What started as a rumour almost 20 years ago is now getting closer to become a reality. Will 2019 be the final date for the demolition of the so loved Elephant and Castle shopping centre?
Ahmed, who owns a small stall inside the shopping, doesn’t believe in it. “Every time they’ve delayed it another 3 years. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but they’re probably going to move us somewhere else.” he says with a very unbothered tone.
Ahmed’s stall by the entrance © Francisca larawan
What seems to be “historical” and loved by the locals, is, at the same time, one of the most hated places in London by many others.
Southwark Council produced an Equalities Impact Assessment (pdf) that revealed that 58 out of the 86 businesses inside the shopping agree with the redevelopment even though most of them still wished to be relocated within the area.
Larger companies like Boots or Superdrug worry that they will have to transfer their workers to other branches. “In the worst case scenario, Boots will close its branch in the Elephant and Castle shopping centre to be relocated somewhere else” calmly says Nana, Boots store manager.
The time for the demolishment gets closer every day, but business owners will not get worried until an official date is released.