One of the busiest railway stations in the country, East Croydon, could be redeveloped to include an over-station commercial-led scheme.
Croydon Council is in discussions with Network Rail to unlock the potential development opportunity and “get as much Grade A” space as possible on the site. At a panel session at the London Real Estate Forum chaired by Property Week editor Liz Hamson, Council Chief Executive Jo Negrini said the over-station development could help fund improvements to the Brighton main line, which runs through the town.
Speaking to Property Week after the session, Negrini said the Council had begun early discussions with Network Rail about commercial-led development above East Croydon, which is one of the busiest train stations in the country and is the second-busiest interchange station after Clapham Junction. “My gut reaction in terms of East Croydon is to get as much Grade A commercial [space] as we can,” she said. “Our planning policy is very firmly about mixed-use and commercial in and around East Croydon. We’ve started broaching the subject with Network Rail, in terms of how we start working around that issue [of funding for rail improvements]. I think it’s potentially a good option for us to pursue.”
The Council is also considering plans for above-station development at the nearby West Croydon station, although those plans are less advanced. “I think there’s a question about [what we do at] West Croydon, or about whether we need to concentrate on East Croydon; we haven’t thought that through yet,” Negrini said.
During the panel session, Negrini also hinted that the council planned to encourage more retail space in pockets around Croydon – which could include pop-up retail space – to ensure that shoppers have options other than the upcoming Westfield development, which is due to complete in 2021. “Croydon is big enough to have pockets of retail and A3 type use in different parts of it,” she said. “We don’t want everybody to get sucked into Westfield; we want to be able to create nice bits of place[making] in and around Fairfield Halls, in and around Surrey Street and in and around RISEgallery so that we’ve got a lovely complementary offer to Westfield.”
Source: Property Week