Southwark council defends stance over Elephant and Castle traders – saying they have always been its “main priority”

By Grainne Cuffe, Local Democracy Reporter

Southwark council said supporting traders from the Elephant and Castle shopping centre has “always been its main priority” in response to accusations it left some in the lurch with nowhere to go.

The shopping centre closed its doors after more than 50 years on September 24.

Developer Delancey plans to demolish the centre to make way for nearly 1,000 new homes, a pedestrianised town centre, a new college building for the University of the Arts London, leisure and office space, as well as a new Tube station.

There has been a long-running dispute between campaigners against the plans and the developer.

Southwark council and Delancey say that all eligible traders have been relocated or offered new premises.

But groups such as the 35 per cent Campaign and Latin Elephant say more than 40 traders have been left with nowhere to go.

Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet member for climate emergency, planning and transport, said: “Supporting the small business and market traders in the lead up to closure and beyond has always been the council’s main priority.

“We pushed hard for the best possible outcome for traders, ensuring the developer made site provision and relocation funding available for them in its plans, and offering up an additional £200,000 in council funding for businesses which are yet to find new premises.

“We understood that closure represented a hugely unsettling transition for the traders and employed an independent business advisor to support them through these changes, as well as helping find alternative sites.

“The council has received a number of further options to consider and can confirm we will continue to work closely with the traders, the independent business advisor and relevant land owners to explore all possible options for relocation to ensure traders grow and develop with the area.”

Pictured top: The Elephant and Castle shopping centre

 


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