April in brief

By - Wednesday 6th May, 2015

The headlines of last month, compiled into one handy article

Photo by Croydon Conservatives, used with permission.

Croydon became key election battleground

Boris Johnson, Ed Miliband and David Cameron were just three of the high-profile politicians to visit Croydon during the general election campaign. At the time of writing, the polls showed a neck-and-neck race between incumbent Conservative Gavin Barwell and Labour’s Sarah Jones. While betting markets and polling predictions narrowly give Jones the edge, both campaigns remain bullish about their chances.

Fairfield Halls refurbishment announced

A ‘full-scale refurbishment’ of the 1962 venue is to take place as part of the wider redevelopment of College Green. As well as plans to ‘reinvigorate’ the halls’ concert and performance spaces, the scheme is set to include homes, offices, shops and restaurants. Plans are also afoot to build a new entrance on the Ashcroft side of the Fairfield Halls leading on to College Green, to better connect the area to East Croydon station.

Paving and street furniture down George Street revamped

The major street running from East Croydon into the town centre was heavily disrupted across the month by various phases of the building work. New paving slabs and railings were installed, and the road itself was also resurfaced – causing significant disruption to the tram network. Although the works are now complete, commentators have expressed surprise at the number of Tarmac’d gaps in the finished surface in the immediate vicinity of Croydon’s main gateway station.

Photo by Rosella Scalia, used with permission.

Goodbye, Taberner House!

The former home of Croydon Council was finally reduced to rubble last month. Taberner House was built between 1964 and 1967, the work of architect H. Thornley, and named after Ernest Taberner OBE, Croydon’s Town Clerk from 1937 to 1963. Generally unpopular with locals, the building was notable for being not oblong but coffin-shaped, widest in its mid-section and narrowing towards both ends. In September 2013 Croydon Council moved its main offices into a new public services delivery hub adjacent to Taberner House. A new residential building is planned for the site.

People power challenged Paddy Power in Thornton Heath

Thornton Heath residents opposed to the opening of a fourteenth branch of the Paddy Power betting chain have started a petition and held a demonstration in Thornton Heath High Street. The leaseholder of the proposed site, alongside the station, has not yet committed to the usage and would consider other offers although only if the proposed deal with Paddy Power was matched by another business, which is understood to exclude contenders other than an established chain. Protestors regard the location, with social housing above it and adjacent to a leisure centre frequented by young people, as inappropriate.

Addiscombe Carnival organisers forced to cancel parade for third consecutive year

The organisers of Addiscombe’s popular annual carnival were notified that a planned street parade could not go ahead for third year in a row after police were unable to provide assistance with traffic control and the cost of a professional security company for the day proved prohibitive. However, a full day of entertainment, food and community activities, including a live music stage, is to be held in Ashburton Park on Sunday 24th May.

Monk’s Hill Sports Centre re-opened

The sports centre in Selsdon, which closed two years ago as part of a re-building programme, re-opened on 25th April and invited the public to meet the new team and see facilities including a sports hall, an artificial football pitch, a gym and a multi-use games area.

Surrey StrEatery closed down

The street food venue, inside a previously vacant shop on Surrey Street, was part of a six-month project made possible by funding from the Mayor of London’s Regeneration Fund and Croydon Council. Six food businesses based themselves inside and provided healthy, high quality products, including baked goods and takeaway meals. Described at its launch as an ‘exciting new food hub’ aiming to utilise produce fresh from the market, the pop-up eatery held a ‘fun day’ on 30th April to celebrate ‘a successful six months’, and closed down for good on 2nd May.

Shasha Khan at the beginning of his legal challenge against the incinerator. The end is now almost in sight.
Photo by Shasha Khan, used with permission.

Incinerator appeal refused

The long running legal battle against the Beddington Lane incinerator was dealt another blow last month. The Croydon Advertiser reported that Justice Sales told the Stop The Incinerator campaign that permission to appeal was being refused for “essentially the same reasons” as a previously rejected written application in March. Quoting Lord Justice Sullivan, who gave the earlier rejection, Justice Sales said the appeal had “no real prospect” of success. Shasha Khan, who has been leading the judicial review, said he would fight on until the incinerator was built and did not rule out taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights. His solicitor told the Advertiser that it was, however, “the end of the road” for the judicial review.

Croydon Visitor Centre closed its doors and faces immediate demolition

The popular information centre, alongside East Croydon station, closed to the public for the last time on Friday 1st May. Its former premises face imminent demolition. The centre, run by the Croydon Business Improvement District since December 2008, helped business visitors, commuters, tourists and locals with wayfinding and information about what’s happening locally, sold travel products including Oyster top-ups, advertised local businesses, booked hotel rooms, promoted Croydon’s thriving cultural offering including selling tickets for the restored David Lean Cinema in Katharine Street, promoted the local voluntary and charitable sector’s activities and served as a significant community hub. Many regulars, particularly those with limited or no access to the internet, expressed dismay at the removal of the service.

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen is a non-profit community news magazine for London's most populous borough.

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