Lendlease’s ambition for Elephant Park has always been to set new standards in sustainable, urban development. Construction began in 2013 and, with the programme now over halfway, the 28-acre site in London’s zone one is demonstrably realising those ambitions with a mix of uses including new homes, offices, highstreets, community facilities and public open spaces for everyone to enjoy.
Lendlease committed to the project being net-zero-carbon in operation, back when the outline planning consent was secured in 2012. Amongst the many low carbon innovations in practice throughout the development, at the centre sits Elephant Park’s Energy Centre which provides net-zero-carbon heat and hot water to all buildings on site, with capacity for 1,000 additional properties throughout the Elephant & Castle Opportunity Area.
Green infrastructure plays an important role: in helping to mitigate the climate emergency, as a health & wellbeing resource for the community, and for its positive contribution to biodiversity. Public space makes up over half of the masterplan ground plane, and includes pocket parks, wide leafy tree-lined streets, and a brand new two-acre park at its centre. A key feature of Elephant Park is the retention of 27 mature London Plane trees from the original Heygate Estate; an important outcome from ongoing community consultation on the masterplan. A further 1,300 trees have also been planted in and around Elephant Park. Sustainable, social outcomes are top of mind for all decisions taken at Elephant Park.
For example, following feedback from the community, the retail mix has been carefully curated to create a diverse mix of young, independent and local businesses from the area. Also, over 1,500 Southwark residents have gained employment at Elephant Park to date, with over half of those from previously unemployed backgrounds, and training has been delivered to over 9,500 people through the Southwark Construction Skills Centre.