Croydon’s Gateway to Nowhere
I read in the Croydon Guardian that plans for re-developing the decaying and neglected Dingwall Road site (known as The Gateway), discussed here under “Post Nuclear Croydon” and “Rats Leaving the Sinking Ship”, may be delayed.
The delay is apparently due to the fact that there are two competing plans for development. One plan initiated by Arrowcroft, the Council’s preferred plan, includes a 12,500 seat arena. To view the planning committee discussion of this plan please visit Arrowcroft
The other plan, put forward by Stanhope/Schroders, does not include an arena; and has been rejected by the Council. To view the Stanhope/Schroder vision please visit http://www.croydon-gateway.com. To view the planning committee’s discussion of this plan please visit Stanhope
It seems that the Council’s decision to reject the Stanhope/Schroder plan was based on a number of factors; which the committee felt were contrary to the Unitary Development Plan (UDP), which was adopted in 1997.
The UDP strategy is based on a view of trends in population, housing, employment and transport over the coming years. To view the UDP please visit UDP.
One of the reasons for the rejection was the fact that there were no plans for an arena. I don’t propose to analyse the merits/demerits of the two plans. However, I would question the need for an arena in the area; given the fact that there are numerous swimming pools, sports stadiums in and around Croydon.
It seems to me that the priority should be to rebuild this area, which has been scandalously neglected over the last 30 years. Whichever plan that can do that (taking into consideration health, safety and aesthetic remits), in the shortest time possible, should be the one that is chosen.
The article in the Guardian notes that Stanhope have already spent £10M over the last two years, buying up various properties on the site. The Council are threatening to use compulsory purchase orders in order to wrest control of the properties from Stanhope.
Either way, it seems that the long suffering residents of Croydon will have to helplessly watch the spectacle from the sidelines; safe in the knowledge that Dingwall Road will not see one sod of turf dug, or foundation stone laid, in the next five or more years.