The first phase of a major renovation project in the Elephant and Castle area of London is set to get underway next year as the local authority has approved the initial development process.

Lend Lease has been given consent from Southwark Council to work on the St Mary's Residential project that will herald the major renovation that is due to occur in this area of the capital over the next year. Officials stated that work will be underway in summer 2013 and there has been a date of December 2015 earmarked for the completion of this development. It represents a small part of the massive £1.5 billion investment that is going into the area to significantly improve it for both residents and workers that come into Elephant and Castle for their job.

Alongside refurbishments on the 37-storey St Mary's Residential building, Southwark Council also announced that approval had been granted to a new £20 million leisure facility that will be situated south-west of the development. Officials noted that the money for the community leisure centre and swimming pool was made available following the sale of the land at the St Mary's Residential site and it is designed to help integrate all local residents to come and use the facilities that are available on their doorstep.

Following the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games prime minister David Cameron was keen to stress the importance of providing a 'legacy' once the main event has gone. The move to open a new leisure centre through shows the commitment that Southwark Council is to promoting the involvement of people in sporting activities and providing a place where residents can keep fit.

Rob Deck, Lend Lease's Elephant and Castle project director, said: "The development will offer exceptionally located homes which put sustainability, comfort and modern lifestyle at the heart of the design.

St Mary's Residential is also a bold visual marker for the wider regeneration of the area. We're also very pleased that the decision will enable the brand new public leisure centre to be built, a vital facility for the community."

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