LONDON-The $2.7 billion, 70-acre regeneration project of London’s Elephant and Castle area took a step forward today, when Lend Lease and the London Borough of Southwark approved the Heads of Terms agreement. This will allows Lend Lease to move forward with the creation of actual plans for the south London area.

“Lend Lease is extremely pleased with Southwark Council’s decision. We understand the importance of the successful regeneration of Elephant and Castle to the local community, Southwark and London and are committed to continuing to work in partnership with the Council to finalize agreements and begin work on site,” says Dan Labbad, CEO-Europe for Lend Lease.

The current rough sketch, calls for development in six stags. The first phase will be involve heavy demolition of the area, a move that will begin by February 2010, if not sooner. From there, detailed planning consent for phase one construction will be approved by April 2011. Phase six calls for the redevelopment of the shopping mall, a stage that will be pursued once the economy improves.

According to general plans put forth in 2004, when the project began to improve the blighted area, construction will include 5,300 new homes, a new civic square, landmark office buildings, transportation improvements, and six ‘character areas.’ The six character areas are listed as Walworth Road, Civic Square, Market Square, Town Park, Heygate Boulevard and St. Mary’s Churchyard.

“This decision paves the way for another important step on our journey to transform the Elephant and Castle, to create a new, successful and vibrant urban quarter for Southwark and London,” says Nick Stanton, leader of the Southwark Council. “It also represents a very good deal for local tax payers and excellent value for money, which is particularly impressive as we have been negotiating this agreement against the back drop of a national recession.”

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