Sunday, 13 March 2011

Signs of Progress?

According to Property Week there may finally be signs of progress wrt developing the Gateway site next door to East Croydon Station:

"Stanhope and Schroders have submitted a planning application for the redevelopment of Ruskin Square, adjacent to East Croydon Station.

The mixed-use scheme, which will be developed on a nine acre site, will provide1m sq ft of office space and 550 new homes, creating a new business and residential quarter at the ‘front door’ to Croydon.

The Ruskin Square masterplan also provides for a new direct route connecting the East Croydon Station with the town centre through the site.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope, said: “Just 15 minutes from central London by train, Ruskin Square offers modern workspace and residential accommodation in a new place just 2 minutes from an improved transport hub with competitive property prices and easy access to town centre retail and cultural amenities.”

Ian Mason, head of UK property fund management at Schroders, added: 'Ruskin Square is the centerpiece of East Croydon’s transformation into a new central business district. It will deliver restaurants, cafes, a theatre, new homes, new public routes and outdoor space and 1m sq ft of grade ‘A’ office space.'

A first phase of housing at Ruskin Square could be started to coincide with the expected opening date of the new station access footbridge in 2013.

The Times has issued a separate report on the subject, which indicates that Nestle may be persuaded to move there.

Lest there be any doubt, the reason that this site remains undeveloped is because of the council (both the current administration, and the previous Labour administration) allying themselves to the doomed Arena project.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Site Untouched

I am very sad to see that the site remains untouched, thanks to the funding problems brought about by the delaying tactics of the council.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Plus Ca Change

Property Week reports that Croydon Council has finally admitted defeat in its long running battle to impose an arena on Croydon, and said that "it is eager to work with Stanhope and Schroders" the developers of the rival Gateway site in East Croydon.

The council's agreement with rival developer Arrowcroft terminated at midnight last night.

The council and Arrowcroft had six weeks to mount a legal challenge to the Secretary of State's refusal of planning permission. Having not made this challenge, the agreement terminated last night and the council is now talking to Stanhope and Schroders about taking their rival 1m sq ft Ruskin Square scheme forwards.

Councillor Tim Pollard said:

"By there being no challenge to the public inquiry decisions, the opportunity exists for the Stanhope Schroder partnership to make its mark in Croydon through the early development of the site.

What matters now is building a positive relationship with Stanhope so that their scheme can be taken forward on what is the most prestigious building site in the town.

The Gateway site has stood empty for far too long – a real blot on our landscape and an unwelcome sight for every train passenger passing through East Croydon. Now that planning issues have finally been resolved there is no longer any obstacle preventing its redevelopment.

A chapter has closed and a new one opened – with a great opportunity for Stanhope to do something special for Croydon. Our early talks with the developer will aim at achieving a happy ending


The Gateway site has stood empty for far too long – a real blot on our landscape and an unwelcome sight for every train passenger passing through East Croydon.

I am glad Councillor Pollard agrees with me, I have been saying that for years now (see and this site).

The irony being that had the council not tied themselves to the mast of Arrowcroft's sinking ship, and thus delayed the development becuase of their CPO and public hearings etc, the site would have been developed by now.

The council are the cause of the delay.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Wasting Our Money

I recommend that you read the Croydon Guardian story about how Croydon Council have wasted our money on their unloved arena plan.

"The council reached an agreement with Arrowcroft in May 2006 that it would cover the costs of a compulsory purchase order for the Croydon Gateway site and then claim the money back from the company at a later date.

A Croydon Guardian investigation can reveal that the council has issued Arrowcroft with six invoices from September 2007 to July 2008, totalling £168,727.30 in legal fees and advice from its own chartered surveyors. £78,000 remains unpaid.

Under the agreement, Arrowcroft promised to pay the council 'all CPO costs incurred by the Council. . . within 20 working days of receiving a fully itemised invoice'.

Despite this, Arrowcroft took 305 and 171 days respectively to pay two of the bills.

Croydon Council does not appear to have charged the company any interest for the late payments

The council state:

"In line with other local authorities, the council does not charge interest on sundry debtors."

Why do they not charge interest on late debts?

That is normal commercial practice, given that the council is verging on bankruptcy it needs every penny it can make.

Why are the terms of credit so lax?

Is the relationship between the council and Arrowcroft a little too close for comfort?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Guardian News

Read this week's Croydon Guardian, there is going to be a very interesting story about this subject.

Friday, 8 August 2008

The Final Nail in The Coffin

The Final Nail in The Coffin
The final nail in the coffin of Croydon council's plans to impose an arena development on Croydon has been firmly hammered in.

The Croydon Guardian reports:

"Croydon council has been thwarted in its plans to force the Croydon Gateway developers to sell its land.

Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has rejected Croydon Council’s request for a compulsory purchase order on the land next to East Croydon station.

It effectively spells the end of any hopes held by the council-backed developer Arrowcroft to build a 12,500 seat arena on the site

Property Week also covers the same story:

"The Government has given Schroders and Stanhope the green light to commence the Croydon Gateway development, alongside East Croydon railway station.

Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has refused to confirm Croydon Council's compulsory purchase order on the site, which is owned by Schroders and Stanhope.

Last week she refused consent for a development scheme centred on a 12,500-seat arena, proposed by Croydon Council and developers Arrowcroft.

William Hill, managing director of Schroders Investment Managers, said:

'We are delighted that the Secretary of State has declined to support the CPO. We argued at the planning inquiry that the arena scheme was not appropriate for this site and we are pleased to see that the Secretary of State agrees that it does not justify taking our land

I personally am delighted, it is a victory for the citizens of Croydon.

However, I would remind people that Dingwall Road has remained untouched for years because of the intransigence of the previous and current council administrations. Had they not pushed for an unwanted and poorly thought through arena project, the site would have been developed by now.

We have not been well served by either the Tory or Labour administrations.

Those who pushed this scheme should resign, now!

Thursday, 31 July 2008


Breaking News

"In a decision announced this morning communities secretary Hazel Blears has rejected the council-backed Arrowcroft arena, homes and offices scheme planned for the Gateway site at East Croydon."


A lot of good people put in much time, effort and energy into opposing this scheme, today is their day.

Let us not forget that had the council not tried to push through this unwanted scheme, the eyesore that is Dingwall Road would have been redeveloped by now.

The people who have suffered because of the council's arrogance are the citizens of Croydon. It is now time for high level resignations from the council.

A copy of the full decision can be downloaded here: Decision

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Gateway Decision Update

I am advised that Hazel Blears, in her wisdom, is posting the decision by Royal Mail today and won't tell anyone the result until they have all received it in the post.

Has she not heard of email?


I see that Labour, which foisted the unwanted arena project on Croydon in the first place, has now had a change of heart.

Pathetic hypocrites!

"Tony Newman, leader of the Labour party, said: 'I think if we are going to have an arena, a series of questions need to be asked.

Things have changed since we first considered this 10 years ago.

We have now got the O2 arena and in the current economic crisis is there still the money to build one?

Any development must incorporate the modernisation of East Croydon station'

Source Croydon Guardian

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

D Day

Next Wednesday (30 July) is Decision Day for the public inquiry into the arena development on Dingwall Road.

Given the departure of Goodwin, director of planning and transportation at Croydon Borough Council, my guts tell me that it will be a victory for the citizens of Croydon and a defeat for the council's plans to impose an arena on us.

I could of course be 100% wrong!