Losing consortiums for the £1.5bn Elephant & Castle regeneration scheme this week expressed interest in rebidding for it after the withdrawal of existing developer Southwark Land Regeneration.
Southwark council, joint developer for the project, announced on Wednesday that talks to reach a development agreement with SLR had broken down. SLR was first picked as partner in summer 2000, and the final agreement was due to be closed in September 2001.

Chris Horn, head of regeneration and strategy at Southwark council, said the council would tender for another private sector partner after the May local government elections. He added that the private sector role would be smaller than previously envisioned.

A source at St George, which was shortlisted in the last three development teams for the giant scheme in 2000, said it was keen to be reconsidered for the project.

The source said: "We would be extremely interested to look at it again. Given the council went through an extensive process to select a developer, hopefully it will look at the shortlisted developers in the first instance. We want to understand the reasons why the talks did not succeed and whether we can overcome them."

In 1997 St George successfully converted the former DHSS offices at Alexander Fleming House on the Elephant & Castle roundabout into the Metro Central residential development.

A source at the London Amsterdam Countryside consortium, which was originally picked as reserved bidder for the scheme, said it would be considering whether to rebid over the coming months.

We want to understand the reasons the talks did not succeed and whether we can overcome them

St George source

The source said: "We are always looking for development opportunities but the authority should be careful. The cost and time of going through this process again is huge. People can go sour making the effort to go through it again."

The failure of the deal centred on housing and profit. SLR had intended to take over all the scheme's housing element, before discovering that this was barred under present legislation.

The council's position was that it would retain control over the existing housing element before handing it over to a registered social landlord.

The agreement also foundered over an inability to agree the terms of the profit share between the council and SLR. Southwark council's project co-ordinator John Abbott said: "We couldn't agree the basis of commercial terms."