Croydon Council's planning committee has approved Brick By Brick’s proposals for 421 homes, shops, open public space and improved town centre pedestrian access on the site of a demolished multi-storey car park.
Council-owned developer Brick By Brick’s site is situated next door to the historic Fairfield Halls arts venue, which reopened last autumn after a major refurbishment. Once the new homes are built, money from sales will pay for the estimated £42.6m cost of having extensively restored Fairfield Halls to its former glory.
Because the scheme had to recoup the Fairfield Halls costs, the project could only fund fewer affordable homes than would normally be expected. The approved scheme comprises 352 private sale flats and 69 affordable apartments.
Councillor Chris Clark, appointed at the meeting to succeed Councillor Toni Letts as committee chair, commented: “The reason that this scheme is short of our target in respect of affordable housing is because there is a significant subsidy that is going to be coming back from this development into funding the work that has already been completed on Fairfield Halls.”
The development is built next to The Fair Field public open space, a project funded by the council and Coast to Capital to revitalise land between Fairfield Halls and Croydon College. The project will reintroduce the fun of the fair, reinstating the area’s original name and including a wide range of facilities such as a water mirror, innovative lighting and landscaping when developed in 2021. Committee members told at the meeting they hoped Croydon’s links with twin town Arnhem could also be commemorated as part of this public open space.
Councillor Paul Scott, cabinet lead for planning and regeneration, said: “This planning decision is the latest significant step forward in the regeneration of Croydon town centre, which is especially important for the borough’s long-term economic recovery from Covid-19. This development will provide well-designed new flats, including affordable homes, great connections, an NHS facility and an attractive civic square that will fit with the future Fair Field public space currently being designed. Above all, the money that Brick By Brick gives the council from future sales means our superb restoration of Fairfield Halls will not have cost a penny to local taxpayers.”
The planning committee meeting held on Thursday 23rd April 2020 was the council’s first virtual meeting held online because of Covid-19 restrictions.