College Green & Fairfield Halls redevelopment exhibition

A two-day exhibition is to take place showcasing the plans to turn Croydon College, Fairfield Halls and the surrounding College Green area into one of London’s leading cultural and educational destinations. The exhibition will be held in the Croydon Clocktower court area in front of Central Library, between 11am and 7pm on Friday, 6 November, and 11am and 5pm on Saturday, 7 November.

It will be an opportunity for members of the public to meet the project team, view the plans, ask questions and make comments on the scheme. The plans see the construction of a new state-of-the-art building for Croydon College with modern facilities, on the Barclay Road annex site.

The neighbouring Fairfield Halls will also be transformed into a 21st century concert and events venue designed to attract leading acts from around the globe.The project team behind the scheme includes Rick Mather Architects, a practice known for its work on the Royal Festival Hall in central London and the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, and Croydon-based consultants Mott MacDonald.

For more information see also the Croydon Council website: http://news.croydon.gov.uk/exhibition-to-unveil-new-cultural-and-educational-quarter/

“We were delighted that cabinet agreed the plans to redevelop College Green, which includes a fantastic new home for Croydon College and the wholesale refurbishment of Fairfield Halls. This will create a vibrant cultural and educational destination in the heart of Croydon fit for the 21st century. Now it’s the chance for the public to see and comment on these hugely exciting plans.” Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning.

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One response to “College Green & Fairfield Halls redevelopment exhibition

  1. I attended the Clocktower exhibition and had the opportunity to speak at length with Ed McDermott, Regeneration Manager, about the proposals. To start with the Council is proposing to build a residential complex along the railway tracks where the multi-storey carpark is currently located. This will also provide a pedestrian route along the railway lines to connect Barclay Road to East Croydon Station. Around 15% of the units will be social housing of some form, and the Council are putting place measures to ensure that they are actually affordable, but these were not specified. The Council has formed a joint development organisation with the private sector which will mean that it retains some direction over the development and sales / letting policies, which should mean that actual affordable housing is delivered.
    In terms of Fairfield Halls, it is to be extensively refurbished. It was noted that as a venue it has not been well maintained or managed and opportunities to use space have not been exploited. I made the point of raising concerns that while the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls was very desirable, there needed to be far better management of the venue and a radical rethink about the purpose of the venue in terms of the town’s overall interests; improved links with the community; and an overhaul of the strategic direction that makes the venue relevant to the community and the wider market.
    It was acknowledged that Fairfield Halls is out on a limb as far as pedestrian footfall is concerned and that it needs to provide incentives to draw people to it, other than attending events.
    In the subsequent phases it is proposed that Croydon College is moved to new premises and the existing buildings redeveloped for further residential property. Apparently the current building, although locally listed, is expensive to maintain and no fit for the future. No doubt there will be many who want to save the current external structure and I imagined there would be a lot of opposition to the redevelopment.
    The law courts (Magistrates & Youth Courts) on Barclay Road are also proposed to be redeveloped, but again this is likely to be a long way off as the Court Service is undergoing a national review and then alternative venues would need to be identified for the courts.
    Besides being mildly surprised that a Croydon Council manager was in attendance to engage with the public about the proposals and provide informed commentary about them, it seemed to me that this is a development in the right direction. It addresses an area of decline and seeks to provide homes with direct Council input. I encourage all ECCO members and East Croydon residents to have a look at the proposals and put forward their views.

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