Refusal for Croydon Gateway Arena

Niki May Young
Thursday 31 Jul 2008

Croydon Council and Arrowcroft lose battle for arena at the coveted London development

A lengthy battle between landowners Stanhope and Schroders and Croydon Council, who applied for a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to build an Arena at the East Croydon site, has swung in Stanhope’s favour today. Communities secretary, Hazel Blears, has refused permission for the Arrowcroft designed Arena, cementing the findings of a public inquiry held last year which issued severe doubts over the scheme’s viability.

Arrowcroft’s 12,500 seat Arena design (together with plans for 900 flats, 60,000 sq m of offices and shops and restaurants) was severely opposed by residents as well as Stanhope and Schroders Investment Managers.

Stanhope and Schroders hit out at Arrowcroft releasing a press statement today where William Hill, Managing Director of Schroders Investment Managers and David Camp, Chief Executive of Stanhope, said: “We are not surprised that the Secretary of State has refused to grant planning permission for a 12,500-seat arena given the weaknesses in the scheme which were identified at a Public Inquiry last year.

“Schroders and Stanhope will now take time to study the decision by the Secretary of State and to consider its implications.”

Stanhope and Schroders' own plans for the area, which have received planning permission, include a 4.5 acre park and event space central to a development of 560 apartments, retail space and 900,000 sq ft of office space. But completion is still under risk while the CPO remains looming.

The joint statement released by the landowners stated:“As an expected decision on Croydon Council’s Compulsory Purchase Order has been delayed, we do not wish to say anything further at the moment.”

The delayed CPO will give Arrowcroft an opportunity to submit an appeal of Blears’ decision with the High Court if they so chose to.

The news comes as London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson has given his support for Croydon’s campaign to be recognised as the third city of London. He said: “I like what they are doing in Croydon, you can't fault it. Croydon is the third city of London, it is going to be.”

Niki May Young
News Editor

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