Friday 31 August 2007

Council Ignores Citizens of Croydon

Councillor Andrew Price is quoted in today's Croydon Advertiser, on the subject of the council's much derided plans for their unwanted and unloved arena.


"We've been overwhelmed by how many people have replied and the strength of feeling there is against the arena. The results show that over many years the people of Croydon have been ignored by the council."

The Advertiser also talks about the survey carried out by Councillor Price and his colleagues, the results of which were featured on this site last Sunday.

I would, at this stage, have liked to have said that the strength of feeling against the arena should come as no surprise to those in the council who are championing it.

However, since the council have never bothered to ask for the views of the citizens of Croydon about the arena (even though they misleadingly claim that they have) it may well come as a "surprise" to them.

That being said the council do visit this site (and regularly, where the arguments for the arena have been soundly demolished over the past few years. Therefore it is "disappointing", and rather surprising, that they have continued to push ahead with this unwanted and unloved development.

Thursday 30 August 2007


Tim Pollard wrote back to me re my mail sent yesterday, saying that "all enquiries about the evidence base are being dealt with by Donaldsons on the Council's behalf. I have sent your email on to them and they will respond to you direct."

I sent him the following reply this morning:


Thank you for your response, I look forward to reading Donaldsons' reply.

One more query for you and the council, rather than Donaldsons. Regarding Gerald Kaufman's assessment of Arrowcroft in 1999, as referenced on the CATARENA site:

'I shall talk about the conduct of people in Arrowcroft, in North West Water and in other firms. I am sorry to say that their conduct involves lies, concealment, deception, double dealing, proposed blackmail, proposed bribery and attempts to manipulate Members of Parliament.'


'Arrowcroft is the property partner of United Utilities, an enormous organisation, which owns both North West Water and the North Western electricity board, Norweb. It is therefore curious that Arrowcroft is not a public company and that all its shares are held by very few people.

A list of shareholders shows an Alan Jones and, a little further down, a Catherine Leslie Jones; they live together and have 35,000 shares between them. The list of shareholders also shows a Bankim Chand Gossai and, further down, an Umeshwatie Devi Gossai; they, too, share an address. Then, we have Barbara Priscilla Eppel, who owns 440,000 shares; Leonard Cedric Eppel, who is chairman of the company and owns 600,000 shares; and Stuart Neil Eppel, who owns 330,000 shares; other members of the Eppel family are also shareholders. Nicholas Paul Hai and Rochelle Eleanor Hai own more than 360,000 shares between them.

One short list comprises the names of all the shareholders in the property company of one of the biggest companies in the country--it is a family company, and the relationship between the two companies is baffling, to say the least.

However, it is clear that they are not a very successful family. While the property company registered a profit of £501,472 in 1997, in 1998--these accounts were published last month--it made a loss of £192,531.

On the other hand, the family certainly know how to look after themselves. In 1997, directors' emoluments were £487,204 and, in 1998, they increased to £605,939. The emoluments of the highest-paid director increased in one year from £119,679 to £194,353. The House may agree that certain fishy matters should be investigated.'

Are you and the council comfortable to have your names associated with, and to have entered into an agreement with, a company whose conduct according to Gerald Kaufman involves 'lies, concealment, deception, double dealing, proposed blackmail, proposed bribery and attempts to manipulate Members of Parliament'?

Thanks for your help.

Kind regards

Ken Frost

Croydon Against The Arena

Wednesday 29 August 2007

Termination of Agreement

Text of email sent to Councillor Tim Pollard today:


Buried within the mountain of documents relating to the proposed arena development, championed by some members of the council and Arrowcroft, is this statement:

'The council and Arrowcroft have the right to terminate the Agreement in certain circumstances.'

Source: Appendices to proof of evidence of Alan Jones (page 8 para 4)

Please can you advise me as to what those circumstances are?

Thank you.

Kind regards

Ken Frost

Croydon Against The Arena

Sunday 26 August 2007

Majority Oppose Arena

My thanks to Councillor Maria Garcia who has posted the results of a recent survey about the arena, conducted with the residents of Addiscombe, on this site.

It seems that 70% of the residents of Addiscombe, who responded, oppose the arena. This knocks into a cocked hat Croydon council's oft repeated assertion that they have consulted widely with the citizens of Croydon, about their plans for this unwanted and unloved development.

Kudos to Councillor Garcia and her colleagues who not only listen to the voters, but have the cajones to stand up in the inquiry and publicly oppose the arena.

It is clear that the council's plans for the arena are falling apart.

Wednesday 22 August 2007

Objections To Arena


Town & Country Planning Act 1990 – Section 77 Application by Arrowcroft Ltd

Site and Land Adjoining East Croydon Station, George Street, Dingwall Road and Lansdowne Road, Croydon Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/293)



  • The development is not sustainable. Worse it will cause considerable harm to neighbouring communities that are sustainable and have been so for many years.

  • There has been no proper consultation or community involvement as prescribed by PPS1. In fact there has been much shrouding in mystery to such an extent that we have had to resort to the Freedom of Information Act twice to gain information from
    the Council.

  • For a large event based development a robust transport plan is needed. The information the applicant has provided relies upon sparse or out-of-date surveys and nowhere mentions improvements to the public transport infrastructure.

  • It is indicated that the Council - to respond to Arena customers parking in residential streets - would likely introduce new parking zone regimes in our areas which are unwanted.

  • We think that a sequential approach should have been applied in selecting the location for the proposed development.

  • Nothing in the applicant’s material leads us to believe that the proposed development is commercially and financially capable of delivering the metropolitan status rebranding and regeneration of Croydon. We have yet to see a business plan for the operation of the Arena.

  • The applicant does not mention off-site law, order and crowd control.

  • We think the latest design for the Arena with apparently 50 or so steps poses a natural danger and appears to contain more oppressive greyness and glass with which Croydon has been architecturally overburdened since the 1960s.

  • The UDP Inspector’s Report said that an Arena on this site was not essential.
Steve Collins
Chairman, Canning & Clyde Road Residents Association

Also on behalf of Park Hill Residents Association, Morland Park Residents Association, H.O.M.E Residents Association and the Croydon Transport Focus Group

Thursday 16 August 2007

The Warehouse Theatre Statement of Case

The Warehouse Theatre have submitted their statement of case, ie objection to the arena plan, which resolutely destroys Arrowcroft's claims that they wish to help the Warehouse Theatre survive.


"Our central objection to the CPO is that the phasing of the Arrowcroft scheme would mean that the Warehouse Theatre would be forced to close for a period of approximately three years, and consequently the business of the Warehouse Theatre would be lost.

Arrowcroft's proposed new Warehouse Theatre is provided as a concession through the draft section 106 agreement dated 11 June 2007, and that drawing PL050 does not form part of Arrowcroft's planning application. Therefore it requires a new planning application to be made for it. Neither do Arrowcroft's proposals provide a new Warehouse Theatre which meets our brief and business plan.

Furthermore Arrowcroft has only offered to make a contribution towards the cost of providing a new theatre and does not therefore ensure the relocation, and in consequence the survival, of the Warehouse Theatre

A cynic might consider that the Arrowcroft offer is nothing more than a cynical ploy for media consumption, made in the knowledge that it is in fact a poisoned chalice designed to kill off the Warehouse Theatre. This has already been commented on before (see "Follow The Money").

The complete statement of case by the Warehouse Theatre can be downloaded here Statement of Case.

Monday 6 August 2007

Albert Dock Not Yet Profitable

One of Arrowcroft's other ventures, the Albert Dock in Liverpool has a long way to go before it will become profitable.

That at least is the view of its new director, Joe Edge.

Albert Dock is owned by Arrowcroft, and shows losses in excess of £1M and debts of £24M in the company accounts.

Given the financial difficulties of another Arrowcroft "prestige project", why are Croydon Council so sure that the Arrowcroft plans for the Gateway are financially viable?

Friday 3 August 2007

East Croydon Station

Congratulations to East Croydon Station for being awarded the accolade as being the worst station in the country.

Does this achievement not rather stretch the credibility of the claims made by our "respected" council and Arrowcroft, that the station will be able to handle the influx of people coming to the arena?

In a way, I guess that it doesn't really matter; because there will not be an influx of people, as the arena will simply not draw the crowds.