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Friday, January 19, 2007
Croydon: the next battle
Well: it was always going to happen: after issuing high court proceedings and many other political machinations, Croydon Council have gone nuclear and issued a CPO for the Stanhope/Schroders land at Croydon Gateway so they can keep their strange 20 year dream alive, of building an arena with their development partner Arrowcroft.

This saga has been one of the strangest and longest running in the capital. Croydon own none of the land: but have signed up with Arrowcroft and committed to the arena scheme a long time ago. They've awarded themselves planning permission, rejected Stanhope's scheme, seen the latter pushed through by an inquiry and central government, etc, etc. The strangest move was that recently, Croydon pulled the plug on their funding for the leading fringe Warehouse Theatre on the site: allegedly politically motivated, because it is written into Stanhope's redevelopment plans but incompatible with the arena scheme.

William Hill, Head of Property at Schroders said “I do not know whether to laugh or cry. This must be a first. A CPO brought by a Council to stop the immediate regeneration of derelict land by a willing, able and fully funded developer with construction scheduled to start in a matter of weeks.” David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope, said that the CPO would at least put the Arrowcroft arena proposals under the spotlight. “As baffling as this all may seem, the benefit of the CPO starting is at long last the Arrowcroft arena proposals will be subject to some impartial and proper scrutiny.”

“Over five years on from the submission of the arena scheme for planning we still do not know who the arena operator is, where the funding for the scheme is coming from and the basis of the viability assessment carried out."


Blogger Ken said...

See the progress of the fight to stop the Arena on http://www.croydoniscrap.com

5:34 pm  

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