London’s First Alligator Park in Resi-Scheme Planned For Old Kent Rd

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Leading South and West London developer Avanton are looking at a range of options for the transformation of the iconic gasholder on the landmark gasholders site. One of Avanton’s options is to create London’s first ALLIGATOR PARK & FARM within the listed gas holder, which is 20 metres deep.

The alligators would be housed within a series of deep waterfeatures within the gasholder, with a special visitors’ centre and educational facility built within the leisure area. An alligator park – the first of its kind in London – could be highly popular with the local schools and colleges in the London Borough of Southwark and further afield.  The facility has the potential to inspire schools and deliver an ‘adventure facility’ within the new development.

Avanton would not undertake such a project without further consultation with reptile and environmental experts. Alligators need warm weather to thrive, temperature between 82 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives them the right temperatures to survive, but also breed, lay eggs and feel they are in their natural – Florida like – habitat.

To create this temperate environment, the Avanton concept would face the part of the 48.8 metre high gasholder frame with special shielded glass, to create a glass conservatory and pavilion to house the alligator park. Sliding glass panels in the conservatory enable the temperature of the alligator park to be raised or lowered to keep the housed reptiles at optimum temperature for their health and wellbeing.

Alligators can actually survive in cold temperatures, even in freezing temperatures and ice on water, but by creating a multi-storey glass conservatory and glass verandas within the gasholder, the park would be able to operate throughout the year as a tourist attraction, educational centre and unique ecological habitat for South London.

Other options being explored for the gasholder frame are to transform it into a striking art-like architectural feature within the gardens and parkland of the new development. Within the skeleton of the gasholder there are optional plans for a pavilion, water features and gardens, providing a central feature for the residential and commercial buildings within the new development.

Alongside the options for either the alligator park or the central pavilion and waterfeatures, Avanton are proposing to transform the wider 1.6 hectare (4 acre) Gasholders site into a new £230 million (GDV) mixed use regeneration project which will remediate the industrial land and provide hundreds of new homes including affordable housing, open space and over 50,000 sqft of light industrial commercial use, supporting the Council’s Healthy Living strategy.

 Alongside the Gasholders site, Avanton has already gained planning permission for 1,152 new homes providing 40% affordable housing and a sports centre on the 1.36 hectare (3.3 acre) Ruby Triangle site which the developer plans to launch in 2020. Avanton’s third site at 651 Old Kent Road, the Carpetright scheme, is also in the planning system which will provide a further 262 units, of which 40% will be affordable homes.

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