Monday 25 June 2007

Arrowcroft and Croydon Council's Special Relationship

In understand that under the terms of the contract that Arrowcroft signed with Croydon Council, they were obliged to provide Croydon Council with a Viability Assessment Report and Five Year Plan.

Guess what?

Yes, that's right, Croydon Council have waived the need for Arrowcroft to provide such a report.

How very convenient!

To my simple mind, this surely means that the contract between Croydon Council and Arrowcroft is now void.

Tuesday 19 June 2007

Arrowcroft's Dead Parrot

Arrowcroft would have people believe that their newly revised plans for the arena, that now include a building for the Warehouse Theatre, show that they are listening to public concerns and that the arena project is alive and well.

The reality is somewhat different.

The Croydon Guardian quote Ted Craig, artistic director and chief executive of the Warehouse, who said that Arrowcroft had not contacted them about the new plans.


"The site they have given us is not a prominent location like they have claimed, it is stuck in a corner behind the huge arena.

We have had no consultation at all with Arrowcroft and this is shown in what they have designed. They have given us a 245-seat theatre but have made no provision for dressing rooms or rehearsal rooms.

Our biggest problem is that as far as we know this work will take at the very least three years to build if ever and in that time we will have to be pulled down while the new theatre is being built. That is of course our absolute vital concern.

As it stands at the moment we are in the advanced stages of designing a new Warehouse Theatre with Stanhope and we have had a good deal of involvement in designing a theatre that we are very excited about

Does this sound like Arrowcroft have really listened to the citizens of Croydon, or the management of the Warehouse Theatre?

Does this sound like Arrowcroft really care about the views of the people of Croydon?

I think not!

Arrowcroft's last minute PR bid resembles Michael Palin's character's pleas, in the Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch.

They are desperately trying to convince everyone that the arena is a living breathing project.

The reality is that it has long since passed away.

Time to put this nonsense out of our misery once and for all, and get on with developing the site.

Arrowcroft Cancel Junket

In the face of public anger, Arrowcroft have cancelled their all expenses paid junket to Hamburg for Croydon councillors.

It seems that some of the councillors who were invited, quite rightly, realised that their voters would not stand for it and so declined the invitations.

Arrowcroft told the Croydon Guardian:

"It's a huge missed opportunity for the councillors that would have really helped them to deal very knowledgeably with the concerns and questions of people in their ward."

Nonsense, the two sites (as can be seen from the satellite photos) are like chalk and cheese; the trip was nothing more than an excuse for Arrowcroft to try to change the minds of those councillors who oppose the unwanted arena development.

I wonder if this site had some role to play in putting a stop to this trip?

Friday 15 June 2007

Spot The Difference

Here's a little game of "Spot The Difference", for the council and Arrowcroft to play to this weekend.

The first link takes you to a satellite photo of the Hamburg arena, the second link takes you to a satellite photo of the site where Arrowcroft and the council want to build their unwanted arena

-Hamburg Arena

-Croydon arena site

I wonder if anyone from the council or Arrowcroft can spot the differences?

Here's a few clues:
  • In Hamburg there is ample space for cars to park, and for coaches containing performers and their entourages to offload etc.

  • The Hamburg arena is surrounded by forest, and a good way away from residential and commercial areas.

  • The Hamburg arena road routes are designated for specific forms of traffic. The west/east road on the southern side is for taxis only on the left side, and only for buses, and shuttle buses for Stellinger station on the right.
Now we come to the site for the Croydon arena.

Do I really need to point out the differences?

-Located in the middle of an urban sprawl
-Located near to residential and commercial areas
-No dedicated roads
-No space for parking or coaches etc

Seriously, who are the council and Arrowcroft trying to kid when they say the two schemes are comparable?

How stupid do they think we are?

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Moving The Goalposts

Those of you with sharp eyes may have noticed some small printed notices stapled to trees on Dingwall Road, near the Gateway site.

These notices are Arrowcroft's method of informing the world that they have moved the goalposts, and have changed their planning application.

Their site does contain the revised planning application, but you have to hunt for it a bit.

-Go to their website

-Then go to "The Development" tab at the top of the page

-Then click on the "Planning Application" tab at the bottom of the page

-Then click on "Download Planning Statement (4.7MB)"

I wonder why they have made no mention of the changes to the planning application on their website?

Sunday 10 June 2007


Could someone let Arrowcroft know that the email address on their website doesn't work.


Where's The Arena?

The Arrowcroft and Croydon Council arena propaganda sheet (Spring 2007), referring to the poorly publicised Whitgift exhibition of the arena model in October 2006, says:

"Sadly a number of newsletters advertising the public exhibition were delayed in the post, arriving too late for people to attend the event. Plans are currently underway to hold a second exhibition in central Croydon. As soon as these are finalised, the dates and location will be publicised."

It is now mid June, yet no sign of an exhibition.

Why is this then?

My sources tell me that the model of the arena was shown to investors and developers etc in May. However, the general public were not permitted to gaze upon it during the recent Expo at Centrale, Whitgift and the Clocktower.

Seemingly the model is being withheld from public gaze, and cross examination, because of the need to prepare for the September public inquiry.

The fact that Arrowcroft and the council have been aware of the public inquiry for sometime now, makes one wonder as to what they have been doing all of this time.

Friday 1 June 2007

A Council Divided

It would seem that the council is not as fully behind the arena development as they would like to have us believe.

My thanks to Councillor Russell Jackson, who sent me this email today (and has given me permission to post it in full on this site).

It is refreshing to see that there are councillors with the cajones to publicly state their opposition to the arena.

It seems that Arrowcroft have made a tactical error in offering a "freebie" trip to Hamburg. As Councillor Jackson notes, the offer is "highly questionable".

Why does council leader Fisher not seem to be able to grasp that point?

The question is, who else did they ask and have they accepted or refused the offer?

"Mr Frost,

I have been directed to your blog regarding your opposition to the proposed Croydon Gateway Arena.

I wanted to let you know that I was another councillor that was invited by Arrowcroft to go to Hamburg. I will not be responding to Arrowcroft because I am not interested in their offer and more than this I have found their offer highly questionable. That I should need to be shown an arena in another country to understand how one would work in my own area of Croydon and Addiscombe I feel personally is slightly patronising.

I remain very concerned about the arena proposed by Arrowcroft and alongside both Councillors Price and Garcia I have been debating the plans with council officers. I am highly dubious about the plans as they are currently laid out and I will be continuing to raise my concerns during the coming months.

I hope that you find this information useful and if you have any further concerns please do get back in touch.

Kind regards

Councillor Russell Jackson

Councillor Russell Jackson
Addiscombe Ward
c/o Town Hall
Katharine Street
Croydon, CR0 1NX