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"Elephant and Castle regeneration: what are the rights and wrongs?"

Link to The Guardian
"... Southwark's leader Peter John acknowledges that the regeneration plan as a whole will produce losers as well as winners among the area's poorer residents and others further afield as the inevitable rises in private sector rents and the general cost of living that happens when any neighbourhood moves upmarket take effect.

"However, the council is adamant that estates like the Heygate, dominated by social housing of an unfashionable kind, are bad for the people living there as well as for the wider community. And at the same time John insists that is mindful that regeneration has to benefit the existing elephant and Castle population. "We have to make sure that doesn't just mean new buildings with new people," he told London SE1 last year, "but new buildings with Southwark residents benefiting from the jobs and opportunities that come from that."

So if Peter John's approach is wrong, along with those of other London boroughs, Labour and Tory-led alike offering variations on essentially the same theme, what are the better, practical alternatives for improving neighbourhoods and London's supply of new and better homes? If there are trade-offs to be made, and balances to be struck, which priorities should prevail?

"In a time of government cuts and market downturn, who has a better bunch of ideas? These, it seems to me, are big and difficult questions. I'd love to have some big and clever answers. Can you help?"

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