Friday 30 November 2007


It seems that Arrowcroft may be guilty of displaying a degree of arrogance over their chances of winning the CPO inquiry.

Go to their site, click on "Planning Application" then on "Timetable". There you will see:

Mid 2008 – Anticipated start on site

Early 2010 – Arena up and running in time for the 2012 Olympic Games

Counting your chickens a bit aren't you guys?

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Closing Arguments

Croydon Gateway Limited Partnership (CGLP), a joint venture between developer Stanhope and Schroders, presented its closing arguments to the public inquiry into the arena development on Monday.

Keith Lindblom QC, for CGLP, said:

"CGLP's proposals are so distinctly superior in numerous respects to the Arrowcroft scheme that there is plainly a compelling case in the public interest to reject the CPO, thus preventing the possibility of Arrowcroft's scheme replacing a development of world class quality and function, or at best causing it still further unnecessary delay."

CGLP also questioned Arrowcroft's ability to fund the scheme, adding that the Arrowcroft designs were inferior to the CGLP office scheme, and that the arena was not financially or commercially viable.

The decision now rests with Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State, and is not expected to be announced for some months.

Wednesday 14 November 2007

Truck Off!

The inquiry into the CPO is now over, aside from the final submissions due on the 19th of November.

The final week threw up a few amusing nuggets, showing that Arrowcroft have not thought through their last minute revisions to their plans particularly well.

Moving one of the walls a little bit to accommodate the extra platform space that Network Rail wanted would result in the substation being reduced in size, the Warehouse Theatre being reduced by a further 10%, and put some lifts out of alignment on different floors.

Also, in the proof of evidence, this came to light:

"From: "Andrew Roberts"
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 17:17:07
To:"Christopher O'Reilly" ,
Subject: 70401 - Arena Servicing


I understand that in evidence Murray, you suggest up to 14 service vehicles arriving
at 0800-1030am, which conflicts with the advice previously given regarding 8 - 10
trucks loading over a 3 hour period.

If 14 vehicles are likely to service the arena in a 2.5hour period, how do we avoid
bunching, bearing in mind the advice regarding inefficiencies if too many things are
being unloaded at once. Also, what method do you anticipate employing to avoid all
vehicles turning up at once, which is critical bearing in mind how tight the
manoeuvring space is.

Finally, none of the advice I have seen relates to any specific provision for
'artistes' trucks to stay during an event.

Is this a weakness of the scheme?

Andrew Roberts
Associate Director

Source Persona

It seems that precious little thought has been given to the consequences of artistes trucks (coaches,vehicles etc for touring companies like ice-shows, ballet, opera and orchestras etc) servicing the arena.

Hardly inspired planning, is it?

Thursday 8 November 2007

Arrowcroft To Make an Offer II

In today's Croydon Guardian:

"The fact Arrowcroft is looking to make an offer, days before the end of the inquiry, could indicate that it doesn't believe it is going to succeed in acquiring the site."


However, this "offer" has as much chance of succeeding as hell freezing over:

1 The difference in valuations £50M is far too large

2 Why did Arrowcroft not buy the land when it was available?

3 Why did they not make an offer before the CPO?

4 Albert Dock in Liverpool 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?

Sign the petition against the arena via this link on the Number 10 website: Petition

Wednesday 7 November 2007

Arrowcroft To Make an Offer

According to Property Week, Arrowcroft and Croydon Council are about to make an offer to Stanhope Schroders for the Croydon Gateway site.

Paul White of Frogmore (the company that is providing finance for the arena) is quoted by Property Week as saying:

"Notwithstanding the fact that we have now been told there is an overage* provision, that won't get in the way of negotiations on our acquiring Stanhope and Schroders' interest in the site."

*Overage provision is a condition attached to the sale of land, where anyone buying the site would pay more if or when planning permission for the site is granted.

However, don't worry, it should be noted that there is a £47M to £55M discrepancy between the two sides over how much they think the site is worth.

The fact that the council and Arrowcroft are looking to make an offer, before the end of the inquiry, indicates that they don't believe that they are going to win.

Sign the petition against the arena via this link on the Number 10 website: Petition

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Arena Will Destroy Warehouse Theatre

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, who is on the Warehouse's board, has given a stark warning in the Croydon Guardian as to the fate of the Warehouse Theatre in the event that the Arrowcroft arena is built.

In his view, and the view of the board of the theatre, the arena will spell the end of the Warehouse Theatre.


"The proposed location is of concern. I still consider that the location, and indeed design of the theatre, is an afterthought.

Given the lack of deliverability of a new Warehouse Theatre in so many areas we recommend that planning is refused and the CPO declined.

The Arrowcroft scheme just doesn't seem to have been thought through or properly finished. We are happy with the plans with Stanhope Schroder and the general view is that if the Arrowcroft scheme goes through then we've had it

The arena is unwanted, unloved and unnecessary.

Let us get on with developing that ugly canker on the backside of Croydon, known as Dingwall Road.

Welcome To Dingwall Road Croydon

Sign the petition against the arena via this link on the Number 10 website: Petition

Monday 5 November 2007

The Real London Arena

Croydon Council and Arrowcroft would have us believe that their plans for the Croydon arena are viable.

They are very quiet about the O2 arena at Greenwich.

Why is that then?

Read this:

"The O2 promise to deliver the widest range of entertainment possible under one canopied roof. It has the capacity to host 20,000 people in The O2 Arena – a maximum capacity perfect for the big name acts it attracts.

The arena benefits both the punters and the performer with its perfect sight-lines from every angle, crystal clear acoustics, comfortable seating, wide aisles and a huge variety of snacks and beverages.

Ellison said:

'The O2 has changed the face of concert-going by offering visitors an enhanced experience. Visitors can enjoy a first rate meal in one of our 25 bars and restaurants before or after the show.

Our arena food is of the highest quality - we do offer burgers and hotdogs but also stir fries, freshly made sandwiches and salads. People can come down and spend the afternoon there even if they aren't attending a concert. The cinema is hugely popular and attractions like this summer's beach saw over 100,000 people visit.'

It also boasts to have successfully avoided any long waits to the lavatories by fitting 548 toilets into the venue.

Transport links to The O2 also makes the venue one of the most convenient venues available. 'The transport links to The O2 are fantastic,' said Ellison.

'The Jubilee Line carries visitors from Bond Street to North Greenwich in 20 minutes; we own The Thames Clipper service which ferries customers to and from The O2 down to Waterloo and London Bridge Pier every half an hour. There are 2,000 car parking spaces as well as a 24 hour bus service. Customer experience is everything.'

Now ask yourselves this, who the hell do the council and Arrowcroft think that they are kidding when they claim that their arena is viable in the face of competition from the O2 arena?

Read more about the O2 arena here O2

Sign the petition against the arena via this link on the Number 10 website: Petition