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Lend Lease Wins Approval for $2.4 Billion London Project

Lend Lease Group, Australia’s biggest property developer, received approval for its 1.5 billion pound ($2.4 billion) masterplan to redevelop a residential and commercial project in London’s Elephant & Castle.

Lend Lease will work with Southwark Council, the local government where Elephant & Castle is located, to develop detailed designs for buildings and public space, the Sydney-based company said today in a statement to the Australian exchange.

The 15-year regeneration of the failed housing estate close to London’s city center will include about 2,500 new homes as well as shops, restaurants and community facilities, according to Lend Lease. London’s housing market is outperforming the rest of the U.K., with values rising to the highest in 2 1/2 years in December, according to data compiled by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

“The regeneration of Elephant & Castle is now under way,” Steve McCann, Lend Lease’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. “The approval of our masterplan sets in motion our long-term plans and our commitment to the region.”

Lend Lease was unchanged at A$9.77 at the close of trading in Sydney. The shares closed at a three-year high yesterday and have added 28 percent in the past six months. That compares with a 15 percent increase in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index.

The approval follows the planning permission received in November for One The Elephant, a 37-story residential development of 284 homes, also part of the regeneration. That project will be completed in 2016, Lend Lease said.

The redevelopment may help Elephant & Castle to shed its image as an area best-known for having Europe’s first covered retail complex. The Strata, a lipstick-shaped building that opened in this part of south London in 2010, has some of the highest apartments in the capital.

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