By Daniel Hunter

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has issued a call to developers to step forward and deliver hundreds of homes, a 45-storey tower and a new theatre as part of a landmark project in the heart of Elephant and Castle.

In what will be a significant boost to the continued regeneration of this part of the capital, the Newington Butts scheme will see the development of 470 apartments on public land owned by the Greater London Authority, which used to be home to the London Park Hotel.

Designed by leading architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the project is one of a number of planned major developments that will breathe new life into the Elephant & Castle Opportunity Area, helping to create a town centre that will provide employment, better homes, improved transport links and community facilities for residents. As well as significant residential development, the scheme will also see new facilities for the Southwark Playhouse, including a 150-180 audience capacity theatre and a café.

The Mayor is calling for expressions of interest from potential developers of the 0.49 hectare site, which forms part of his wider strategy to release public land for development, creating jobs, more affordable housing and boosting economic growth in the capital.

"This project will play a key role in our plans to release public land to boost construction, create jobs and provide homes for working Londoners," Boris said.

"It will be central to helping Elephant and Castle realise its enormous potential for growth and regeneration and so I’m delighted to ask developers to step forward and make it happen. We’re looking for a developer with the know-how, financial clout and the ambition that this fantastic project deserves and that will help to make this historic part of London an even better place to live, work and visit."

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: "I am delighted that this scheme is now progressing as it is a key part of the jigsaw which makes up the Council's vision for the Elephant and Castle which will include new homes both affordable and private, better transport infrastructure, commercial space, job opportunities and public facilities to include a new leisure centre, parks and theatres.

"Momentum and confidence has returned to the project with great progress being made over the last few years and I look forward to proposals coming forward and for construction to start."

The project is of a number of major developments planned for Elephant and Castle, including the Heygate Estate, Elephant & Castle Leisure Centre, Oakmayne Plaza and a new shopping centre that will help to make it a key destination for leisure and shopping, bringing new businesses and prosperity to the area.

Other sites owned by the Greater London Authority, on which development partners have been successfully procured, include Cane Hill in Croydon, where almost 700 homes will be constructed, and the former hospital site of St Clements in Tower Hamlets, where around 200 new homes will be built.

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