Elephant & Castle Regeneration

Lend Lease and Southwark Council working together to transform the area

Lend Lease

First proposed street names for Elephant Park announced, including tribute to Private Lee O’Callaghan

12 November 2015

Lendlease today announces the proposed new street names for the first phase of Elephant Park, following recommendations made by the local community across Elephant & Castle. The naming process began in 2014 and was managed through the Put It On The Map campaign, in partnership with Creation Trust, which encouraged local residents to make suggestions for the new streets, buildings and open spaces on Elephant Park.

The first four new street names, which have now been submitted to Southwark Council for formal approval, are O’Callaghan Way, Sayer Street, Eider Street and Bodley Way, each holding personal and historical significance to local residents.

  • O’Callaghan Way – Named after Private Lee O’Callaghan, a local resident who died on military service in Iraq. With the blessing of his family, and following a huge amount of support from the local community, it was felt that such a well-known figure in the community who gave his life for his country should be honoured in this way. Private O’Callaghan was a member of 1st Battalion, The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, and died in Basra in 2004. He had lived on the Heygate Estate during his childhood.
  • Sayer Street – Sayer Street is an historic street name that was used in 1896, up to 1952, running in a North/South orientation similar to that of the proposed new road, almost exactly matching the old street pattern. It is believed that the road was originally named after John Sayer, a 16th-century resident of Southwark. He was a Member of Parliament and a Knight of Essex. He was a successful merchant, clothier and innkeeper, which, given his name will be used for the new shopping street running through Elephant Park, is an appropriate link.
  • Eider Street and Bodley Way – Eider Street and Bodley Way have also both been identified as historic street names that were used back in the 19th and early 20th centuries and match the same orientation and location of the new streets on Elephant Park.

Commenting on the new names, Rob Heasman, Lendlease’s Project Director at Elephant & Castle, said:

“We are delighted to be able to recognise both notable individuals and the history of the area in choosing the names for the first new streets on Elephant Park. Paying tribute to individuals who have such significance to the local community such as Private Lee O’ Callaghan and bringing back road names of historical importance to the area is exactly why we wanted the community to put forward name suggestions.”

Shirley O’Callaghan, mother of Lee O’Callaghan, said:

“I have been overwhelmed by the number of people in the local community who wanted to remember Lee in this way. It is a fitting and lasting tribute to my brave son and, on behalf of my family, I am proud to be able to support this initiative to remember him.”

Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes at Southwark Council, commented:

“It is great to see the history and future of the Elephant come together in this way. In particular, to honour a local man and former Heygate resident who gave his life in the service of our country with this lasting tribute.”

Charlotte Benstead, Chief Executive at the Creation Trust, said:

“We loved working with local people to explore the history of the Elephant and Castle. We are delighted that on the final list are some of the original street names and that Heygate resident Lee O’Callaghan will be fittingly remembered in a street name.”

The process of the street naming began with a series of events last year, during which hundreds of suggestions were made to name the new buildings, streets and open spaces within Elephant Park. The events were held for attendees to learn about the heritage of the area and to make suggestions of their own. The names have now been submitted to Southwark Council for final approval. If approval is granted, the streets will open with these new names when the first phase of Elephant Park completes in 2017.

It is expected that the first building names for Elephant Park will be announced by Lendlease later this year.

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