Develop Croydon Conference - 21st November 2017
Month

December 2015

Croydon’s economy surges ahead

New figures show Croydon has the second-fastest expanding economy in the UK.

A 9.3 per cent growth rate recorded the the Office for National Statistics is 3.7 per cent above the London average and more than double the average for the UK as a whole.

It is also largely responsible for the southern part of outer London having the highest rate of regional economic growth in the country, at 7.4 per cent.

The ‘gross value added’ (GVA) calculations are the measure of how much money is generated through all goods produced and services delivered in an area. They include everything from brewing beer and doing accounts to coding computer games and building new houses.

Croydon’s economic expansion has been principally driven by the large number of property investment deals that have seen the centre of the town transformed into a reinvigorated hub for a wide range of commercial service industries.

The local technology base is swelling rapidly, with both start-ups and established firms creating a new ‘tech-city’ in the heart of the south east.

Councillor Toni Letts, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “Experts on entrepreneurialism have identified that the most successful places around the world are those that are vibrant, multi-cultural and accepting of differences, and that’s what enables them to attract talented business people.

"This perfectly describes Croydon’s burgeoning business community, and it’s fantastic that the council’s ambitions for continued economic growth are backed up by these figures.”

Development partner wanted for Croydon regeneration

The owners of a 5.5 acre site including the former Nestle Tower are seeking a development partner for a residential-led scheme.

Delancey, parent company of Minerva which has a substantial holding in the town, is looking to enter into a joint venture as part of its plans to transform the area which also includes the St George's Walk retail parade and Sega House as part of Croydon's regeneration.

The site, which has potential for more than 1,000 homes, lies close to the new shopping centre being developed by Westfield and Hammerson, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

It includes the Nestle Tower, for which Minerva paid Legal & General around £10million in August.

A Minerva spokesman told Estates Gazette: "We can confirm that a potential partner is being sought for the 5.5-acre freehold site in the centre of Croydon.

"The site is anticipated to accommodate a large-scale residential-led development."

The development zone does not include the Minerva-owned former Allders department store which is in the CPO area for the new shopping centre.

£99million deal for government offices

The new buyers of two government offices have said they intend to maximise the development potential of the site in the heart of Croydon.

Singapore-based developer Hung Ho Land has bouhgt both Apollo House and Lunar House, which span a combined 441,797 sq ft, from Harel Insurance in a £99million deal.

The buyers are guaranteed income with the government government letting out both buildings - in two separate leases - until June 23.

However Hung Ho with the 19,100sq m site currently under-developed - and having been designated as an area of high density in the Croydon Local Plan - there is scope for a major refurbishment or redevelopment in the future.

Chua Thian Poh, chairman and chief executive of Ho Bee Land, said: "This acquisition is unique as it offers us recurrent income till 2023.

"In the interim, it allows us ample time to plan and maximise the development potential of the site.

"This is Ho Bee’s third major office acquisition this year and its sixth office building in London. The acquisition increases our investments in UK to about £600 million in the last three years and reflects our confidence in London’s commercial market.”

Momentum shifting towards Gatwick Airport expansion

Gatwick Airport is urging the government to choose growth rather than inertia at Heathrow. The government this morning announced a six-month delay to a decision on airport expansion. And although the commission led by Sir Howard Davies favoured Heathro...

Council rejects Fiveways flyover

Proposals to build a new flyover at Fiveways Junction have been rejected by Croydon Council because of the impact it would have on neighbouring residents and Duppas Hill.

Instead, the council's cabinet is set to recommend a widening of the existing bridge carrying the A23 Purley Way over the railway, as well as widening Epsom Road to accommodate two-way traffic.

The two proposals were forumlated by Transport for London to improve traffic flow at Fiveways, where the A23 meets the A232, one of the busiest intersection points in the borough. It will announce its preferred option early next year ahead of a wider public consultation planned for next autumn.

Councillor Kathy Bee, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “It is vital we invest in improving our road networks to ensure we are able to manage the increasing levels of traffic as a result of the huge amount of growth being delivered in our borough.

"Tackling congestion at Fiveways Corner is central to this aspiration, as it is one of the busiest junctions and intersections in Croydon.

“Both proposals would improve journey times, pedestrian crossings and cycle links across the A23. However we feel that the recommendation we have put forward would have less of an impact on those living in the immediate area.

"The alternative option of building a new flyover would have a negative visual impact on a larger number of homes, and would also mean losing part of Duppas Hill Park.

“I also welcome the fact that following the comments of those who attended the exhibitions, TfL has produced revised designs for Fiveways Corner itself, which work with both proposals and bring the potential for greater improvement to the pedestrian environment and public realm.”

According to the council, the flyover proposal would have meant losing the equivalent of one-and-a-half football pitches in Duppas Hill Park as well as 30 mature trees.

Meanwhile, the local atuhority will ask TfL to ensure that the Waddon Hotel, an important local building, is retained.

TfL completed a consultation on transforming Fiveways in March, with 81 per cent of respondents supporting or partially supporting the principle of a road modernisation scheme at Fiveways.

 

 

South Norwood playground officially reopens

South Norwood recreation ground’s newly-refurbished playground was officially re-opened by the council at the weekend. Council leader Tony Newman from neighbouring Woodside ward and Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for leisure, culture ...

Pumping investment into Exchange Square

Croydon is seeking more than £1.075million funding to turn Exchange Square into a tech hub with space for artists, a theatre and outdoor events.

An application has been made to the London Regeneration Fund to bring a former pumping station and surrounding derelict buildings back into use.

The pumping station's owner Guildhouse Rosepride has joined the council, Croydon Tech City, Matthews Yard and other organisations in making the bid.

Alison Butler, the council's cabinet member for regeneration, told the Croydon Advertiser: "Once the pumping station is done up with some lighting it'll be a fantastic building. With the expansion of Matthews Yard, it all fits together really well."

For the full story click here

Clegg urges Cameron to back Gatwick

Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has urged the government to choose Gatwick expansion despite the Davies Commission recommending a third runway at Heathrow.

Writing in the Evening Standard, Mr Clegg warned prime minister David Cameron that great swathes of voters in south-west London would not forgive him if Heathrow were to get the go-ahead.

"Gatwick has a dedicated, unpopulated site that is ready to go," said the former Liberal Democrat leader.

"Gatwick claims with some justification that it can get cracking with the development with less risk of delay than its Heathrow rivals.

"Given that a government decision in favour of Heathrow will be followed by a contentious debate and vote in parliament, then a public inquiry, the potential for further interminable delay is strong."

Mr Clegg also said Gatwick posed a lower pollution risk and that there was little to chosses between the two airports on point-to-point travel.

He added: "The technocratic consensus, especially in the Treasury, is robotically in favour of Heathrow.

"But this ignores the unavoidable reality that planes are forced to fly low over one of the most built-up urban connubations in the world.

"If we were starting from scratch, there is simply no way that we would choose to build a new airport there."

Helping Croydon people to land Croydon jobs

A new jobs board has been created with the aim of getting local people into local jobs and promoting Croydon as a great place to work. LoveCroydonJobs.com is dedicated to creating and promoting pathways into work for local people, while raising their a...