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Southwark Council gives green light to Alumno for Elephant and Castle student scheme

Planning permission has been granted to Alumno for the construction of high-quality purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in Elephant and Castle, part of the London Borough of Southwark.

Consisting of a 24-storey tower designed by Maccreanor Lavington architects, the  development will regenerate a constrained brownfield site and provide 244 student rooms together with a range of communal spaces for quiet study and socialising. The site’s three railway arches will also be redeveloped to provide 67sqm of commercial space for independent and local businesses.

In line with Alumno’s commitment to celebrating the heritage of the local area adjacent to its projects, artwork will be commissioned by Southwark-based artists that reflect Elephant and Castle’s history, which will be incorporated into the building. The local community will also benefit from well-designed public space around the development, which includes bringing a public route through the site back into use, along with a substantial £11.1 million contribution to affordable housing in the area.


“Despite the constrained site, the development will play a part in activating the Low Line, the new walking destination running the length of the Victorian rail viaducts that span Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey,” explained Maccreanor Lavington Founding Director Gerard Maccreanor. “Its aim is to provide engaging and well-lit public space along the ground floor level – a lively alleyway reminiscent of the fascinating hidden and unexpected passages of London.”


On giving the green light to the project, Southwark’s Planning Officer described the building as a “carefully conceived scheme which will provide an engaging building of an appropriate urban character”.


Commenting on the successful submission, Alumno Managing Director David Campbell said: “We’re delighted to have been given the go-ahead to develop this project on the corner of Southwark’s Rockingham Street and Tiverton Street, next to the railway viaduct. It will help meet the demand for student accommodation in the area, while freeing up housing for local people. We’re looking forward to working in the borough again to provide a building of the highest quality. I would also like to thank our partners in this project – Melrose capital for their ongoing support”


Planning and development consultancy Turley provided planning services for the project.


Director at Turley, Catriona Fraser said:


“It has been a pleasure to provide planning services to Alumno on another of their PBSA schemes in the capital.  This well-designed project will optimise a constrained, but highly accessible site, re-activating and providing high quality public realm and contributing towards affordable housing.”



This is one of several PSBA schemes that Alumno has worked on with Southwark Council, the latest being Bermondsey Spa, which opened to students last September.

Press coverage of the decision

The decision was reported in e-architect

Property Wire


Local news site London SE1


Urban Living News


Architect’s Datafile (looks like the architect’s PR release)