Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre development: decision deferred as Delancey offers more social housing, a better deal for traders and space for bingo.
Southwark councillors have deferred a final decision on Delancey's plans to redevelop the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre and London College of Communication after the developer offered to make several changes to its proposals.
Southwark's planning committee reconvened on Tuesday night, a fortnight after the marathon eight-hour hearing of the Elephant & Castle planning application that saw councillors defeat a motion to approve the scheme.
Hours before the latest meeting, Delancey's Stafford Lancaster wrote to the council indicating that his firm is prepared to improve its affordable housing offer, with a possibility that part of the development (up to 116 homes out of 979) could be included in Southwark's programme of new council housing.
The company has also offered to create a temporary retail area using shipping containers on Castle Square in Elephant Road whilst the shopping centre is redeveloped, with priority given to existing independent traders in the centre.
Delancey has also stepped up its commitment to finding short-term and longer-term space for the bingo hall at the Elephant & Castle.
In the light of these new pledges, which have not yet been formally tabled as part of the planning application or assessed by planning officers, councillors voted 7-1 to defer consideration of the scheme till a later date.
A motion to refuse the planning application had been tabled by Cllr Adele Morris but her proposal did not find a seconder.
"We welcome Southwark Council's decision to defer the decision of our planning application," said a Delancey spokeswoman.
"Our proposals offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver essential regeneration to a key London location, which will bring almost 1,000 new homes to a site where none currently exist, desperately needed new transport infrastructure with a new Northern line entrance and ticket hall, and ensure London College of Communication's long term future in Elephant & Castle.
"We recognise that concerns have been raised about our proposals and this extra time will give us the opportunity for these to be addressed.
"The issues are resolvable if all parties continue to engage in this positive and constructive manner.
"We will continue our work with Cathedrals and East Walworth ward councillors, Southwark Council and other interested local parties to reach a mutually acceptable and positive conclusion."