Croydon Vision 2020

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Croydon Vision 2020 is a regeneration programme by the London Borough of Croydon for the centre of Croydon in South London. The original study was carried out in 1999 by EDAW and is being taken forward through the Local Development Framework process, the programme seeks to affect urban planning extensively and promote Croydon as hub of living, retailing, culture and business in South London and South East England. It was highlighted by architect Will Alsop's 'Third City' work.[1]

Private developers have responded to the programme and currently £3.5 billion has been committed to consented and proposed development projects with more in the pipeline. The Council is now working with the Mayor of London on the Croydon Opportunity Area. An Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) has been proposed for the town centre to coordinate this investment. Work is underway on five masterplans underpinning the preparation of this framework: East Croydon, West Croydon, Mid Croydon, Fairfield, and Old Town. There are also a number of public realm improvements planned collectively called 'Connected Croydon';[2] in 2017, it was announced that the borough topped CoStar 50's 2016 Occupier Index, naming it the place most in-demand for office space in the UK.[3]

East Croydon Masterplan[edit]

The East Croydon Masterplan includes developments around the north side of the station:

The East Croydon Masterplan's adoption as interim planning guidance by Council's Cabinet was due on 21 July 2011.

Ruskin Square[edit]

The new plans involve 1,240,000-square-foot (115,000 m2) over five mid-rise office buildings, 625 residential units over six residential blocks, 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) of retail and leisure space, and a new public square; these plans have outline consent.[5] Included in this development is the new link to East Croydon station (i.e. the new footbridge) and the renovations of Caithness Walk into the new Lansdowne Walk; this was completed in December 2013.[6]

The first office block, officially known as One Ruskin Square, consists of 183,000-square-foot (17,000 m2) of office space over nine floors, a cafe, and three additional retail units;[7] work began in July 2015 with the building was completed in December 2016 with a 25-year lease for the entire office space already agreed by HM Revenue and Customs in August 2016.[8][9][10] The second office block which will be 14-storeys tall was approved in February 2016.[11]

The first residential building was approved in March 2013, with a 9-storey plinth building and 20-storey tower,[12] the building was completed in December 2016, named Vita, with 161 luxury apartments (of which 34 will be affordable housing) and a roof garden.[13][14]

Boxpark Croydon, a pop-up food and drink mall built from 96 shipping containers, opened in October 2016 on one of the office block sites.[15][16] The plan was approved in October 2015 and completed a year later.[17] Boxpark has a five-year lease, after which it is expected the office block will be built, with original plans for a high-rise to be built here.

Cherry Orchard Road[edit]

Morello Quarter[edit]

The first phase involved the construction of four towers (as high as 18 storeys) - each named after a different cherry cultivar (Maraschino, Rainier, Amarelle, Santina) - in land adjacent to but not included in the masterplan (formerly the Galaxy House),[18] the first residents moved into the first of 300 homes in October 2016.[19] This phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.[20] Controversy was brought about by accusations of 'class segregation', due to separate entrances for those living in affordable accommodation, as well as plans to move affordable housing from this development to the nearby Quest House development; developers denied the allegations, claiming that the plan would result in more affordable housing.[21][22]

Morello Phase II[edit]

In May 2017, plans for the rest of the area on the former Amy Johnson House as well as for the land on the road across from phase I were put out for public consultation,[30] the plans include completion of the Addiscombe entrance to the new footbridge on East Croydon station: the bridge link will open onto a new public square (Cherry Orchard Place), which will be surrounded by commercial spaces over two-storeys, and stairs to Cherry Orchard Road will form auditorium-style seating.[29] In place of the formerly-proposed Morello Tower and 16-storey hotel on each side of the public square, two 25-storey towers will be built, providing 340 homes all at market sale; initial designs of these buildings have been criticised as ""unattractive, blockish, Soviet style, monoliths" by some councillors.[28] Across the road, 100 affordable homes will be built on a multi-stepped building with a maximum height of nine storeys,[29] the plans were expected to complete consultation in June, with a planning application in late summer and construction to begin in 2018;[31] planning permission was submitted in October 2017.[32]

Other Menta developments[edit]

The neighbouring Porter and Sorter pub had also been proposed for redevelopment into a mixed-use 10-storey building by Menta; the proposed demolition of the ~170 year old building was met with opposition from locals.[33]

Royal Mail sorting office[edit]

In April 2013, Royal Mail announced plans to move their Croydon delivery office out of the centre to a new base on Factory Lane in Wandle Park Trading Estate and to replace the building with a 132m housing complex which would include three towers ranging from 8 to 21 storeys high, 240 flats, and 1800sqm of retail space;[34] approval was granted in January 2014.[35] This plan was met with widespread disapproval with concerns about the ease for residents to collect their post from the new site;[36][37] nevertheless, operations were moved to the new site in March 2014 and the old site subsequently sold to the Hyde Group under the name "Addiscombe Square", although the developers have confirmed neither a timeframe for work on the site nor whether the approved plans would be used.[38][39]

Old Town Masterplan[edit]

The masterplan will focus on the area between the High Street and Roman Way, one of the oldest areas of Croydon. Developments in the area include:

  • The Exchange and Bridge House - Howard Holdings, a former Croydon-based international developer, had three residential developments of 36,896 m² providing 337 apartments: The Exchange,[40] Bridge House and Altitude 25. They include car parking, shopping and leisure facilities. Howard Holdings also had a development agreement Whitgift Centre, which was due to be redeveloped. Clowater, a new business led by former Howard managing director Jason Clerkin and development director Paul Hannon, is completing Bridge House and Exchange Square.[41]

Mid Croydon Masterplan[edit]

This previously undefined area includes the Nestlé Tower, the former council offices Taberner House, Queen's Gardens, St George's Walk, and the area surrounding Croydon Clocktower.

Queen's Gardens[edit]

As part of modernising the park, increased access on the northwest corner to the sunken gardens, as well as building public toilets and a cafe, have been proposed.

Taberner House[edit]

Following the moving of council offices to the neighbouring Bernard Weatherill house, in September 2013, the Taberner House was demolished for new development, finishing in June 2015.[42] Plans to build a new residential block however have been repeatedly delayed due to concerns over a loss of sunlight to the neighbouring Queen's Gardens.[43] A plan for the site - as well as for redevelopment of the Gardens - was made public by the Hub Group, with planning permission to be submitted in February 2017 and construction to start by the end of that year, with completion at the start of 2021,[44] the plan would include 514 apartments contained within four buildings ranging in height from 13 to 35 storeys, organised in a way to allow for light permeability to the Queen's Gardens and a square adjoining; the scheme was granted planning permission in May 2017.[45]

St. George's Walk[edit]

Originally, plans for this 5.5 hectare area were separate based on ownership; however, following Delancey's purchase of Minerva and all office buildings in the block, a greater St. George's Walk scheme has been proposed. However, following sale of the area to Guangzhou-based property developer R&F Properties, this scheme may be edited.[46]

Town Hall Square[edit]

Delancey has announced plans for a 2.2 hectare area facing the Clocktower including: new paths for better permeability, a new public square across from the Clocktower produced by pedestrianising the street (to be called Town Hall Square), as well as the construction of two new towers (25 and 35 storeys each).[48] Other plans include the repurposing of the Grade II listed building Segas House, although council plans for its conversion into a primary school were deemed too expensive [49]

St. George's House[edit]

Following the movement of Nestlé to City Place Gatwick, it was announced the tower would be converted for residential usage in February 2013.[50] Initial plans by Legal & General Property to convert the building into a three tiered residential block which would be increased in height to over 100m did not come to fruition;[51] the building was then bought by Delancey which owns many of the surrounding buildings (as part of buying Minerva) as part of a wider regeneration of the area.[52]

The Fairfield Masterplan[edit]

Originally called the College Green Masterplan,[53] the Masterplan looks at the area around Croydon College and the Fairfield Halls, including:

  • Fairfield Hall
  • Croydon College
  • College Green
  • A number of office buildings on George Street including:
    • Suffolk House
    • St Matthew's House
    • 96 George Street - also known as Norwich Union House
    • former Essex House site
    • Mondial House
  • Croydon Magistrates' Court

The primary aim is to create a new cultural and educational quarter to rival South Bank,[54] this will also build a number of office, retail, and residential buildings with good connections to the East Croydon Station. In February 2017, outline planning permission for the whole scheme was granted, while full permission for the first phase of development was granted; this will allow for works on the Fairfield Halls to start, as well as for building 218 houses on a multi-storey car park.[55]

Fairfield Halls[edit]

The new cultural quarter will be centred upon the refurbishment and part redevelopment of the Fairfield Halls concert and theatre venue; in the original plan, a public realm forecourt would replace the front parking whilst still including a drop off point and disabled parking. A new major entrance will open out onto a remodelled open space on the north side known as College Green would provide a new pedestrian boulevard to connect Queen's Gardens (via the subway), Croydon College, and East Croydon Station.

Under the council's new proposal in October 2015, new plans were made to refurbish the box office, the concert hall with new seating and modernised backstage and servicing areas, for a new mezzanine-level restaurant, and a bar and seating areas on the ground floor leading to the new entrance onto College Green; in addition, the Ashcroft Theatre will be refurbished. Plans for a conversion of part of the underground car park into an urban gallery (with the relocation of RISE Gallery from St. George's Square) was announced to be built alongside other developments to the Fairfield Halls, with plans to open in 2019,[56][56] despite calls for a phased closure to allow the halls to remain partially open throughout the works,[57] Fairfield Halls is scheduled to fully close for the entire two years of redevelopment starting July 2016.[58][59]

Croydon College[edit]

On the eastern side of the college where a car park is currently, a 37-storey residential plinth building with a tower has been approved (with an 11-storey hotel, a gym, and 159 residential apartments planned), has been approved under the name of College Road Tower.[60] Construction was expected to commence in September 2015 for completion in Winter 2017;[61] as of June 2016, work has not begun.

As part of wider new plans, the Croydon College buildings will be demolished and faculties relocated to the Barclay Road annex.[54]

College Green[edit]

There are plans to update this open space to make it capable of holding concerts and events, such as weekly markets and performances, this square is aimed to be integrated into new developments to Fairfield Halls and the newly built Croydon College. Another plan is for the possibility of open air projections onto the northern side of Fairfield Halls, which could be viewed from College Green.

Barclay Road development[edit]

Initial plans would have seen the demolition of the Barclay Road annex of Croydon College and a multi-storey car park and its conversion into a residential development of townhouses, apartment blocks, and a 21-storey tower, this would eventually have then included the relocation of the Croydon Magistrates' Court, and the building's demolition and conversion into more apartment blocks and townhouses. Part of the annex would have been converted into a new public walkway, forming a north-south link behind Fairfield Halls to the College Green.

However, in October 2015, Croydon Council announced plans to instead move all of Croydon College faculties to the Barclay Road annex on a new purpose-built facility.[62]

George Street[edit]

A long term goal is for the current office buildings situated on George Street to be demolished and rebuilt, with construction work on the former Essex House site commencing earlier, as this currently is a vacant lot, these buildings will decrease in height as westwards (i.e. further away from East Croydon station) with the masterplan also including green roofs on all properties in this development. Additionally, plans to upgrade the links to the College Green developments include a new square to be called College Square between St Matthew's House and Suffolk House, and an upgrade to the secondary George Street Walk link, as well as the pedestrianisation of the nearby Hazledean Link bridge over the railways for a new east-west link.

Current developments to these sites include:

Essex House[edit]

Chroma was proposed to be a 17-storey office building to be built on the site of the former Essex House, the site should provide 258,000 square foot of office space, including 3,606 sq ft penthouse conference room.[63] However, despite planning permission being granted in 2011 to Terrace Hill, following a merger with Urban & Civic, a plan to convert the site to two buildings, (one 17-storey and the other 32) had been announced to be in pre-application stages, consisting of 305 residential units, four commercial units, a gym, and a new piazza.[64] However, in 2016, advertising to let office space in Chroma was reconfirmed in line with the original 17-storey office building.[65]

In July 2017, plans for two interlinked towers of 30 and 40-storeys were presented to the council,[66] this development would consist of 490 residential units, ground floor commercial units, and link to College Road and College Green. This follows the classification of the land outside of the office retention area outlined in the Croydon Local Plan.[67]

Mondial House[edit]

Plans have been made to demolish the current Mondial House and erect a new 35 storey building, including 220 flats (of which 15% will be intermediate affordable), 1,787 sqm of office space and 490 sqm of retail space. A planning application was made in January 2016 [68] with initial issues reported by the Mayor of London due to the lack of affordable housing.[69]

Other developments[edit]

Prior to the Masterplan, developments to the surrounding area include:

  • Altitude 25

Altitude 25[edit]

Altitude 25 borders College Green, another Howard Holding development.

Wellesley Road[edit]

Computer Generated image of Wellesley Road after improvements are made

Wellesley Road is an urban dual carriageway with an underpass and subways, cutting the town centre in two with a north-south physical barrier that can be difficult to negotiate, the scale of the architecture is dramatic, but pedestrians and public transport are pushed to the edges. The splitting of the town centre causes difficulties in the way it functions, with a lack of connections between rail and bus stations, retail areas, office and cultural facilities and poor public access.

The Council is examining the options for improving the environment, image and functioning including improvements for pedestrians and better access to public transport. Street-level crossings, trees, seating, lighting and kiosks, and a central pedestrian walkway are being considered; in the proposals it is likely that Wellesley Road will remain a main route for trams, buses and cars, possibly incorporating extensions to the tram network. The difference will be that transport will no longer dominate the space to the detriment of the pedestrian experience and the image of Croydon. There is also an opportunity to simplify and improve the movement of vehicles. Opportunities exist for improving the ground floors and frontages of the buildings along Wellesley Road, connecting more effectively with their immediate surroundings and creating more activity, such as shops and cafés with spill-out spaces. Okra Landscape Architects with Peter Brett Associates, Soundings and Urhahn Urban Design were selected by the Council following an international design competition.

The area also includes surrounding development sites:

  • Saffron Square (formerly known as Wellesley Square) - Berkeley Homes proposes a mixed-use development of a 45-storey tower, 800 homes, 3000 m² of retail and public realm including a new town square. Planning permission was given in 2008 for the tower, although construction did not commence until late 2011 (see below); work is currently well underway, and the apartments are already being advertised - in the Times newspaper and the Evening Standard, inter alia.
  • IYLO - joint developers Phoenix Logistics and E3 Property's residential 20-storey tower with ancillary public gardens is planned to become a focal point at the northern gateway. It has full planning permission and the building is now largely complete. Construction had been interrupted for around a year, but has since resumed.
  • Whitgift Centre - the retail development will have a significant impact on the redesign of the road, particularly with regards to servicing and car parking.

Saffron Square[edit]

Saffron Square after completion in 2016

Formerly known as Wellesley Square, this site lay fallow for over ten years, but Berkeley Homes is now delivering a mixed-use development, including:

  • A new public town square
  • A 44-storey tower
  • 3,000 m² of retail floorspace including shops, restaurants and cafés surrounding the square
  • 739 homes, 10% of which will be shared-ownership
  • Ideas to minimise the scheme's impact on the environment; a significant proportion of the site's energy requirements will be met by on-site renewable energy sources.
  • Creation of improved permeability and safeguarding of future pedestrian links between East and West Croydon stations.

Construction was due to start in 2008 with a completion date of 2012. Berkeley Homes renamed the site Saffron Square and work started on site on the courtyard and perimeter blocks in 2011.[needs update]

Whitgift Centre, Centrale and Westfield Croydon[edit]

Leasehold owners and landlord Howard Holdings had a development agreement with freehold owners the Whitgift Foundation for a £221m development of the Whitgift Centre. A planning application was submitted, with construction due to start in 2009 and be finished in 2014, as advised by Geddes Architects, the lead consultant.

In 2010, Howard Holdings went into administration.[41][70] There are now two rival schemes for the site, the Whitgift Foundation has since invited the Australian-based Westfield Group to redevelop the centre. Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) and Irish Bank Resolution Corp (IBRC) ANGIB.UL, who together own 75% of the 1.2m sq ft centre’s lease have asked UK-based Hammerson, who owns Centrale to create an alternative £1bn redevelopment scheme.[71]

On 26 November 2013, a £1 billion venture by the Westfield Group and Hammerson, known as The Croydon Partnership,[72] to redevelop the Whitgift Centre (with the neighbouring former Allders store) and Centrale was approved by the Croydon Council, this will potentially place the two centres together under the Westfield name,[73] with work set to begin in 2015 and aim completion by 2018.[74] However, this was subsequently delayed for an application of a larger area due to the inclusion of the neighbouring office building Green Park House, allowing for the demolition of the current M&S flagship store and northern car park. This will include up to 1,000 residential units additionally, with a decision on the application due in early 2017 and work commencing the following year and concluding by 2021.[75][76] Outline planning permission was unanimously approved in November 2017 for a scheme including:[77][78]

  • Two anchor department stores including a new Marks & Spencer flagship
  • 166,316 square metres (1,790,210 sq ft) of retail space (over 300 shops, restaurants, and cafes)
  • Leisure facilities including a multi-screen cinema and bowling alley
  • Between 626 and 967 homes (as well as hotel/student accommodation) to be spread over 5 towers
  • Creation of up to 7,000 jobs
  • 24/7 east-west link (Galleria)

Work is expected to start in 2019, with completion of the shopping centre in 2022 and the residential towers in 2023.

ISLAND[edit]

The ISLAND (formerly IYLO) project is on an island site at a main entrance to the town centre originally purchased by Phoenix Logistics, seen by the Council as a vital part of housing regeneration.

The architect is Darling Associates, hired by Phoenix Logistics, E3 Property, engineers Walsh Group and Scott Wilson, the proposal will create a glass-clad elliptical tower of two equal halves that appear to be sliding past each other. The 20-storey building will provide 183 private apartments based around a central public garden. Rainwater will be collected and used to provide irrigation for the garden. Renewable sources of energy will be included, and there will be recycling facilities next to the lay-by, over half of the site will be landscaped.

Construction started in 2007, however work on the building halted in 2009 when the projects funding source HBOS went into administration [79] Work briefly restarted between 2010 and 2011, however the building entered further financial difficulties when Phoenix's subsidiary St James' Croydon also entered administration.[80] Construction then halted for two years before the plot was sold to a Regency Homes Limited [81] with a £900,000 discount and renamed as ISLAND [82] with completion estimated in 2015.[83]

One Lansdowne Road[edit]

A mixed-usage high-rise situated in the main urban district has been proposed by Guildhouse Rosepride; in 2011, a planning application was made for a 55-storey tower and shorter 16-storey tower joined by a 12-storey block to be built on land which included the Fairfield Hotel and Marco Polo house including:[84][85]

  • 397 Apartments
  • 217 bedroom hotel
  • 23,709-square-metre (23,709 m2) of Grade A office space
  • Retail opportunities including a gym, restaurants, and cafes

Planning was granted in March 2012, with work expected to start in 2013.[86]

A subsequent application was made in January 2016 for a larger proposal to be built on the same land (with the hotel renamed as The Lansdowne Hotel) and on the neighbouring Voyager House for a 69-storey tower and 39-storey tower joined by a 12-storey podium building including:[87]

  • 917 flats
  • 22,305-square-metre (22,305 m2) of Grade A office space
  • Similar retail opportunities including a gym, restaurants, and cafes
  • A new pedestrian plaza to the rear of the site

Planning permission was rejected in 2016 due to concerns over a lack of affordable units and ones with 3 or more bedrooms, as well as fears of overdevelopment,[88][89] as such, the original scheme was expected to be used instead, with a re-application for planning permission made in August 2016 and work due to commence in February 2017.[90][91]

However, an appeal to the decision for the second scheme was made in January 2017.[92] Furthermore, planning permission for a third scheme was submitted in July 2017 to resolve issues raised prior to a decision from the appeal; this scheme was approved in September 2017, with hopes of construction beginning by the end of 2018 and completion by the end of 2022.[93][94] This scheme includes:[95][96]

  • a 236m tall 68-storey tower and 41-storey tower joined by a 11-storey podium building
  • 794 flats
  • 30,000-square-metre (30,000 m2) of Grade A office space
  • A public bar/restaurant and viewing platform on the 64-66th floors

All schemes proposed to build the tallest building in Croydon.

West Croydon Masterplan[edit]

The area adjoins the North End shopping precinct and contains West Croydon station, bus station and tram stop, and historic landmarks such as the St Michael and All Angels' Church.

This includes the proposed West Croydon Cluster: a cluster of four commercial plinth buildings with slender residential towers across the West Croydon area has been proposed to be developed by Barratt Developments due to the transport links with West Croydon station, encompassing train, Overground, Tram, and bus services. One tower on Derby Road would have up to 20 storeys, whilst the other three would have up to 25, and would be similarly designed to maintain their design as a cluster.

West Croydon Circus[edit]

One of the busier junctions in West Croydon, currently used by all modes of transport including trams, pedestrians, bicycles, and all types of motorised vehicles, is proposed to be renamed "West Croydon Circus" and redesigned in a way which could facilitate Tramlink extensions from here. Developments around this interchange include:

West Croydon station[edit]

To be built in connection with a new train station, one of the Cluster buildings will be built on the northside, this new development will be built on land currently occupied by the station, as well as some land occupied by retailers.

St Michael's Square[edit]

A new square has been proposed to increase visibility of the Grade I Listed St Michael and All Angels' Church on its north face and permeability between the transport hub and the surrounding residential and commercial areas, including the new Westfield across the road on the south side of the square. Together with this, two of the Cluster buildings have been proposed to be built on the north and west sides of the square; this is being developed in consultation with English Heritage to maintain the appearance of the church. A 25-storey tower would occupy the west side of the square and is proposed to be built on a site currently used as a car park; its plinth would use a locally listed Victorian facade on the Station Road. A 21-storey tower on the north side of the square will be built on land currently occupied by shops. Overall, the scheme is expected to deliver 232 flats and commercial space on the first two floors, with active frontage on all public sides, the scheme and preparatory demolition was approved in February 2016 together with the Whitgift Passage development and is expected to last 3 years.[97][98] Full planning permission was granted for the project in March 2017.[99]

Derby Road development[edit]

The shortest of the Cluster buildings (up to 20 storeys) is proposed to be built on the western exit from West Croydon Circus on land currently occupied by small shops, this also includes a small number of maisonettes.

Wellesley Road[edit]

Work to increase accessibility to the Delta Point and Prospect First complexes, as well as a low-rise residential building above an underground car park have been halted by developments by Criterion Capital to convert many office buildings along Wellesley Road into flats from 2014.[100][101]

Transport projects[edit]

Campaigns to rezone West and East Croydon from 5 to 4 in order to reduce fares on commutes have been launched with support from Croydon Central and Croydon North MPs Gavin Barwell and Steve Reed respectively.[102][103]

Improved Overground Network (ON)[edit]

This was a pilot scheme run by the SRA, TFL and three train operators between 2003 and 2006 to encourage more passengers to travel by train; in partnership with the South London Boroughs, including Croydon, SWELTRAC, SELTRANS and the transport users group, the scheme promoted the advantages of off-peak travel following improvements to safety, travel connections and upgrading of station facilities.

East Croydon[edit]

Plans to upgrade the busiest station in the borough (and the 17th busiest station in the UK in 2016 [104]) is expected in order to accommodate the increase in capacity and to ease access to the surrounding developments is expected, as well as to the connected bus and tram stops:

Bus Stop[edit]

Upgrades to the bus stop started at the end of October 2016 and ended April 2017,[105] the upgrades will improve movement between tram, train, and buses, as well as have better lighting and paving.[106]

Tram Stop[edit]

As well as the nearby Dingwall Road loop, the tram stop outside the station is to be extended to accommodate four car trams.

Train Station[edit]

Redevelopment of the station is expected to tackle every aspect of the station, needed to deal with an increase in capacity (expected to increase by more than 50 extra train services between 2016 and 2018 [107] including:

  • A revamped concourse with fewer retail outlets, more ticket barriers, and a new exit on the east side
  • An additional two tracks with a fourth island in the style of the current three
  • A new design to the current drop off and taxi point on the eastern side, with a possible relocation and replacement with cycle infrastructure
  • A new footbridge in the middle of the platforms which will connect to the Ruskin Square and Cherry Orchard Road development sites
  • Long term upgraded retail opportunities on the platforms and green canopies

As of December 2016, the footbridge was completed in December 2013, with its western opening onto Lansdowne Road; the eastern opening onto Cherry Orchard Road has not been built, with media naming it the "bridge to nowhere".[108] This is due to a lack of obligation by Menta to fund this link before development begins and their subsequent refusal to install a temporary ramp in its place,[109] as such, it has been speculated that the bridge will not be complete before 2024.[110] Furthermore, the footbridge is only designed to accommodate for a side platform rather than a full island (although overall space at the platform means the four islands are possible with significant reworking),[111] this is in line with Network Rail proposals, but not Croydon Council's own.[112]

West Croydon[edit]

A phased approach outlined in the West Croydon Masterplan to improve all modes of transport at this interchange has been proposed to increase capacity and connectivity for buses, trains, and trams:

East London Line extension[edit]

The London Overground network with all proposed changes in place

In May 2010 the East London Line extension to West Croydon was opened, the project connected Croydon to the new London Overground rail system and brought Croydon onto the London tube map for the first time. Proposals for 24 hour service have been made in line with the introduction of the Night Tube.[113]

Bus Station[edit]

A two-year redevelopment of the bus station was undergone from October 2014. Together with a new look, the revamp allowed for a 21% increase in capacity to 23,000 passengers a day, 25 bus routes, and 150 buses per hour at peak times.[114]

Tram Stop[edit]

Following the bus station redevelopment, straightening tram tracks will allow for the usage of three car trams. Redevelopment of the tram stop will allow for the introduction of an "Interchange Spine"; this will entail retail opportunities as well as waiting areas and cycle storage for passengers on all the surrounding transport services.

Train Station[edit]

Redevelopment of the train station is expected to culminate in a new station as part of a new tower 25 storey residential tower on its north side; in the short term, a new entrance to better connect the train station to the bus and tram stops on the North side was built in April 2012.[115]

Tramlink[edit]

Concurrently Croydon Vision 2020, proposals by Transport for London to extend Tramlink infrastructure have been made in line with predictions that usage of Tramlink will double between 2015-30 from 30 to 60 million passenger journeys a year, as well as new linkages with Crossrail 2 at Wimbledon and the Bakerloo Line at Beckenham Junction and Elmers End.[116] Various proposals have been mooted, though lack of funding has led to many delays and cancellations:

Line development[edit]

In 2013, £30m was invested in increasing capacity between Wimbledon and Central Croydon; this involved introducing double tracking between Mitcham Junction and Beddington Lane and the introduction of a second tram platform at Wimbledon.[117] This increased capacity 50%.[118] Further developments include the introduction of a second platform at Elmers End, increasing services between New Addington, a reversing facility in Croydon's Old Town to increase capacity to further Wimbledon, and further double tracking at Wandle Park and Phipps Bridge to relieve bottlenecks and increase capacity westwards.[116][119]

Tram rolling stock[edit]

In 2011, a tender for ten more trams was announced, with the subsequent contract for six being granted to Stadler Rail,[120] the contract was fulfilled with the new Croydon Variobahn entering service in 2012; a further six were contracted in 2013, with four being delivered in 2015 and another two in 2016.[121] Overall, this has increased the fleet from the original 24 to 36. Another two will be delivered in March 2017.[119] Further expanding capacity across the line has been demanded due to crowding at peak times. Expanding the fleet number would require the building of another depot and expanding the Therapia Lane facility; this has been proposed to be most effective in the eastern side of the network.[116] This plan also has proposed the possibility of longer trams, although this would also require extending platforms, and so is more expensive and less desirable.

Route restructuring[edit]

In June 2012, a fourth line was introduced between Elmers End and Therapia Lane to increase capacity in the town centre and alleviate pressure on westbound trams; in April 2016, this line was extended to Wimbledon with the construction of a new line.[122]

Dingwall Loop[edit]

A new loop in East Croydon centre will increase capacity in the centre and link with new developments along the Wellesley Road and Ruskin Square; this proposal has approved funding from the Croydon Partnership (the development group of Westfield Croydon), with construction expected to begin in 2017 and completion by 2020.[123] This proposal has public backing, despite council objections due to disruptions to bus services.[124]

South Wimbledon spur and Sutton Extension[edit]

In the London 2050 infrastructure plan, an extension of the Tramlink to Sutton was given a medium priority with a timescale of 2030.[125]

The introduction of a new spur at South Wimbledon has been proposed to increase services to Wimbledon in line with its designation as an 'Intensification Area' in the London Plan, as well as residential growth in the intermediate Wandle Valley;[116] this would connect Tramlink with the Northern line. As well as this, a proposed £320m scheme for a new line to connect Wimbledon to Sutton via Morden has also been made and brought to consultation.[126] A further extension to the new London Cancer Hub on the same site of the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research in Belmont has also been proposed as a long-term part of the development.[127] Although £100m from Tfl was initially secured in the draft 2016/17 budget,[128] this was subsequently reallocated,[129] the current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan remains committed to the project however, and has called on the council to raise the shortfall in funding.[130][131]

Bromley extension[edit]

The future of the Bromley North Line has been brought into question, with multiple proposals being brought about for its conversion into Tfl control into:[132]

Recommendations are expected in 2017, though acknowledgements of potential extensions have been made past the approved extension of the Bakerloo line to Lewisham.[133] Furthermore, Bromley council have announced a preference for DLR extension, though with acknowledging a business case for Tramlink extension into the town centre.[134]

Crystal Palace extension[edit]

A long proposed extension to north of the current network, the aim of connecting the northern neighbourhoods of Croydon out into Crystal Palace has been mooted, most recently by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson in 2014 "absolutely guarantee[ing]" it would happen before 2020.[135] However, since then, no plans for its implementation have been brought forward, with such an extension being ignored from rail improvement plans such as the London 2050 Infrastructure plan in favour of other extensions such as to Sutton. More recently, Tramlink boss Sharon Thompson has hinted that the extension may occur with possible redevelopment of Crystal Palace Park.[136]

Other extensions[edit]

Other extensions have been proposed in the past, though none are currently supported. More recent proposals include:

Extension Route Progress
Western extension Including the proposals to Sutton, into Mitcham town centres, and northwards to Tooting and Colliers Wood Previous plans for the Sutton extension included possibilities for extension into Mitcham town centre, as well as northwards extension into Tooting and elsewhere in Wandsworth,[137] though this has not been included in the current proposal.[138] The proposed extension into South Wimbledon also included a proposal to extend to Colliers Wood.[116]
South Croydon Down the Brighton Road through the Restaurant Quarter, to Purley and Coulsdon Have been recently ruled out by Tramlink [136][139]
Northwards Through past Mayday Hospital, through to Thornton Heath, Norbury, Streatham and Streatham Hill to Brixton Previously proposed by former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, Lambeth council have announced they will re-examine the proposal at least to extend it to Streatham [140]

Exhibitions[edit]

The Croydon Exp07 was a series of exhibitions highlighting the re-development of the London Borough of Croydon as a whole, including leisure, offices, shopping, transport and homes,[141] it also included a town centre model which can still be seen in Croydon Central Library in the Croydon Clocktower building.

External links[edit]

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