On Monday night, Croydon Council’s Cabinet agreed to award a contract for ‘scheme design and development’ for two key sites in New Addington - the west side of Central Parade and the Fishers Farm recycling centre.
It’s good news that something is finally happening - residents have been calling for investment in Central Parade ever since I was elected five years ago and probably for a long time before that! To be fair to the Council, it isn’t solely to blame - the applications by a local resident to designate land as a village green have contributed to the delay.
It’s also good news that the report gives a clear commitment to provide a new recycling centre before the Council develops Fishers Farm, though there is no detail as to where the new centre would be located.
But I have two major concerns about the Council’s proposals for Central Parade.
The report lists the key deliverables for this site as:
- a new leisure centre;
- a new community centre;
- town and village green and public space; and
- new homes.
There’s no mention of a supermarket (a “small/medium format supermarket” is described as an “optional/unconfirmed deliverable”). I’d love to hear what you think but my instinct is that most New Addington residents want a proper supermarket not a convenience store.
I’m also concerned about the reference to new homes. Again I’d love to hear what you think but I fear the Council is in danger of repeating the mistake it made ten years ago when it came up with a scheme including lots of flats and as a result a building completely out of character with the rest of Central Parade. They appeared to learn from that - the previous Chief Executive Jon Rouse wrote to Pathfinders promising that the redevelopment of Central Parade wouldn’t include any housing - but it seems they’re now going back on that.
Finally, I’m concerned about how much this is costing. The previous administration allocated £17 million for a new leisure centre. This administration is planning to spend up to £1.2 million of that money on ‘scheme design and development’. Money is very tight right now so spending such a large sum without anything actually happening is worrying.
As mentioned, I’d love to know what you think. Are you happy to see housing on Fishers Farm provided the Council moves the recycling centre somewhere else in New Addington? Do you want to see a proper supermarket on Central Parade? How much housing, if any, should the Central Parade scheme include? Email me at Gavin.Barwell.MP@Parliament.uk to tell me your views so that I can pass them on to the Council.