NEW GUIDELINES WILL SHAPE CROYDON’S FUTURE

A new set of planning policies will help Croydon maintain the unique character of local areas, promote retail growth and protect green open spaces, say Croydon council.

The public will soon be asked to give their opinions on the full range of
detailed policies that will shape the future of new building work in the
borough.

Consultation is set to start in October and will run until the end of
November.

Proposals cover all future development on different types of land and in
different parts of the borough. They also cover policies such as promotion
of public art, protection of views and landmarks, biodiversity, land
contamination and traffic flow – to name just a few.

Planners recently established the boundaries that define 16 distinct
‘places’ and each of these will have a tailor-made set of planning
guidelines.

The council has prepared an initial set of proposals which will be
published shortly. The final documents are due to be finalised and approved
by 2016.

The new framework of guidelines will ensure that places retain a sense of
local character, particularly when new housing developments are being
considered.

Many of the borough’s existing shopping centres and district centres are
recommended to have their retail status updated. The proposals include a
number of suggestions which will allow some areas to expand and others to be considered for alternative uses as a means of dealing with long term
vacancies.

Scores of public areas will also be officially designated as ‘Local Green
Spaces’, giving them added protection from future development proposals. In some places this will mean the council will extend the boundaries of the
existing green belt in the borough.

If approved by the council’s cabinet committee a full consultation plan
will be published at the start of October letting residents and businesses
know how they can contribute their views. Details will be available at
http://www.croydon.gov.uk/localplan. (Source: Croydon council press release)

PLANS TO BUILD THOUSANDS OF NEW HOMES

Croydon is set to usher in an unprecedented era of house building that
could see 2,000 new homes built each year.

To meet a rising population and a need for extra housing, the council’s
five year plan envisages building to start on 9,500 homes.

The council has more than 9,000 households on its housing register and is
already managing a sharp increase in homelessness.

At the same time, the supply of private rented accommodation available to
the council to prevent homelessness has reduced significantly.

Over the next 20 years, Croydon’s population is predicted to increase by
38,000 bringing the number of people living in the borough to 400,000.

To help meet this demand, the new homes will be built on more than 120
sites across the borough. More than half of these will be in central
Croydon and nearly a third affordable.

They will be a mix of tenures, including affordable and private rent to
shared ownership and private sale. The new homes will also be of varying
sizes and suitable for single people, couples and families.

Alongside the five year plan, the council is setting up a housing
investment fund which will provide the necessary finance to ensure stalled
developments go ahead.

There are also proposals for £3bn worth of retail and leisure investment to
transform the town centre, creating an estimated 16,500 jobs.

In addition, improvements to East and West Croydon stations and a £320m
schools development programme are planned to ensure the right
infrastructure is in place to support extra housing, added a council statement.

Cllr Dudley Mead, cabinet member for housing, said: “This is an
unprecedented programme of house building.

“These new homes will be built while the town centre is transformed by £3bn worth of retail and leisure investment that will create thousands of new jobs for local people.

“Croydon is a very competitive location with average house prices much
lower than elsewhere and more than half that of inner London.

“It is one of the few remaining areas in London where developers can build
houses that first time buyers can reasonably afford.” (Source: Croydon council press release)

LIGHTBOX HELP TO RAISE MORE FUNDS FOR LIBRARY

DULWICH estate agents Lightbox are opening the commercial space in the former Thicket Tavern pub on Anerley Road to help generate more funds for Upper Norwood library.

Neville De Souza, director of modish property development company Lightbox London has teamed up with one of his Gipsy Hill neighbours Gina Cross, a local art and design dealer, to create a pop up gallery and shop that will raise more money for the Upper Norwood Library.

Following on from the successful Bigger Picture pop up gallery curated by Crystal Palace artist Angelique Hartigan, the venue will once more be the airy commercial space, under the acclaimed residential conversion of the former Thicket Tavern on Anerley Road, close to Crystal Palace station.

South Londoner Gina Cross plans to feature limited edition art prints and original paintings from a collection from Gina’s two online galleries – A Little bit of Art (ALBOA.co.uk) and Gas GAllery (gasgallery.co.uk) alongside Vintage furniture and homewares from local designers and Crystal Palace vintage dealer ‘Belle Coco’ which is based on Church Road. Prices start from £20.

Gina has been been representing artists and illustrators for the past four years. She regularly shows at art and design fairs as well as regular pop-ups in Herne Hill and Brixton. She recently showed during the Dulwich festival where she met  Neville. His company Lightbox allowed some of Europe’s leading street artists to create a startling transformation of a derelict property awaiting demolition in East Dulwich, with spray-paints.

Neville offered Gina the use of the commercial element below the Thicket, which is on the market, to showcase a broad and colourful array of affordable Art on the understanding that a proportion of sales would be donated to the Upper Norwood Library Trust. Gina will also be joined by Vintage dealer Ains Phillips from Belle Coco. Ains will be installing some beautiful 20th Century furniture, lamps and accessories.

Also featured will be designs from local lampshade designer Isabel Stanley. South London artists featuring  at the Thicket will be Julia McKenzie, Kevin Dutton, Delphine Lebourgeois, Gordon W Robertson and Kim Gorman plus other UK artists.

Gina said: “I am very keen to support such a worthy cause as the Upper Norwood Joint Library while showcasing art to the wider Crystal Palace community. All of the work is affordable and I’m sure there will be something that will catch the eye of everyone who visits the Pop up Gallery.”
The pop up gallery will be open on Thursday evenings from 5-8pm and on Saturdays and Sundays. Other times are by appointment.

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