This is a new development located in the regeneration area of Elephant Park in Elephant & Castle. There are two developments, Park Central East & West and although this review is for Park Central West, they are basically the same.
The development is located a few minutes walk from E&C Tube station and the Thameslink station, so it’s extremely convenient for getting into town. It’s also a moment from the local Sainsbury’s, and all the restaurants and bars which have sprung up around Elephant Park.
There are 4 blocks in the development which are purpose built rentals, and 2 shared ownership blocks, each with their own entrance. The main building is the tower block, New Cooper Point, which the concierge sits in (more on this in a bit).
Within the development there’s reasonable shared facilities, with a TV room, games room, shared working space, dining room and gym. (One of the buildings has its own roof terrace but you can’t use that unless you live in that building.) All in all the shared facilities are a nice feature but are getting busy, even with the development barely occupied, and I’m not sure how much I’ll actually use them. You can book out the rooms for £50 which is a nice feature if you have too many friends for your flat. The biggest issue with the shared spaces is people not respecting them – the cleaning staff do a good job of keeping on top of things but at the weekends there’s often a party vibe to the place, with messes left by people not cleaning up after themselves.
The flats themselves are modern, with underfloor heating, high speed internet and contemporary fittings. Otherwise there’s not much to say on them as they feel pretty much like all new build developments I’ve seen/lived in across London. The soundproofing seems reasonable, although you can definitely still hear your neighbours and people outside, and my block is not half full yet, so time will tell as to how it holds up.
My fellow residents mostly seem to be young people, generally in flat shares or couples. Other blocks in E&C seem to have somewhat older residents, presumably because of the cost of buying them, but Park Central West definitely has an almost student vibe to it (there’s been a number of midweek parties going on late, which I can’t imagine working professionals would do?).
The facilities staff are friendly and try their best to help out but they are limited by the various rules/limitations put in place by the Landlord. You can’t get spare keys (1 key per tenant only) and trying to get a visitor’s key is dependent on which staff is on the desk at the time (not everyone has access to the system/has been trained). The tenancy agreement is very strict on people staying over more than a few nights a week, so I have no idea how it would work if you had a new partner and were testing out living together (no key for them!). Plus the concierge won’t accept packages on your behalf, so things are just left lying in the entrances – we’ve been told there’s a parcel room coming at some point, but they still can’t confirm when and it’s been several months already.
The development is still barely occupied. The lettings agents make out that it’s full or filling up but that’s just not true – I’ve spoken to a number of my neighbours who thought they were moving into a full building, only to realise that they’d been misled. They definitely are starting to fill up, but the sense of urgency put upon me by the agent was pure sell and I wish I’d taken more time to view other (obviously) empty flats in the block before settling for the one I went for.
I still think the reason they aren’t filling up is due to the price: this block is still more expensive than the other flats going in/around Elephant Park, and they have a similar specification.
All in all it’s a nice development with friendly staff, in an amazing location. If you don’t mind noise and have the money then I’m sure you’ll be very happy here.
Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:
Elephant & Castle has changed significantly over the past 15 years, with a lot of the council housing developments being ripped down and replaced with new buildings. This has meant that a lot more money has poured into the area, and it’s changed accordingly.
It used to be that you needed to leave the area in order to find somewhere decent to eat but this is no longer the case: there are lots of pubs and restaurants in the area now, with most of the ‘dodgy’ locations having been refurbished to attract a different crowd.
The massive perk of E&C has always been its location and transport links: you can get into Central London or the City in 20 minutes and both Waterloo and London Bridge are very close as well.
There are still some negatives to the area: it feels quite rough in certain bits, and there’s a persistent culture of drunks hanging around in the parks through the night and into the morning. It’s generally fine but can be a bit shocking to see people still ‘going at it’ early in the morning (along with the negatives such as using the parks as toilets, etc).
It’s also been a shame to see people not respecting the facilities of the area at all, with people walking across flower beds and killing plants, to the delivery couriers cycling very aggressively along paths and almost hitting pedestrians.
All in all though, I still feel E&C is a great place to live.
Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:
I wish I’d realised how cheap the fittings/finish are in the flats: the floor isn’t really wood, the tiles seem to be made from plastic, the bath creaks and groans when you stand in it, and the kitchen appliances look fancy but are pretty cheap (the extractor is the worst – smoke flows around it rather than being sucked in!).
Also, be aware that there’s no parking on site. You can use the service yard for furniture removals and a loading bay with a 20 minute limit (and cameras which issue fines!) but otherwise no where for guests to park. We’re not allowed parking permits for the street parking, so it can be a pain if you have anyone driving to see you. It’s also a pain if you get a taxi, as there’s no where for them to pull up really. So you can find yourself walking around the block with heavy bags.
How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:
Very hit and miss: some questions are answered pretty much immediately, whilst others are completely ignored.