Croydon’s Cultural Quarter gets go-ahead from planners

The plans for Croydon’s new cultural quarter, designed by Rick Mather Architects as one of the largest regeneration projects ever seen in the borough, have received planning consent.

The College Green development will see the 8 hectare Fair Field area next to the East Croydon transport hub transformed into what the architects called a “vibrant destination for arts, education and culture.”

The plans include over 2000 new homes and regenerated and new streets and public spaces, plus a new college, art gallery, energy centre, shops, and community and office space. The refurbished  Fairfield Halls concert venue will sit at the development’s heart.

An extensive programme of enabling works has been underway since last summer to prepare the 1962 Fairfield Halls for major construction activity. “The highly respected acoustic characteristics of the halls are being protected and there will be extensive heritage led refurbishment internally and externally. There will be contemporary intervention and extension including new cafes and restaurants and the new gallery and roof top multi-function space and terrace.”

These “ambitious” regeneration proposals will be delivered by the council’s development company Brick by Brick in a number of phases. The scheme has been developed in consultation with the various landowners on the wider site and these discussions will continue as the scheme progresses.

The new public realm for the College Green and Park Lane streetscape will also be implemented in the first phases as will 218 of the new homes, new college and the new energy centre. The energy centre is being designed to efficiently balance the production, re-use and distribution of energy between the cultural/education uses and the residential accommodation within the site.

Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning commented: “College Green is a hugely symbolic project for Croydon and crucial to the borough’s overall regeneration and growth ambitions. The proposal will revitalise an under-used and tired area, turning it into a vibrant public space and reconnecting it with the rest of the town centre. It will also supply much-needed new homes and jobs as well as fantastic arts, leisure and educational facilities.”

Colm Lacey, chief executive, Brick by Brick added: “This is a huge step forward in the regeneration of Croydon. College Green is a crucial site in connecting the town centre and has enormous untapped potential to provide new homes, jobs and experiences for residents and visitors alike. We are already on site delivering early stage works and this decision allows us to progress into the main delivery programme of this award winning scheme.”

Earlier this month the Government gave plans for the new cultural quarter a boost awarding it £14.2m from the Coast to Capital Partnership for contribution to growth in the region.