The Purley spa where your chakra is not just for Christmas

You can plough up and down in an empty lane at the David Lloyd spa

BELLA BARTOCK dives in head first to endure some full-on pampering at one of Croydon’s better sports clubs

Jingle bells might well be the sound usually associated with this time of year. But for those in Croydon looking for a more unusual Christmas present for their partner, then the splish splash of the pool and spa at David Lloyd Purley might be worth considering.

My friend, Claudia de Boozy, and I were given a day-pass to visit there recently. Which for Claudia proved a bit of a problem, because she was parked outside Tesco’s in Purley when she called me, lost and asking for directions. I explained, slowly, that “David Lloyd Purley” is, in fact, “David Lloyd off the Purley Way”. I gave her directions to Stafford Road, though Claudia – who still doesn’t know how to work Google Maps – got lost round the back of Costco. Continue reading

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Christmas Stay and Play, Crystal Palace Triangle, Dec 12

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Another body-blow as Hammerson lists malls for sale

The latest body-blow to the prospects of the £1.4billion redevelopment of Croydon town centre came last night, with all the force of an Anthony Joshua uppercut: Hammerson is exiting the retail shopping park business, and doing so as fast as it can.

Hammerson is part of the Croydon Partnership, formed with Westfield in 2011 to redevelop the Whitgift and Centrale malls in the town centre.

The scheme has been mired in delays and indecision, causing damaging development blight to Croydon ever since.

In February this year, after two sets of planning applications had been granted approval, a public inquiry and expensive CPO of the area, the prestigious scheme which was originally due to be completed in 2017 was halted for a review by Hammerson (the owners of Centrale) and Westfield (now part of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield). No new start date has been announced. Continue reading

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‘Are Brick by Brick trying to lose the election for Sarah?’

Our construction correspondent BARRATT HOLMES on concerns that the council is pressing ahead with consultations on often controversial housing schemes during the run-up to the General Election

No expense has been spared in the artwork commissioned for the Brick by Brick consultations

“Are they trying to lose the election for Sarah?”

That was the angry outburst from a senior Labour councillor after they heard that Brick by Brick, the council’s wholly-owned but not very competent builders, were staging consultations on sites around the borough in the days before next Thursday’s General Election.

The latest one is happening today, and takes place in New Addington, one of the hard-fought election battlegrounds in the Croydon Central seat where Sarah Jones is trying to be re-elected as the Labour MP.

Most public organisation suspend consultation activity during the run-up to elections, for fear of swaying the public vote one way or another. Such considerations don’t appear to worry Brick by Brick, or the supposedly Labour-run Croydon Council. Continue reading

Posted in 2019 General Election, Alison Butler, Brick by Brick, Business, Colm Lacey, Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Fieldway, Housing, Jo Negrini, New Addington, New Addington North, Paul Scott, Planning, Sarah Jones MP, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Newman admits: we’re only trying to win two Croydon seats

Our Town Hall reporter, KEN LEE, on a leaked memo which belies the council leader’s true thoughts

Not for the first time, what Tony Newman says publicly and what he will admit in private are two entirely different things.

Newman, the autocratic leader of the council, this week posted a tweet which claimed that Chris Philp, the Tory candidate in Croydon South, had “pressed the panic button” over campaign resources and canvassing.

To most informed observers, Newman’s claim had the appearance of his usual weapons-grade bullshit. After all, Philp is seeking re-election in a safe Conservative seat where in 2017 he enjoyed a comfy 11,406-vote majority. The bookmakers have Philp at 1/100 to be returned as the MP for Croydon South on December 12.

And a memo leaked to Inside Croydon betrays Newman’s true views about the south of the borough and campaigning across Croydon’s three parliamentary constituencies: Newman has no interest in the non-Labour south of the borough, and even less interest in his party’s election campaign there.

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£2.5bn fund closure is bad news for Croydon’s Westfield hopes

News from the City about the financial difficulties of retail investments is likely to hit plans for the Whitgift Centre

The doubts about whether the Westfield redevelopment of Croydon’s Whitgift Centre will ever begin grew even greater this week, as one of the country’s biggest property funds began blocking investors from making withdrawals, blaming both Brexit and the retail downturn for its problems.

The M&G Property Portfolio has several significant investments in shopping centres, and is worth £2.5billion, though it is not thought to have any direct financial interests in the Croydon scheme.

But just as in any financial crisis, when one part of a sector sneezes, the rest catch cold feet.

Westfield – now part of the French-run Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield – has been sniffing around Croydon since 2011, making all sorts of grand promises about delivering a shopping centre to match their existing malls in West London and at Stratford. So far, the only thing Westfield have delivered for Croydon is a development blight. Continue reading

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Surrey Opera’s Christmas Soiree, Whitgift School, Dec 15

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