New plan for Queen’s Gardens takes away public open space

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Having searched high and low through the council’s website to find the latest raft of proposals for Queen’s Gardens as part of the build on the Taberner House site, VALERIE HUNTER is dismayed by what she has seen

How Taberner House used to overlook Queen's Gardens

How Taberner House used to overlook Queen’s Gardens

So, “The applicant is seeking to provide the full required play space provision to serve the development within the sunken garden area” (those are my italics, for emphasis).

And this is “supported” by Croydon Council.

The previous proposals for the development of the site of Taberner House, the council’s former office building, which were put forward for consultation in September 2013 prior to seeking planning permission, had the play area in the centre of a courtyard between the high-rise buildings (and another in the area marked ‘play ramp in the new proposals).

This previous proposal only made minor alterations to the sunken garden “enhancing the unique qualities” and “respecting the character and historic features”.

Under those plans, the café and toilets, originally put in the north-west corner of the sunken gardens in the Mid-Croydon Masterplan, had been moved to the ground floor of the high-rise on the north-west corner, overlooking the green of the gardens – a far more suitable site than that now proposed.

Now, though, Croydon Council has sold the Taberner House site and appears to have given over the whole of Queen’s Gardens to the private developers for “regeneration”.

The latest sketch map of the scheme for Taberner House as presented to councillors, with Queen's Gardens included within the red lines

The sketch map of the latest scheme for Taberner House as presented to councillors in council officers’ report last month, with Queen’s Gardens included within the red lines

These new plans do not meet the objective of “maintaining the existing character of the sunken gardens”.

The new “Green Heart” is in the middle of the courtyard between the high-rise buildings, and not part of what has been until now public space.

Three of the buildings will have roof-top gardens for residents, but still remove a large part of the public gardens.

And we are told, “The applicant is organising a very extensive public consultation exercise”.

Where and when? Is this supposed to be the telephone consultation as reported by Inside Croydon? Surely not.

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This entry was posted in Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Croydon parks, Environment, Fairfield, Jo Negrini, Planning, Queens Gardens, Taberner House and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to New plan for Queen’s Gardens takes away public open space

  1. Lewis White says:

    Thanks for drawing our attention to this , Inside Croydon.
    I would like to see a plan with the old footprint of Taberner House superimposed.
    It looks like “Development Creep” is happening here.

    I am not against a yuppie tower if it does not blot out the sun reaching the majority of the Queen’s gardens at lunchtime –say from Noon onwards. Siting and height of new blocks are vitally important. Taberner House itself blotted out the sun.

    I am not averse to a playground outside of the new development, if the public are to get a really good playground in a sunny area of the QG . All parents are happy to bring their children out to play — it’s not exactly a semi-d back garden where you can let the kids out –if you are a yuppie with a child from the 30h floor. New “Open spaces” in new developments are generally ice-cold, sunless canyons. We don’t need any like that.

    I hope that the new development funds a very good overhaul of the whole of QG.

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