The Estates Gazette has reported further details of the plans for the One Lansdowne skyscraper in central Croydon, with one its two towers being 700-foot tall, all to be built on a site immediately opposite where the new Westfield shopping mall might be, sometime, eventually.
Inside Croydon reported four months ago the £500-million contract with a Chinese contractor, when details were first released of changes to the original plans for the site, which has existing permission for a 55-storey, mixed used development including offices and a hotel as well as residential.
At that time, we said, “Croydon’s Labour-controlled council’s target of 50 per cent affordable housing with all new developments might be tested with this one.”
And so it may prove. In the plans submitted for approval, only 107 of the 917 residential apartments won’t be private – or less than 12 per cent of the development.
The hotel and offices have gone from the revised scheme, and the towers will be of 39 and 69 storeys, with a visitor attraction of a bar, restaurant and viewing gallery provided on the 66th to 68th floors of what would be one of the tallest residential blocks in Britain.
And eye-catchingly, between the 11th floors of both blocks will be a glass-bottomed swimming pool, which the developers’ PRs have described as “(almost) unprecedented”. That’s because it is not unprecedented, since it mimics a similar splash-in-the-sky pool proposed in a development alongside the new United States Embassy at Nine Elms.
The council’s planning committee, chaired by architect Paul Scott, has already had sight of the plans at a pre-application stage, when the tallest tower was to be a “mere” 65 storeys.
As Estates Gazette notes, “Now it’s risen to 69, so one would assume that feedback was fairly positive, for them to go even higher.”
Indeed, as yet none of the Tory councillors for Fairfield ward, nor the local Tory MP, Gavin Barfwell, have launched any petitions to complain of over-development, nor about the prospect that these buildings wil do little to address the housing needs of Londoners.
The CGI graphics presented with the Lansdowne scheme, however, do help to provide some perspective of how central Croydon might look once – if – all the developers’ schemes eventually get constructed. The town centre has already been used as a film set to pass for Gotham City; if Ridley Scott ever fancies doing a re-make of Blade Runner, he will know where to come…
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