Ashburton’s councillors are making plans for park life

As a report to next Monday’s council cabinet meeting demonstrates, there could be much change in Croydon’s parks in the coming couple of years.

The old library in Ashburton Park, which the council says it wants to "transform" into a "vibrant" "Village Green"

The old library in Ashburton Park, which the council now says it wants to “transform” into a “vibrant” “Village Green”

Croydon’s Labour-run council is consulting on one of its parks, the much disputed Ashburton Park, and its old library, which has been something of a cause celebre for some on the council, after they blocked the previous administration from flogging off the listed building for just to a church group for conversion mainly into a private home, and for a fraction of its true value.

And yes, it is yet another consultation.

These things are generally done by council officials merely to tick a few boxes, fulfill statutory requirements, and will then be used to justify whatever it was that the council had decided it wanted to do in the first place. Certainly, senior figures within the Croydon Labour group, and their three councillors in Ashburton, have long harboured strong views on how the building and the rest of the park could be better utilised.

It is surely of significance that this survey is being done in collaboration with the Friends of Ashburton Park, a group which the Labour councillors Stephen Mann, Andrew Rendle and Maddie Henson helped to establish.

The Ashburton Park survey, launched at the end of last month, runs until Monday, March 21. Click here to offer your views.

The council says that it “wants to revitalise Ashburton Park and breathe new life into this Historic Park and Garden”.

They say: “We aim to re-establish Ashburton Park as an inclusive, accessible and vibrant Village Green, one which celebrates the heritage and character of the local area, the parks environment and its historic buildings. This will be delivered through improvements to the grounds and renovation of important park assets like the locally listed former convent/library, the Lodge and kiosk pavilion, in order to bring these buildings back into use, to add more diversity and vitality to the park.

“Rejuvenating this 18½ acres Park will help it to become a key destination, offering a broad choice of leisure and recreational activities and events, supported by good quality open space, better facilities and refurbished accommodation, helping to create a community hub in the park. The regeneration of Ashburton Park will also support priorities for health and wellbeing, growth, learning, and social value, which together will help to stimulate the local economy and provide greater opportunities for the wider community.”

The council is due to publish its report following the consultation at the end of June.


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This entry was posted in Addiscombe West, Andrew Rendle, Ashburton, Community associations, Friends of Ashburton Park, Maddie Henson, Stephen Mann and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ashburton’s councillors are making plans for park life

  1. davidjl2014 says:

    It’s a sadly under used park, with little to offer. Apart from accommodating fun-fairs from time to time, it doesn’t serve the community at all. The whole area is a white elephant. A “Village Green” it certainly isn’t. This Council has built……wait for it, and I said BUILT….. 13 houses in the last two years. So now’s the chance for them to put their money (whatever is left of it) where their mouths are and build much needed social housing.
    Brother Newman and his cronies loath the Private Landlords in Croydon, so here’s an opportunity to show everyone how it’s done. Ashburton Park never has been, and never will be, a “Key Destination” simply because of the geography of the place. The amount of time and money wasted on what to do with the old library building situated in it, is laughable. Just pull it down, keep all the trees, and develop the whole site for the benefit of those desperate to live in a decent home at a reasonable price in Croydon. It’s not rocket science is it, in our overpopulated borough. .

  2. timbartell says:

    Why not rehouse some of the evening classes being lost at Smitham in the old library.

    • The closure of CALAT classes in Smitham is not for lack of a venue or building, but because the Labour-run council has decided to cut funding for adult education.

      The direction of travel is that we shall soon have volunteer-run libraries across the borough, and volunteer-maintained parks. Any activities which may, eventually, be arranged for the long-neglected Ashburton Old Library are going to be volunteer-led.

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