A shopping centre that was slated for demolition at the end of July has been given an extension because of delays caused by Covid-19.
The Elephant and Castle shopping centre is set to be redeveloped into 1,000 new homes in a 10 year project and has met resistance from traders and residents with more than a thousand objections to the plan.
Now the closure of the shopping centre will take place on September 24 to allow time to complete a temporary retail structure for half of the traders who are being moved there from the shopping centre, with the other half left with nowhere to go.
Planning approval was given for the demolition and redevelopment of the shopping centre to the owners Delancey on July 10, 2018, two years and three deferrals after it was submitted.
A spokesperson from Delancey said: “As a result of the delays caused by Covid-19 social distancing, and with a new construction timeline which ensures optimum safe working conditions on site for contractors on Castle Square, we have taken the decision to extend the closing date of the shopping centre to Thursday 24th September.
“This revised closure date allows time for the completion of the temporary retail structure at Castle Square and the fit out of the units by our Traders. Keeping our Traders informed has always been a key priority for us, and all have been notified of the revised closure date.
“The independent trader’s rent and service charge payments have been entirely waived since the end of March 2020 and will continue to be so up to closure. We will continue to support all our traders with marketing initiatives all the way up to closure and relocation.”
Councillor Johnson Situ, cabinet member for growth, development and planning, said: “This is a sensible decision given the uncertainty at the moment, and traders need to know there is somewhere for them to move to when they can re-open. We remain committed to providing as much support as possible for the traders during these difficult months and beyond.”
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