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Housing firms chosen to lead Elephant and Castle renaissance

Southwark council's attempts to regenerate London's Elephant and Castle took a major step forward this morning with the selection of two key consortia to take on the project.

Two groups of housing associations have been chosen to build the first 1,000 homes in the ongoing renaissance of the down-at-heel area of London.

They will work with a list of star architects including S333, AOC, de Rijke Marsh Morgan Architects, Proctor and Matthews, Glenn Howells Architects and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects.

The consortia are: Urban Choice, which comprises the Family Housing Association and Affinity Housing Group; and an alliance between London & Quadrant, Wandle Housing Association and Guinness Trust.

Sixteen architectural practices were selected from 80 that applied to work with the council. The full list also includes: Cartwright Pickard Architects; Glas Architects; Featherstone Associates; Haworth Tompkins, Loates-Taylor Shannon; Niall McLaughlin Architects; Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects; kmk Architects; and Metaphorm.

The 1,000 homes - 70 per cent of which will be social housing - will be built on 15 different sites. When the locations become ready for development, the local authority will invite three or four architectural practices to submit proposals against an initial brief.

The architects will then present these proposals to a selection group made up of the relevant housing association, council officers, elected members and tenants' representatives.

It is anticipated that planning applications for the sites will be submitted early next year.

by Rob Sharp

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