Croydon has been warned. Where is Plan B?

‘London has always progressed by fits and starts,

each on destroying part of its character and leaving

behind ugly speculative buildings. A classic of the

Sixties was Croydon, once London’s “second city”.

It has seen constant re-launches on the latest planning

fad, a shopping mall, an arts centre, a university and

now the latest fad, an “iconic” tower. Nothing really

works. Croydon is a great place if you want a cheap

office and a property for £250,000. But cool it is not.

The iron law of post-digital is that today’s cool is tomorrow’s


Canary Wharf is a superior Croydon. It was designed for the

digital age, a city of the Eighties with giant floor plates, humming

mainframes, shopping centres and “stunning” flats. It was perfect

for floor traders and back-office nerds. But it has no funky hinterland.

It is a stylistic asylum with no tangential personality. Canary

Wharf has Poplar as Croydon has Thornton Heath.

Office workers at all levels can increasingly operate from

laptops in virtual space. What they need round them is “an

experience environment”, informal, diverse, preferably historic

corners of the city in which to relax. That is why rents in

conservationist Westminster are double those in Docklands.’

– Simon Jenkins, Docklands’ time is up – it’s not cool enough for post digital London.–its-not-cool-enough-for-post-digital-london-9867517.html

Where is Plan B?

For months I have been arguing for Croydon to have a Plan B in case the Westfield/Hammerson development is delayed or does not proceed. This concern was shared by the Croydon TUC Working Party of the Council’s Growth Plan. Now that the developers have announced a year’s delay, the Plan B idea has now been picked up by Inside Croydon in what is now growing public debate about the development and the close relationship between the Council and the developers.

Inside Croydon:

Croydon Citizen:

Recent articles in Croydon Citizen include:

Sean Creighton – Is it growth for all or for developers’ profits?

Tom Lickley – Towering ambition: how tech could rejuvenate Croydon’s office market

Tom Black: – The twain shall meet: how Westfield could bring East and West Croydon together

Property world view on Croydon as a boom Borough:

What ever happened to this ambitious plan from 2007?:–barcelona-6660397.html

Croydon: The Real World: Poverty Profile:


About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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