Developers have been give the green light to demolish Matthew’s Yard off Surrey Street, and to develop a multi-use building including 60 flats – 18 of which will be “affordable” – and a purpose-built arts and music venue.
A unanimous decision was reached by Labour and Conservative councillors on the council’s planning committee after the developers, local property firm Regent Land and Developments, agreed to increase the affordable accommodation from the originally proposed 18 per cent to 30 per cent, in line with the council’s planning policy.
The 6,013m² development, to be called Beamhouse Yard, will face on to Surrey Street, Croydon’s historic street market, and provide commercial units and a café.
The church trust which occupies the current Croydon Conference Centre will have access to new space on the first floor of the development, while the lower ground floor music venue will be managed by Croydon-based promoters Hoodoos, as was first revealed by Inside Croydon. Hoodoos have a 25-year lease at a discounted rent, to assist in establishing the venue.
Planning officers said the amended block, which sits within the Central Croydon Conservation Area, “now reads with greater verticality, reflecting the vertical appearance of the Victorian buildings opposite”. Translated: it’s a tall building, with a load of glass.
Originally proposed as a six-storey building with 55 flats, what will now be built will be nine storeys tall, including a mansard roof to accommodate the additional apartments.
It is replacing a building of little architectural merit, which used to serve as a cold store and discount supermarket.
The Goswell Road-based architects commissioned for the new building are Maccreanor Lavington, who claim that its designs “will contribute positively to Croydon Town Centre, Surrey Street and the market”.
The current Matthew’s Yard café, bar and workspace business, a regular haunt for some of Croydon’s coffee-drinking Tory councillors and the venue for the Croydon Conservatives’ local election campaign launch, is expected to relocate to another site close by.
Saif Bonar, the owner of the business, is known to have already rejected an offer to move to the old Pizza Express site in South End.
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