Brick by Brick moves in on green space next to Ruskin House

Could Croydon Labour want to get out of Ruskin House because they know what plans the council’s housing developer, Brick by Brick, has for a scrap of land next door?

Brick by Brick wants to build on a small green space on Coombe Road, at the corner of Edridge Road.

With a couple of mature trees and some saplings, it is one of the few patches of green space remaining in the town centre.

With Brick by Brick planning to build over open space between College Green and Fairfield Halls, for more over-priced high-rises, and Labour cabinet member for housing, Alison Butler, enthusiastically backing private developers in a land-grab of about one-third of Queen’s Gardens for a residential tower block, there will soon be no green space left in central Croydon.

Brick by Brick has already managed to get their hands on the garage area of the flats in Heathfield Gardens, across the road from Ruskin House, despite strong opposition from residents.

The site next to Ruskin House is a sensitive one, though. Ruskin House, and its garden wall, are both Grade II-listed, and the costs and delays caused by conducting a proper archeological survey could render any flat-building unviable.

“Ruskin House may be unique in being an early 18th Century mansion with an intact garden wall which is also Grade II-listed,” Croydon resident Peter Spalding says.

“Few people know or understand the significance of the area which contains a huge and very early Saxon cemetery which dates from the ‘Migration Period’ (mid- to late-5th Century AD – 450AD – 550AD).

“Any development would require a long and extensive archeological dig under the auspices of the the Museum of London and that would probably disrupt any events taking place in Ruskin House.”

The irony here, of course, is that having accused residents affected by other Brick by Brick schemes of being NIMBYS – not in my back yard – Croydon Labour appears to have decided to get out of Ruskin House before the house-builders move in to their own back yard.

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3 Responses to Brick by Brick moves in on green space next to Ruskin House

  1. It seems this Council knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Any building near Ruskin House risks damage to the foundations of one of the few remaining historic buildings in the town as well as brickwork that is nearly 3 centuries old. These elected Philistines don’t seem to realise how refreshing it is to see the odd blade of grass among the concrete towers of the euphemistically called “affordadable housing” which are in reality, yuppy flats.

    • RJ Newman says:

      Totally agree. But Ruskin House is actually slightly over 3 centuries old. 1713. “Attributed to Sir Christopher Wren”, which means that nobody knows who built it but Wren was alive at the time. Also shows that Victorian estate agents were no better than their modern counterparts.

  2. veeanne2015 says:

    More than the ‘odd blade of grass’.
    In the spring every year a host of golden daffodils come up, and later in the summer ground covering purple flowers, which are a delight to walk by.

    Coombe Road is so busy with traffic queuing at the traffic lights at Park Lane, often going back to the High Street/South End junction, that to build flats on this corner with Edridge Road would cause even more congestion and delay.

    The trees compensate a little for all the traffic air pollution, and people are often sitting on the seats there. Leave this little bit of greenery alone.

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