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Oh, snap! Plans for London alligator park have been scrapped

Property developers had hoped to bring the reptiles to the Old Kent Road

Laura Richards

Yup, you read that right: a property developer had been planning to build an alligator park in the city. That’s a park, full of alligators. Big, real-life, alligators. 

But according to the latest reports, it looks like plans have been scrapped after pushback from the local community. 

Earlier in the year, property developer Avanton had made a planning application to Southwark Council for a £230 million mixed-use scheme in the the 48.8m-high Grade II-listed gasholder on Old Kent Road. The gasholder, which is the size of the Royal Albert Hall, was shaping up to become a multi-storey glass habitat, with temperature controls and a series of water features designed to appeal to the scaly residents. 

But the firm told Construction News today (Friday August 28) that its plans for an alligator-filled park had been met with resistance, and that after consulting with the council and the local community, the alligator element of the proposal would be scrapped.     

Photograph: Shutterstock

Animal welfare experts have praised the news. ‘We are pleased to hear that plans for an alligator park alongside a property development in London have been shelved following pushback from the council, local community and World Animal Protection. 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,’ said World Animal Protection wildlife campaigns manager Katheryn Wise.

Avanton has said it will make revised plans public next year, with its development still likely to include a public landscaped parkland and more than 50,000 square feet for commercial premises.

Seeking something out of the ordinary? A tropical hothouse is popping up in east London.

In other animal news, it was weigh-in day at London Zoo

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