Developers scale down towering ambition for Surrey Street

Developers who want to demolish an old shop and warehouse building on Surrey Street and replace it with a modern block of flats have scaled down their plans, following meetings with the council’s planning committee and a public consultation last month.

The developers’ computer-generated imagery of the residential block proposed for Surrey Street

Regent Land and Developments act for the owners of 5-9 Surrey Street, which at present has the 99p store facing on to the market. They  initially considered a 12- or 14-storey block, but they have now reduced the proposal to nine storeys, to be more in keeping with the scale of Surrey Street, home to one of London’s oldest traditional street markets.

The plans would provide 55 new homes, some retail space and a purpose-built café and arts performance space which the successful local music promoters HooDoos would manage.The proposals have been opposed by the local Tories because they would oblige the current operators of Matthew’s Yard to find new premises, and probably have to pay  rent at market rates. The Tory petition has also had the backing of some leading members of Croydon Momentum.

Matthew’s Yard, which likes to portray itself as a “community hub”, is run by Saif Bonar, who has returned to Croydon after a spell where he was Spain-based. It has struggled to operate as a viable business since it opened in 2012.

The unprepossessing building on Surrey Street which Regent developments wish to demolish and replace

Regent Land has submitted a statement to the council which says, “The existing building is identified as having a neutral contribution to the conservation area.” Which translated means it is rather modern and unattractive, with little architectural merit.

“There is therefore an opportunity to enhance the site and surrounding area through a high-quality redevelopment of the site and there is no in-principle objection to demolition of the existing building.

“Significant work has been undertaken through the pre-application process in regards to the proposal’s impact on the conservation area, the historic significance of Surrey Street and impact of the proposed mass on the surrounding area.

“The building’s overall scale, massing and height is now considered to be generally acceptable.”

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2 Responses to Developers scale down towering ambition for Surrey Street

  1. Michael Buckley says:

    Well lets hope that ANY rebuild will be an improvement and in keeping with the Surrey Street ethos and marketplace, what’s there now can only……….!! Ug!

  2. Lewis White says:

    I hope that the planners insist on the use of warm-toned brick rather than concrete and rendering for any parts of this proposed replacement building. There are a huge number of recently built buildings in Croydon where after just a few short years, concrete and white or coloured rendering are stained and grubby.

    I will not be mourning the passing of the current ugly concrete and peeling white painted building, pictured in the above article, but hope that the good work of the Folly`s End church will not be ending.

    I also hope that attention will be given by the designers and council design advisers regarding the design of the ground floor street elevations of the new building. For example, just down Surrey Street there is a new-ish building with over-tall ground floor windows, and over-large shop or office units, which are far too large in the context, and a covered area fronting the street which is shaded and grubby. If it had been open to the sun, air and rain, it would be much better.

    Let`s hope that this poor example of modern design is not replicated with the new rebuild of 5-9.

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