Small business owners left out of the Elephant and Castle redevelopment are no clearer about their future, after staff from developer Delancey asked them to leave a meeting.

Delancey plans to demolish the shopping centre to make way for a new pedestrianised town centre, as well as 979 homes, a new college building for the University of the Arts London, leisure and office space and a new station.

The meeting, also attended by Southwark Council staff and councillors, was set up after dozens of displaced retailers were not allocated space in the new development.

Southwark Council has announced there will be retail space for 36 businesses, but as many as 40 traders could still be displaced with Southwark News reporting 28 businesses unsuccessfully applied for a space.

Small business owner Johanna Alvarez said she has been left in the dark about development plans with her business, Ivanny Store, in the ‘red line’ to be demolished.

She was among the traders asked to leave the meeting by a Delancey staff member and then security because her shop in Arch 7 was not inside the shopping centre, she said.

However communication ahead of the meetings confirmed all affected traders were welcome, which is why she attended the meeting.

She said a Delancey representative told her she wasn’t supposed to be there, but took a seat after a councillor told her she could attend the meeting.

She was then approached by a security guard who asked her to leave, alongside other retailers from Arch 7.

Ms Alvarez, who sublets her retail space, said she had not been able to get a lot of information about the plans and the future of her business.

“[I have heard]nothing at all,” she said.

“I tried to speak with management but they said they are trying to negotiate with Delancey.

“I heard some people already have a  place to move. Some friends of mine have a place and got an offer. Nothing has been said to me,” she said.

She said there were 11 businesses in Arch 7 and “all of us are different and all of it is effecting us.”

She had been told she would be able to trade for around another two years, but did not know much else.

A spokesperson from Latin Elephant said retailers from Arch 7 were kicked out because the developer is not their landlord as the arches are owned by Network Rail.

He also said Delancey had visited traders ahead of the meeting to dissuade them from attending.

“Traders, and Latin Elephant, don’t see why they can’t attend the meeting to get some explanations as to what is going to happened to their businesses and livelihoods,” he said.

Councillor Kieron Williams, cabinet member for jobs, skills and innovation, said the independent traders “are a vital part of the local community.”

He said finding space for displaced businesses was the priority now.

“I’m determined to make sure they get the support they need,” he said.

“We’ll be keeping the pressure on Delancey to deliver against its responsibilities to traders.

“Our council support to help traders explore the other relocation options that are available in the local area continues.

“As does Tree Shepherd’s one to one business support. The shopping centre’s businesses bring so much to the area, they are all open for business now, and we want to keep it that way.”

Delancey have been approached for comment.

Delancey have been approached for comment.