Plan for Old Town transformation revealed

 Croydon pic: Peter  Trimming

Croydon pic: Peter Trimming

The new draft for a masterplan that will transform Croydon’s historic quarter into a cultural and social hub for the borough has been revealed and will be discussed at a full cabinet meeting on Monday.

The proposed plans for the transformation of the Old Town area include new homes, a possible expansion to the Whitgift retail centre, new public spaces, retail streets, and general improvements to infrastructure.

The area, which is located close to the source of the River Wandle, contains several historic landmarks including three conservation areas and the Old Palace School, which served as the official residence for the Archbishop of Canterbury for over 500 years.

Councillor Jason Perry, the Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Transport, is leading the initiative. He said that the new public spaces are designed to “support family and community activity, through sufficient open areas and seating,”  as well as support the growing residential population of the borough which currently has few recreational play spaces.

Perry added that he hopes the master plan will “operate as important guidance to the successful renewal and growth of the Croydon Opportunity Area.”

In a document published online, Perry sites the council’s adoption of the earlier masterplans for the borough as evidence that the Old Town development will be successful. East Croydon (March 2011), West Croydon (July 2011), Mid Croydon (July 2012) and Fairfields (March 2013) have all been adopted by the council, and Perry states that East Croydon’s plan “clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the masterplans”.

The area that the development plans will affect was significantly affected by the London riots in 2011 and received 250,000 worth of funding from the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund in 2012.

If the council approves the plan on Monday, the next step will be for a formal consultation to take place with the public, possibly next month. Approval from the public will allow the master-plan to go into effect, standing as planning guidance for the area.

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