65 homes on brownfield site: professionals show how to do it

The development novices at Brick by Brick, who managed to sell just eight housing units in 2019, and their slow-working contractors might want to have a chat with the construction professionals who have just completed 65 new homes overlooking the Croydon Flyover at The Waldrons.

The Waldrons: an object lesson in how to deliver new homes on brownfield sites in good time

Despite a challenging, sloping site, the £13million scheme took just 12 months to build and fit-out – less than half the time it has taken BxB’s contractors on a number of other, smaller sites around the borough.

Three-bed flats in The Waldrons are on the market for £495,000, with one-bed apartments going for £300,000, though 30 per cent of the new homes in the development are “affordable”.

The building has been developed by UK Land Assets, who were frustrated for nearly a year by delays caused by the council over planning permission – something which is granted with alacrity and at great speed whenever it involves Brick by Brick’s often questionable schemes.

Indeed, when the developers brought forward their scheme to Croydon Council, sources suggest that they were encouraged by Paul Scott, the de facto chair of the planning committee, to build their tower even higher.

The 10-storey Waldrons, on the corner of Davenant Road, towers above the Flyover on a corner close to Duppas Hill Park. In an object lesson to Croydon’s planners, it has utilised a brownfield site.

The site was occupied previously a listed building which, for many years, had served as the home of the local Sea Cadets. The old house was abandoned and became derelict, and in 2013 it was badly damaged by a fire in which a homeless man died. The ruins of what was already known locally as “the haunted house” were demolished shortly after.

Three-bed apartments in The Waldrons are selling for £495,000

The building does not overlook any neighbours and has been built in an area where there are already four residential tower blocks. Amenity space between buildings has been preserved, and enhanced, rather than destroyed or built over.

The building includes nine three-bed, 29 two-bed, 19 one-bed and eight studio flats. The development also includes roof gardens and green roofs on the stepped sections, plus space for up to 67 bicycles and 32 parking bays (a relatively generous number of parking spaces by Croydon development standards).

London-based CPMG Architects designed the building, which was built by Cube Construction.

“It’s a common requirement that more affordable housing is needed throughout the UK, especially in London,” said Chris White, a director at CPMG.

“We’re proud to be part of the ongoing development in the Croydon area, but we’re especially happy that a large proportion of this new development is dedicated to affordable housing and will help support the local community.

Proud: Chris White

“Thanks to the sloping nature of this site, the design team have been able to really maximise the area through the creation of an unusual, L-shaped building with varied storey heights, greatly improving the aesthetic of the area. We’ve made the most of the physicality of the building, creating green spaces on the stepped sections to embed community into the heart of the development by providing communal spaces for residents to use and enjoy together.

“We’re confident that the people moving into the housing here will be really happy with the environment created, and that this scheme will be a catalyst for further investment and redevelopment in the area.”

Andrew Crainey of UK Land Assets Ltd said: “We are really proud to have been working alongside CPMG on such a fantastic project. Not only has the scheme provided affordable housing for local people, but we hope that the development of this once underutilised site will make a huge improvement to the area and inspire future regeneration projects in Croydon.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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3 Responses to 65 homes on brownfield site: professionals show how to do it

  1. deanrichards22 says:

    Absolutely. This article is spot on. It highlights the enormous difference between a professional developer and a pseudo-public company, pretending to be a professional developer, but staffed by inexperienced council employees.

    Council tax payer will have to pick up the pieces. And Croydon will have the third highest debt of any local authority in the uk.

    Other important fact – Brick-by-Brick uses expensive trendy architects – the ones Jo Negrini meets when she is show-boating in Clerkenwell.

    UK Land Assets will not squander money on expensive architects!

  2. Anthony Mills says:

    I thought the minimum requirement for ”affordable” homes in London developments [of more than 9 homes] is 35% not 30%?

    • This’ll need a spot of research in the planning committee minutes. They strung out the process for so long, they might have been allowed under previous targets.
      But 30 percent is still better than BxB is managing, using public money on public sites.

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