Eileen House was an office building owned by SouthBank University. The original application for its redevelopment was made in Feb 2009, but was rejected for having no social rented housing and not enough shared-ownership housing. The application was resubmitted and called in by the Mayor after controversy surrounding a donation to Southwark Liberal Democrat party from the Ministry of Sound, one of the main objectors to the application. However, the updated application was worse: it still had no social rented housing, had reduced the shared-ownership units by 15 units to 65, and had increased the private units by the same number from 255 to 270.
Despite Southwark’s planning committee having rejected the planning application, council leader Peter John appeared at the Mayor’s hearing endorsing the scheme & recommending its approval.
To add to the controversy, the developers for this scheme are Oakmayne Properties - a shell Delancey shell company with a history of tax avoidance, registered in the Isle of Man.
The architects for the scheme are Allies Morrison - a company of which Southwark Councillor and Labour MP Helen Hayes is a partner.
The planning advisors and planning agent for the scheme was Four Communications, a company founded by former Lambeth council leader Jeremy Fraser and former Southwark Cabinet member for Regeneration Steve Lancashire.
The development has now been rebranded ‘Two Fifty One London’. In July 2016 the development went on sale in Bahrain, with flats marketed as including a private cinema. The marketing pitch is clearly aimed at investors rather than prospective owner occupiers: “The £3 billion regeneration of Elephant and Castle is being billed as a huge draw for investors who want to benefit from long-term capital growth.”