The Handbook
The Handbook

It was the most mundane planning application ever… 1,152 new homes, tick. Affordable housing, tick. Leisure area, tick. Commercial units, tick. Alligator park, back up…

When property developer Avalon filed a planning application for a new complex of flats in South East London that casually included converting a Victorian gas monitor into a full-on Live And Let Die style alligator park, we did a double take and so, it seems, did the good people of the Old Kent Road. So after community ‘push back’ the council looks set to strike down the reptilian plans. Aw snap…

Roger Moore demonstrates daily commute on an Avalon development…

According to Construction News, a spokesman for the property developer explained “The proposed alligator park was something devised along with several other options including a community park, and also a lido with water features

“After consultation with both the council and local community, there was significant push-back on the alligator park concept, so it has been shelved.”

The plan for the Grade II listed structure, just off the Old Kent Road, was to convert it into an alligator park and farm in a somewhat unusual, and carnivorous, tourist attraction. Indeed, they would have been the only crocs in the capital.

The site includes a 60 foot hole in the ground which they intended cover in glass to create a massive conservatory, a sort of lethal version of the Eden Project.

The whacky plan was immediately criticised by animal rights charity World Animal Protection, who raised serious concerns at the non-existent plan, with a spokeslady commenting “Alligators are wild animals and should be in their natural environment, not living in a busy urban environment as part of a novelty commercial venture.”

However, we suspect that whoever does the marketing over at Avalon has achieved their aim, after all who had heard of the developer before this?

Presumably this wasn’t ever expected to actually be green-lit, surely nobody would want to get a foot on the property ladder when a ‘gator could well snap it right off before you get to the second rung. But as a marketing campaign, it’s gone perfectly.

And here we are telling you about it, just to prove it.

But according to Avanton director Marc Pennick “The alligator park and farm concept came to us after we were approached by an out-of-town specialist looking for a location for an alligator park in the capital”, so presumably the mystery ‘gator specialists will keep looking for potential sites…