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Bidding for Elephant

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Architecture champion Stuart Lipton's property firm Stanhope has enlisted the help of architect Michael Aukett in its bid to win the mammoth 69ha Elephant and Castle development competition being run by Southwark council in London (aj 18 March).

The firm is one of 21 initial submissions. The competition is an ambitious bid to gentrify the area, possibly involving large-scale pedestrianisation and road closures, and acting as a demonstration of government policies from education to integrated transport.

Lipton's former partner Godfrey Bradman is also thought to be bidding. Fred Manson, Southwark's director of regeneration, refused to name names but said he hoped the 21 expressions of interest could be whittled down to a long list at the end of the month. He said that a council survey showed high demand for commercial and retail use in the area, but it would listen as eagerly to schemes for offices or even an 'urban Disneyland'. 'It's a real challenge to develop the area and so far the developers are rising to that challenge,' he said. 'Something will happen there.'

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