CROYDON COMMENTARY: The collapse of the CCURV Coulsdon supermarket project, as we reported yesterday, is a worrying sign about our local authority’s ability to handle development schemes, warns DAVID WICKENS
The £25-million “Bridge to Nowhere” at East Croydon broke one golden rule of development, in that it started without control of all the necessary land for the project to be completed. Hence we have a very expensive bridge without proper access at one end.
This latest shambles in Coulsdon has broken another rule, by closing an asset – the car park – before binding contracts are signed for the redevelopment.
We hear that the council is pressing the Fairfield Halls to close in July, while there is no planning consent or contracts in place for its redevelopment. One can hardly blame the Fairfield Halls management for continuing to book acts.
In Coulsdon, the loss in parking income must be in the region of £100,000 over the six-month closure, and the loss of trade to local businesses must far exceed that. It is scandalous that Coulsdon should be treated in this way. Just who at Croydon Council is going to take responsibility for this mess?
Where was the project plan with key milestones?
Who is responsible for the “inaccurate” information about key dates?
This is all basic project management and surely there must be some suitably qualified and experienced staff at Croydon who should have managed this better?
Schemes like this should be building confidence that Croydon can deliver on redevelopment, but this only raises further concerns about the deliverability of the Croydon town centre regeneration projects, with Westfield and Hammerson.
Just how much “inaccurate” information has been provided on these?
- David Wickens is a former senior council official, whose work included delivering the biggest engineering project yet seen in the borough, Tramlink
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