Kuwait’s Salhia in the running for UK project

Salhia has plans to build Europe’s largest urban regeneration scheme

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By  Sean Cronin Published  April 30, 2005

Kuwaiti developer Salhia Real Estate has made a bid to develop the largest urban regeneration project in the UK — the US $3billion redevelopment of Elephant & Castle. It is the first time the Kuwaiti company has been linked to a major new construction project in the UK. But the firm will first have to beat off competitiion from some of the biggest names in global property development and construction — including New York billionnaire landlord Richard Lefrak. Australian construction giants Multiplex and Lendlease have also thrown their hats into the ring. Salhia has teamed up with UK-based developer St Modwen Property to re-develop the blighted south London site which covers 170 acres. The project will involve the creation of 75 000 m2 of new retail and leisure space and more than 5000 new homes. Development director Chris Horn said: “The competition has attracted an immensely strong field for one of the largest development programmes currently available in the UK. “The names on the list mean we can expect real variety as we move into short listing stage, which will create distinct choices in the way we take the Elephant & Castle scheme forward.’’ The Elephant & Castle development team and their professional consultants will now consider whether each of the organisations shortlisted for the project have the experience, rigour and technical capacity to deliver a programme of the scale required. Southwark Council created the framework for development, a masterplan for the area’s development, and adopted it as supplementary planning guidance in early 2004. Plans to develop the Elephant & Castle site in south London have existed for several years and have been the subject of ongoing controversy. A previous plan to regenerate the site collapsed in 2002 after Southwark Council and its preferred development partner, Southwark Land Regeneration, failed to agree a deal. According to the current project timetable, construction work on the housing element of the scheme could start as early as next summer.

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