S&P-designed leisure centre and a mixed-use residential-led tower by Squire and Partners.

Planned to complete by autumn 2014, McAslan’s leisure centre will feature a six lane, 25 metre-long swimming pool, a learner pool, four badminton courts, a gym and indoor cycle studio, two fitness studios, a crèche and a café.

Squire’s 37-storey mixed-use development – named ‘St Mary’s Residential’ – will meanwhile include 284 homes, 620m² of retail and 400m² of ‘creative business’ space. The project also features a four-storey pavilion and is planned to start on site next summer and complete by December 2015.

Rob Deck, Lend Lease’s Elephant & Castle Project Director, said: ‘The decision to give the go ahead for our St Mary’s Residential plans is the most significant milestone to date in the £1.5bn regeneration of Elephant & Castle.

‘The development will offer exceptionally located homes which put sustainability, comfort and modern lifestyle at the heart of the design. 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 centre to be built, a vital facility for the community.’

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: ‘I’m delighted that this scheme has been given the go-ahead. 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 centre.

He added: ‘Elephant has been crying out for a new, up-to-date leisure centre including the swimming pool for too long and I’m delighted that we’re making progress at such a pace. Planning consent means that we’re ready to take this to the next stage.

‘The centre will provide first-class facilities for local people and will draw others to the area when it completes. We’ll soon be able to see the physical signs of the new leisure centre taking shape on the ground; just another sign of the area’s exciting and rapid transformation.’

An outline application to regenerate the 8.8 hectare Heygate Housing estate with 2,500 new homes was submitted for planning in April.


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