One of the longest-running developments in the town centre is a step closer to completion, and East Croydon Station’s notorious Bridge To Nowhere a little closer to finally linking through to Addiscombe.
The topping-out ceremony was held last week at Crescent Gardens, the latest phase of Menta’s series of residential tower blocks along Cherry Orchard Road.
Attended by Sherwan Chowdhury, the Mayor of cash-strapped Croydon, along with representatives of Latimer Homes, Menta and Sir Robert McAlpine, the ceremony – all hard hats and champagne corks – marked construction having reached the highest point of the eight-storey building.
The nearby pedestrian bridge, built by Network Rail, Transport for London and Croydon Council at a cost of £22million, was supposed to provide additional access to East Croydon Station from Dingwall Road to the western side and Cherry Orchard Road when it was completed in 2013. But Menta, the developers who own the land on the eastern side of the tracks, opted not to allow public access while they and their builders worked on their various schemes.
Now that Crescent Gardens is nearing completion, the developers are talking up their new flats’ easy connectivity with the station and the town centre, provided by the erstwhile emasculated bridge.
Part of the £350million Morello “vibrant new urban quarter” project, Crescent Gardens will provide 118 shared ownership and “affordable” rented apartments developed through Latimer, part of Clarion Housing Group. The scheme is due for completion in 2023.
Menta’s first phase of the track-side development included 300 homes; Crescent Gardens and the rest of the second phase also includes 338 further residential apartments, 20,000 sqft of commercial space, a landscaped public square and what the developers describe as “station infrastructure”, meaning access to the bridge that has been left hanging, literally, for almost 10 years.
“The multi-million-pound upgrade of East Croydon Station… means this is a location where connectivity is second to none,” according to Craig Marks, Menta’s chief exec. Or, at least, it will be once his company allows the bridge’s connectivity to get connected…
The sales spiel for the new flats is familiar: “Crescent Gardens is located just a few minutes’ walk from East Croydon Station and connects with the Morello development via a new station entrance. As one of South London’s major rail hubs, the station forms a vital gateway to the capital so residents of Crescent Gardens can reach Clapham Junction in nine minutes and London Victoria in just 15 minutes.”
Or put more succinctly: move to Croydon, it’s easy to get away from.
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