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Destination Elephant

Yesterday, a group of residents disrupted a private view of Delancey's 'plans' for the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle shopping centre.

On 30th June, some local residents received an email inviting them to the 'exhibition preview' for Delancey's proposals to redevelop the shopping centre:

"Good evening

Please find below an invitation to the Exhibition Preview for our emerging proposals for the future of the Elephant and Castle town centre.

It would be very helpful if you could circulate this to your members or stakeholders ASAP. Please note that RSVPs are needed for ALL those planning to attend.

EXHIBITION PREVIEW

Emerging proposals for the future of the Elephant and Castle town centre

Delancey’s vision for the existing shopping centre site is to create a new town centre for Elephant and Castle and to maintain the buzz and cultural diversity which characterises this central London location. Our aim is to create a destination with excellent transport links, first class shopping, new homes to rent for people living and working in London, enhanced public spaces and cultural offerings, alongside a new cutting-edge campus for London College of Communications.

As these emerging proposals develop, a public exhibition will take place in the shopping centre between the 9 and 11 July.

We will be hosting a preview session before we open to the public and as a valued local stakeholder we would be delighted if you could attend. Please see details below:

Date: Wednesday 8 July

Time: Between 6pm and 8pm

Location: Upper Mall, Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre (next to Little Orient Supermarket)

If you are unable to come along then give us your feedback or ask any questions by e-mailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Please RSVP to the above email address by Monday 6 July.

Please note you must RSVP and your name must be on the list of attendees or you may not be able to access the preview session.

For further information please visit www.elephantandcastletowncentre.co.uk, which will be updated with exhibition materials from Thursday 9 July.

Yours sincerely.

Kim Humphreys

Acting for and on behalf of Delancey"

Many of you will remember that Kim Humphreys, before he started acting for and on behalf of Delancey, was a Conservative councillor in Southwark, as well as a Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Housing. When his councillordom came to an end, he founded Carvil Ventures, an 'independent corporate finance and real estate consultancy'. Kim Humphreys can be seen enjoying a sunny day with his friends/foes, Cllr Peter John and Cllr Fiona Colley, below.

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Delancey too have history in the area. They are responsible for the ridiculous 'Tribeca Square' development on Elephant Road, where they plan to create 270 special 'student studios', alongside 370 private flats and zero (0) 'affordable' homes. In theory, when a developer is not providing any affordable housing, the council collects an 'in lieu' payment instead (which, in this case, would've been an extra £52M). Delancey argued that, in order to protect their shareholders' profit margins of 20% and above, they would need to increase the number of privately rented homes (an additional 61 than originally agreed) and only pay £1M in lieu.

Delancey, using the name 'Eadon Estates' bought the land for just £8.5M in 2006. They then promptly re-sold it to another Delancey company, 'Eadon Ltd' for £18.8M. In 2011, the land was transferred again, this time to 'DV4 Eadon Ltd', at a supposed cost of £40M. This artificial cost-setting will be used to rig any viability assessments and increase future sales prices, with all the profits being syphooned back to the various offshore companies, many registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Handing the shopping centre, with its current thriving small, local and ethnic businesses and communities, over to someone who wants to clear the lot out so they can "create a destination with excellent transport links, first class shopping, new homes to rent for people living and working in London" is very bad news indeed.

A group of residents, masked as a herd or a small army of elephants, went along to the 'exhibition preview' to make their voices heard. The sound of elephants blasted out the sound system through the entire shopping centre, as 'elephants' trudged slowly towards the exhibition venue. Two bouncers guarded the entrance to the exhibition, effectively not just preventing anyone from going in, but also stopping any of the 'insiders' (at the time there were only two 'people' we could see inside, the rest were suited&booted employees of whoever) coming out. One of the bouncers got into quite a comic frenzy, immediately calling the shopping centre security for back-up, shouting at the top of his voice 'You can't go in! This is for private people', demanding the protesters turned off the sound system etc. Protesters refused but instead gave out flyers with detailed background information to passers-by supportive of the protest. The elephants slowly and noisily trampled around the shopping centre giving out flyers and talking with people, then left on their own accord as mission was accomplished.

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The 'exhibition' of the latest rip-off plans is open to public today (Thursday 9th, 12:00 noon - 20:00), tomorrow (Friday 10th 09:00 - 17:00) and Saturday 11th July 09:00 - 15:00.

See also London SE1 article for more details about the proposal here.

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