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Summary of the allocation

process for retail units at


Elephant One, Castle Square
and Perronet House

April 2019
1. Introduction 3. Overview of process
th
At the Elephant and Castle traders’ meeting on 26 The units were open to businesses that are eligible for
March, a number of questions were asked about the relocation support under the S106 agreement for the
allocation criteria, the process followed and outcomes for Shopping Centre.
the relocation space at Castle Square, Elephant One and
Perronet House. Uncertainty over the process and a lack The criteria for allocating these units were discussed and
of reliable information has clearly caused a lot of approved at the January 2019 Traders Panel. They were
frustration and allowed some misunderstandings to grow. originally based on feedback received from traders during
This note provides answers to the questions raised at the Tree Shepherd focus groups in July 2018. These criteria
meeting, and aims to reassure business owners that the were circulated to all traders and a further note explaining
the process was circulated after they were discussed
process was transparent and properly followed.
again at the February Trader Panel meeting.
This note covers:
The assessment panel followed this process when
making decisions.
• The sites
• Overview of process The panel’s aim was to use the criteria to find suitable
• How the criteria were assessed space for as many businesses as practically possible.
• Decision making The panel responded flexibly to the information provided
• Validation in applications, the limited available space and all traders’
• Summary of results preferred locations.
• Outcomes of the process
• Ongoing support The panel received 64 applications from traders in the
• Relocation Fund red-line of the shopping centre site, including the moat
market, kiosks and arches. It worked to the following
2. The sites time-table:

In this process traders could apply to three locations. Activity Dates


These have been provided either by Delancey or
Southwark Council to provide extra space in the local Business preparation and January - February
area for independent traders from the shopping centre planning 2019
site. These locations offer space on top of what is Application process closes 18 February 2019
available on local high streets, they do not have enough
space on their own for every trader to move to them. Applications processed and sent 26 February
to property owners
Retail units at the base of Perronet House. These are
Property owners meet to confirm 1, 5, 12 March
being built by Southwark Council to create additional
allocations
affordable space and help maintain a local retail offer
after the shopping centre closes. The units are sized Validation of results 13, 14 March
approximately between 100sqft and 360sqft with one
Traders informed of successful 15 March
larger café unit around 1300sqft.
application
Temporary retail units at Castle Square. These are being March Trader Panel 19 March
built by Delancey. This was required by the council to
provide additional, temporary space for traders during the Initial outcomes meeting 26 March
redevelopment of the town centre. Each individual unit
‘module’ measures around 140sqft but can be combined Traders had the option to meet with Tree Shepherd’s
in different sizes to fit businesses’ needs. Business advisors in the Business preparation and
planning period to discuss writing their application.
Retail units at Elephant One. These were provided under
the planning permission for this development and have Stage 1
been held in reserve by Delancey for shopping centre
traders. They are mostly sized between 150sqft and The criteria listed below were used to place all applicants
300sqft with one unit at 635sqft. into Pot 1 or Pot 2.

The layout at all sites can be reconfigured to some A Pot 1 applicant had:
extent to allow for different combinations of units in
various sizes to accommodate businesses’ needs. • A good track record of making rent and service
charge payments
• A business plan that shows the business will be
competitive and viable in the new location and

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employ staff (but if a sole trader this was not business performance? Were expansion plans or
counted against the applicant) substantial change to the business model in the new
• Applied for a space of comparable size to their location convincing? Was all the necessary information
current unit; and provided?
• Be a type of business that will function well and
be suitable for that location, taking into account Size of location
tenant mix.
There were very few larger units on offer through this
A Pot 2 applicant may have: process. Some businesses that currently operate from
larger units applied for similar spaces. In this case, where
• Missed rent or service charge payments in the feasible the larger available units were targeted at these
past few years businesses.
• An under-developed or untested business plan
• Applied for a space much larger than their Businesses that do not currently operate from a unit were
current unit; or typically considered after those that operate from units.
• Be a type of business that is less suitable for
their choices of location, taking into account Tenant mix and profile
tenant mix.
The tenant mix for each location was carefully
Businesses in Pot 1 were considered first. considered. The aim was to create a complementary and
successful community of businesses at each site with a
Being placed in Pot 2 did not mean a trader was good chance of bringing footfall to benefit each other.
disqualified or classed as ineligible. They were The key considerations were the mix of products and
considered for space after the Pot 1 applications. services offered, and the location of ‘destination’
businesses and those that rely more on passing trade.
Stage 2
Length of tenure
All Pot 1 applicants were considered first. The panel tried
to fit them all into their first choice locations. The length of time that a business has been trading from
the site was considered after the four other criteria. It was
Where there was more than one business competing for used only to make a final decision on a very small
a first choice unit, the panel re-assessed each applicant number of occasions when two similar businesses were
against the criteria. The business that best met the equally suitable in all other aspects.
criteria secured the unit.
5. Decision making
Only in the event of a tie break was the length of tenure
at the shopping centre used to decide the successful Southwark Council took the decisions relating to Perronet
applicant. House. The council was advised in the decisions by
Meanwhile Space CIC, who will operate the arcade.
The panel then attempted to allocate all Pot 1 businesses
that did not secure their first choice to a second or third Delancey took the decisions relating to Castle Square
choice unit. Where more than one business was in and Elephant One.
competition, the same process as above was used.
Southwark Council oversaw the process and was
Stage 3 involved in the assessment of all applications to make
sure that Delancey’s decisions for Castle Square and
Pot 2 applicants were then considered, following the Elephant One were taken in line with the criteria and
same process as for Pot 1. obligations.

4. How the criteria were assessed 6. Validation


Finance records and payment history The application process was validated by the Head of
Property at Southwark Council, who provided a
Any known rent or service charge arrears were taken into professional assessment of the process, having had no
account, particularly where there was a pattern of late previous involvement in the Elephant and Castle planning
payment or substantial arrears built up over time. or business relocation process. After this review the
outcomes of the selection were found to be logical,
Business plan consistent and have been arrived at through a robust and
transparent process.
The quality of the business plan was considered to
assess the likely chance of success in the new location,
taking into account changes to costs, footfall and
operating model. Was it consistent with previous

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7. Summary of results Businesses could also express a preference for a
particular unit or units as well as a location. After
There were 36 successful applications, and 28 applications were assessed against the criteria, some
unsuccessful applications. businesses were unsuccessful with their preferred units
or location but were offered space elsewhere.
Businesses may now decide whether this could be a
Successful Unsuccessful
viable location for them or consider alternatives, using
Units 20 7 Tree Shepherd’s support and the relocation database.
Kiosks 2 2 Businesses that meet the criteria not being offered
Market 9 18 space
Barrows 5 1 A small number of businesses simply could not be
accommodated following the assessment and allocation
Of the unsuccessful businesses, a number are held in process, as there was no suitable space left that met their
reserve in case offers are not taken up. preferences. In some cases, businesses lost out to
another business offering a similar product or service.
8. Outcomes of the process
These businesses may still be offered space if any of the
The outcomes of this process have raised some first round of offers are not taken up and units become
questions. These are addressed in more detail below. available.

Businesses offered smaller or fewer units than they 9. Ongoing Support


currently occupy
For all businesses that have not been offered space at
There were very few large units on offer at these these sites, or wish to discuss their offer in more detail,
locations. Some businesses based in larger units made Tree Shepherd are available to provide advice on next
applications for similar amounts of space that they steps.
currently occupy. Where possible, and they met the
criteria, these businesses have been offered what is Drop-ins are every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
available but this is unavoidably less than their current 1.30pm to 4.30pm at Unit 231, Elephant and Castle
unit size. Shopping Centre. Pre-booked meetings can also take
place in the mornings and 4.30pm onwards, on request.
Other businesses or business owners currently operate
from more than one location in the shopping centre site Enquiries and calls at any time:
and applied for an equivalent number of separate units. Lydia@treeshepherd.org.uk Mobile: 07561 012895
In these cases, because of the limited space, the panel
prioritised making at least one offer per business owner. Please note, if meetings are taking place during the time
you call, you may be asked to come back at the next
Longer-standing traders being unsuccessful and convenient time.
more recent traders being offered units
Individual feedback will be available through Tree
In the criteria, agreed in consultation with traders, the Shepherd after 12 April.
length of operation at the shopping centre was used as a
‘tie-break’ when all other criteria were equal between two Southwark Council are also organising a follow-up
businesses for their preferred location. The reason for support session specifically for market traders and
this was to make sure the criteria prioritised a business’s barrow holders unsuccessful in securing a unit. The
chances of success and creating a good mix of relocated council is also exploring all options around alternative
businesses in each site that would drive footfall to each sites for market traders.
other. The tie-break was required only on a very small
number of occasions. 10. Relocation Fund
Businesses offered a unit that they are unhappy with The Relocation Fund will be available to all eligible
because of size or location businesses that relocate, regardless of where they move
to. Businesses that have not been offered space at these
The application process ran a ‘preference’ system where sites are therefore equally as eligible for the Relocation
traders expressed first, second and third choices for Fund as those that have. Proposals for a separate
locations. This was to help the panel understand the application process will be discussed at the Trader Panel
preferences more fully and so make offers to as many in the coming months.
businesses as possible within the limitations of the sites.

If English is not your first language or you would like some assistance with the content of this note, please contact
nick.wolff@southwark.gov.uk

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