Taberner House and the lower part of Queen’s Garden could be redeveloped into five multi-storey buildings in the latest stage of a wider regeneration plan for the borough, delivered by the ‘Croydon Council Urban Regeneration Vehicle’: a partnership between the council and developer John Laing, launched in 2008.
Critics say the new development is merely an attempt to maximise property profits and that, contrary to the council’s claims, it will not revitalise central Croydon or make it any safer.
Chair of the South Croydon Community Association, Charlotte Davies, 53, said: “The people [the Council] that make the decisions don’t live in the city centre and will not have to endure the daily strain that such a large complex will put on an already highly populated area. Their mind is on the profit, not the people’s interest.”
Davies added: “Little thought has been given to how one actually engages all these people. You need to provide more than just housing in the area. People need to be engaged and involved in social activities to create a thriving community.”
According to the official Taberner House plan, which includes a café, play areas and a retail unit on the street level, the project will give the centre of Croydon a much-needed face-lift.
Planning consultant GL Hearn said the project will “improve the safety and green profile of Queen’s Garden, connecting history within all areas of the park”, during their presentation at the Strategic Planning Committee meeting last Thursday.
Tony Antoniou, Director of Regeneration and Economy at Croydon Council, said: “The proposals meet our regeneration objectives of getting quality residential units into the centre to further revitalise the town, along with the provision of much needed new homes.”
A number of sessions for local residents to voice their opinion have already taken place and the online public consultation ended on October 11. According to the developers, all feedback will be considered in the final planning application.