Local resident PAUL ORGANE wants to know why Croydon Council has blocked the creation of a community hub
I use Norbury daily, for the railway station to get to work, the bank, the park and the post office.
In the six years I’ve been here, I have never felt there has been more potential for Norbury to become a bustling centre for families, professionals and retirees. I say potential because there are so many closed shops in the area and of those that are open, every other one appears to sell fried chicken, leaving much of the London Road feeling neglected and tired.
There are some recent independent success stories: Affogato has provided the area with a good wide space for local families and workers to enjoy coffees and gelato, and Fryday’s Fish and Chips is always busy. Longer-established cafes Cappucino and Creams are also going strong.
However, when it comes to having somewhere to go for a good pub meal or meet up for a pint with friends, Norbury is definitely lacking.
The only options are a good 10-minute walk from Norbury station to the south, or a 15-minute walk from into Streatham to the north.
In April this year, Antic pubs (owners of popular Pratts and Payne in Streatham and Balham Bowls Club) puchased the former stables at Norbury Mews, just behind the station, at present used as a car repair business on short-term lease.
Their plans for the site include a bar, a gastropub-style restaurant, a cafe and a courtyard space that could be used for “pop-up” community events such as farmers’ markets, outdoor cinema and fetes. This plan is not for a rowdy boozer but a community pub hub in a similar style to other successful pubs and cafes like the excellent Railway by Streatham Common station.
The Norbury Mews plans were put up on the Antic website and linked to a consultation paper on the council website. When the consultation period ended, they had racked up 155 letters of support. I think there was just one against. The people of Norbury and surrounding areas had spoken decisively in support of this plan, sharing their enthusiasm across social media.
The council was silent until mid-September when it was decided not to send the scheme for a decision by the planning committee, denying Antic and locals who support the scheme an opportunity to discuss its merits.
The reasons for the council’s planning department deciding not to put the application to the committee of elected councillors have not yet been made clear and Antic have been left scratching their heads, while the people of Norbury are tweeting their anger at the lack of creativity from the council.
This is clearly a different style of venue to anything currently available and the central Norbury location is easily accessible for people from all around the area to enjoy.
In my opinion, with this plan from Antic pubs, Norbury has nothing to lose, the people have spoken and the council has some answering to do.
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