Croydon Against The Arena (www.catarena.org) is a site dedicated to opposing Croydon Council's plans to build an arena on land adjacent to East Croydon station.
Friday, 8 August 2008
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!
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Well personally i think its terrible, an arena would have been something that croydon could have been proud of. Now we are going to get houses and offices, which is exactly what croydon has too many of already. Croydon is considered by many to be a concrete jungle of no particular value. The arena could have been something that brought people to the area for a reason other than to work and shop. But then again its just another example of how much influence big buisness has on the upper echelons of goverment. Lets just hope that the council protests the decision.
Are you saying that Arrowcroft are not a big business?
Do a search on this site and see what Gerald Kaufman said about them a few years ago.
I don't particularly like the Ruskin Square development (and the name is a bit unfortunate too). I'd have liked to seen a bit of space given over to making East Croydon station less confined and crowded and the rest given over to open space. I'd have supported a CPO for that.
I think it was a disaster to give Schroders/Stanhope planning permission in the first place but that is what the council did and Schroders/Stanhope own the site so that should have been the end of it. To then want to use a CPO so they can hand over the land to another company with an even worse scheme is totally monstrous.
I am beginning to suspect the planners at Croydon council just really hate Croydon and want to spoil it. Hence we get monstrosities like Altitude25 (no wonder the artist's impression was a nighttime view) and ridiculously big towers like IYLO and that even bigger one talked about for Wellesley Road.
The fundamental problem with Croydon Council's (both previous Labour and current Tory) "planning" for redevelopment is that it is not co-ordinated.
Schemes such as Park Place (which is now delayed) and Altitude 25 (the ugly grey chimney) do not "fit" together.
Croydon Council loves the headlines of a "large" developments, but does not care to dirty its hands with the nitty gritty details as to whether the developments actually fit in with a "vision" of Croydon or not.
In the early 90's there was an exhibition at Fairfield Halls of Croydon of "the future" showing ariel walkways etc etc.
None of these "grand" plans ever materialised!
We will see the same of Park Place and other plans.
The council is not up to the job of regenerating Croydon.
The Ruskin Square development DOES include an improvement to East Croydon station - they have just never been given the chance by the council to explain the plans. Hence so many critics moaning about 'only offices and housing'. Croydon will be regenerated and an arena can go somewhere else - if anyone is stupid enough to fund it.
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