Developer consults on 775-flat proposal next to Fairfield Halls

Proposals for another 775 flats, including a 38-storey tower, on a two-acre site next to the Fairfield Halls are being laid out for public consultation tomorrow.

Rising high: Delta’s 775 flats will be in addition to the 2,400 homes planned or already built in a cluster around Park Lane

The scheme is being brought forward by asset managers Delta Properties, who acquired the College Green site at a massive discount in Croydon Council’s fire sale just over a year ago.

The site was supposed to be developed by Brick by Brick, the council-owned house-builders, with the profits from the sale of flats helping to defray the cost of the Fairfield Halls refurbishment. But Brick by Brick, under managing director Colm Lacey, made a hash of the scheme from hubristic beginning to its sorry end, costing Council Tax-payers tens of millions in the process.

First, bungling BxB failed to secure the purchase of the Croydon College Annex building, which the college sold to another developer. That forced Brick by Brick to draw up a revised planning application, which was duly granted.

But the loss-making company never managed to lay a single brick, and after the council went bankrupt in late 2020 – largely due to the financial black hole that Brick by Brick had created – the site was one of the assets which were quickly sold off on the cheap.

In total, 15 properties, including College Green and the Croydon Park Hotel, were sold for £60million – of which, less than £25million may be attributed to the Green site.

What Delta Properties is proposing for the site is almost double the size of Brick by Brick’s largest version of their scheme, which proposed 421 flats and a 29-storey tower block.

The town centre area around College Green and the Fairfield Halls is already the subject to developments involving 2,400 residential units, including 937 homes in the College Road Tower next door, which will be 49 storeys tall when completed, the College Annex Site, which has planning consent for 93 homes, and the 513 recently completed homes in blocks of up to 35 storeys which overshadow Croydon Town Hall from The Queen’s Gardens, just across Park Lane from the Fairfield Halls.

According to the consultation website for the development scheme which is calling itself “Tapestry Croydon”, owners Delta have a property portfolio that “includes residential-led mixed use regeneration projects, office buildings, retail parks, shopping malls, and industrial and logistic centres”.

They say that Delta “deliver on quality while creating value for people and places”.

He’s back…: Ollie ‘Shitshow’ Lewis, the Labour cabinet member responsible for the Fairfield fiasco, now works for the agency running the College Green consultation

They say, “Inspired by the cultural success of Fairfield Halls, the Clocktower and Boxpark, we believe we can grow and connect these beacons into a cultural destination across the Fairfield masterplan.

“We can do this by: Accelerating Fairfield’s centrepiece after years of inactivity and inaccessibility”, and they have a point there.

“Leading with a fresh approach that embraces nature and creates a place where people want to be.” Which is nice.

“Including an accessible, car-free and biodiverse public realm.” That’s the Fairfield Green that’s long been in the local masterplan for the area, and which the developers know that they can’t build on.

Their proposals include, “Space for a new NHS integrated care facility”, although there’s no mention of whether the NHS wants this, nor where the budget to run it might be coming from.

Intriguingly, the PR firm handling the consultation for Delta is Kanda, the employer of Ollie “Shit Show” Lewis, the former Labour councillor for New Addington who was the cabinet member responsible for the fiasco at the Fairfield Halls.

Lewis, therefore, also carries some responsibility for his employers’ new clients being able to acquire the College Green site so cheaply (not that you would recognise Lewis from his carefully manicured online corporate bio).

But at least someone appears to be doing well out of the borough going bankrupt…

What is described as the first public consultation event will take place from 4pm to 7.30pm in the Arthur Davison Suite of the Fairfield Halls tomorrow, Tuesday, May 2.

You can see more of Delta’s plans for the site on the website by clicking here.

Read more: Council puts hotel and College Green up for sale for just £40m
Read more: What will the ‘new’ Westfield deal really mean for Croydon?
Read more: Brick by Brick has paid nothing to council
Read more: ‘An accountant could have foreseen this more than a year ago’

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13 Responses to Developer consults on 775-flat proposal next to Fairfield Halls

  1. Hazel swain says:

    enough is enough.. Croydon is FULL.. time to spread this building mania to other parts of the country

    • Liam Johnson says:

      What do you mean it’s full?

      • Hazel swain says:

        too many people, too many blocks of flats … not enough schools, not enough Gps … I could go on…

        • Most Croydon schools are under-subscribed, so much so that two church secondaries have closed in last five years.
          This College Green development includes an NHS clinic – what’s not clear is whether the NHS wants a clinic in this location or, after a decade of Tory underfunding, has the budget to operate such a clinic.

    • My son is Croydon born-and-bred.

      Despite being highly qualified in a STEM area and having a ‘respectable’ job, he lives at home because, as a singleton, he cannot afford a place of his own – rented or bought.

      1. How long do you think he should have to live with us?

      2. Pray tell to where should he move?

  2. Anne Singer says:

    No thanks. Croydon alone is not responsible for the whole of the housing shortage. Brick by bribe have ruined croydon with ugly unaffordable apartments

  3. Henry K S says:

    Colm Lacey needs to be held accountable for the impact on local people.

  4. derekthrower says:

    One day they might even think about all the extra infrastructure and public services required by over developing a small central site, but don’t hold your breath.

    • Dan Kelly says:

      We still have flooding on Mitchley avenue and Riddlesdown Station despite major sewer works.
      775 flats is a lot of extra waste!

      • Lee Malyon says:

        Going slightly off piste here, but great point you raise Dan. Croydon Council and their contractor (Conway’s), done lots of work at this location before the end of 2022. I stopped to chat to a couple of the guys doing it, they told me the work they were doing was costing an awful lot of money, but they could safely guarantee that the area would never flood again. Well, as you obviously already know, the flooding at this location is now far worse than it ever was before. Steven Iles and his highway numbwits strike again. What a waste of our money!! I have some great photos of the flooding here a couple of weeks ago, when we last had a downpour of rain, shame i cannot upload them for all to see!!

  5. The drawing of the proposed development shows College Green with mature trees and a lake. Unless it is intended to demolish the underground car park this is not a realistic proposal as I know there is insufficient cover above the roof.

  6. Claire says:

    I’m sure Chris Clark will be throwing his support behind this development as he has with large-scale developments in other parts of the borough (assuming Paul Scott lets him). His ward residents might be unhappy – not least because of the already terrible traffic congestion here – but I am sure he would hate to be accused of nimbyism and double standards.

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