15-storey block approved for Elephant & Castle street despite local opposition

Latitude Architects has secured detailed planning permission for a 15-storey hotel on a street in the Elephant & Castle district of Southwark.

Its 89-room proposals for Create Reit will replace a pair of interconnected three-storey buildings on St George’s Road. The new building, which will have two basement levels and a three-storey section, will have around 750sq m of office space, a café and a 70sq m “micro” retail unit.

A public consultation exercise on the proposals attracted 239 responses, all but nine of which were objections.

Southwark Council planning officers said criticisms included the quality of the practice’s design and the scheme’s impact on the adjacent Elliott’s Row Conservation Area and nearby West Square Conservation Area. Objectors also questioned the need for additional hotel rooms in Elephant & Castle.

Government heritage adviser Historic England did not object to the proposals, or raise any other concerns.


Latitude Architects’ proposals for 21 St George’s Road

Recommending the hotel scheme for approval, planning officers said the development would be a “high quality” building that incorporated a range of “robust and rich facing materials, brought together into a refined and striking architecture through careful detailing”.

“The building would form the context to the large-scale buildings that sit within Elephant & Castle major town centre, standing adjacent to and consolidating the cluster of consented taller structures on the London College of Communication site but being of a lesser order of height,” they said.

“The building’s contribution would be positive, with an engaging architectural treatment and elegant concertina expression to its crown.”


Officers said some objectors had commented that the Elephant & Castle Supplementary Planning Document and Opportunity Area Planning Framework identified the St George’s Road site was only suitable for buildings of up to six storeys.

However they said in their report that both documents had been rescinded by Southwark Council’s cabinet last year, meaning the guidance was no-longer a material planning consideration.

Seven members of Southwark’s Planning Committee voted in favour of Latitude’s proposals at their meeting last week. One councillor abstained and there were no votes against.


Source: Google Maps

The current buildings on site at 21 St George’s Road. One dates back to the 1930s, the other to the 1950s, according to Southwark Council.