A revision of Taberner House’s controversial redevelopment plans will increase the development ’s affordable housing but retain a “perverse” 32-story tower.
The tower, set to make up the first phase of construction, will contain 230 “bespoke” private rented apartments as well as “exclusive” facilities including a concierge service, club room, gym and a roof top terrace.
The council will own the development’s remaining 190 homes, 30 per cent of which will be retained as affordable social housing. The remainder will be sold across a variety of tenures including affordable rent and shared ownership.
Under previous plans only 15 per cent of this housing was to be affordable. However, even under the amended proposals just 14 per cent of the development’s total 420 homes will be affordable, or at least 80 per cent of market rates.
The bulk of the development will consist of 361 two-bedroom flats as well as 18 studio flats and 41 three-bedroom apartments.
The new plans replace a previous development scheme supported by a slim majority of Croydon’s Conservative strategic planning committee in May this year.
Upon their approval, Paul Scott, then Labour’s opposition planning spokesman, said: “For the council itself to… put in an application for a 32-story building is just perverse. Greed has taken over, they just want to make as much money as possible.”
English Heritage also questioned the height of the tower in May, expressing concerns that the 114 metre high structure would overshadow the area.
Scott added that if Labour won the May election they would “look closely at the contract to see if changes could be made to the tower’s height.” Despite Labour winning the May 22 elections, the tower still remains a key part of the revised redevelopment of the former council head quarters.
Further revisions include a reduction of the development’s encroachment on Queen’s Gardens, increasing the amount of open space by over 1000 square meters and an increase in the number of disabled parking spaces.
Alison Butler, Croydon cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “Having ownership of the [remaining 190 homes] gives the council far greater control over the scheme than under the previous plans.” “We’re pleased that the revised plans will include more affordable housing – a major priority for this administration – and protect Queen’s Gardens from overdevelopment. We want to ensure that Queen’s Gardens is a vibrant green space where families go to spend their free time.”
David Patterson, lead project architect, said: “Croydon is going through exciting regeneration plans and the design of Taberner House… will create a new era for the architecture of the town centre. Our hope is for Taberner House to be an important new asset for the Croydon community and the start of the regeneration process.”
The new redevelopment scheme replaces the former 1960s Croydon Council head quarters which were demolished earlier this year. The first phase of development is set to begin in March 2015.
Scott has not yet responded to Eastlondonlines for comment.