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 www.croydoniscrap.com 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.