Campaign Expresses Concern about Fairfield Halls Refurbishment
Andy Hylton, co-ordinator of the Save our Fairfield campaign writes:
After six-months of closure the progress at Fairfield Halls has been agonisingly slow. The claim to be ‘stripping out’ with little evidence of internal work through the front windows; same curtains, blinds, poster boards and suspended ceilings visible, and a very quiet rear yard for a construction site, does not fill us with confidence for a 2018 opening.
We have all been brainwashed into believing that the Fairfield will only take 2 years at a cost of £30 million. If the building does not open on time and to budget, it will be entirely the fault of Cllr. Godfrey and the team. Instead of passing the blame of a delayed opening onto the incoming operator, Croydon Council must keep their promise and either guarantee that the venue will be open in July 2018 or admit they made serious errors of judgement regarding just how long a theatre needs to re-open from scratch and take full responsibility for the financial implications on the community and local businesses.
The two-year re-opening was always totally unrealistic. The plans were over indulgent from the start. An examples being the unnecessary rear truck lifts, which have now been removed after the advice of our campaign and the Theatres Trust. This saving of £4 million would have covered the apparent ‘shortfall’ needed to fund a phased development, which was the ONLY reason the council could find for saying our phased development was not possible. This indicates a phased development would have been cheaper and quicker and better value for Croydon tax payers and more importantly would have saved over a hundred local jobs.
Why was the venue forced to close at the weakest point of Fairfield’s financial year? If Fairfield had closed after the Christmas panto, all losses to the local groups and suppliers would have been greatly reduce and the venue would have closed on a record high. We are still hearing the stories from local schools and organisations whose children are denied the fantastic facilities that Fairfield provided before closure. The whole team behind this development need to accept that we are here to make sure the Fairfield re-opens in the shortest amount of time, and for it to give maximum support to the community, schools and audiences on re-opening.
The Council’s website on progress with the scheme is at
Council Gets £14.2m for College Green/Fairfield Halls development
Croydon Council has been awarded £14.2m Coast to Capital Partnership Funding towards the redevelopment of College Green and Fairfield Halls.
You can read the Council’s view at
Allders Store Façade
Andrew Kennedy is expressing concern on Historic Croydon Facebook about the treatment of the Allders facade in the Westfield shipping development.
‘…. We want to see Allders alive and well again with new life behind and the windows all lit up. No repeat of Grants whose façade is essentially lifeless. The Council are negotiating Section 106 benefits now with Westfield, behind closed doors in pre-app. Councillor Alison Butler said this on Monday 30th Jan.’
Taberner House and Queens Gdns
Timothy Godfrey, the Culture Cabinet member, tweeted the existence of a report from 1893 on Queens Gdns which sets up the history
The document is difficult to download, so you can access it here:
Andrew Kennedy writes on Historic Croydon Facebook:
‘Really interesting and full read about the Queen’s Gardens made up of the Town Hall Gardens and Taberner House Gardens posted by Councillor Timothy Godfrey. Highlights the push and pull continuing today because the two sites are separate land titles divided by utilities beneath ground and the old path of Mint Walk. Why then has HUB clearly been given permission to include the Town Hall Gardens for it’s own use to provide playspace for the 514 residential flats (1st time residential use for this site) when the Town Hall Gardens are our only formal gardens in the centre of town, a valuable green space which is held in high esteem by the wider public? Huge pressure on land use has not been thought through and we are sleep walking into conflicts between residents and the wider publics differing needs. The flats should have their own recreational space and we should have a space more aligned with the needs of the Cultural Quarter. Planning application is imminent.’
Modernist Architecture in Croydon
Fans of modern architecture in Croydon have a Facebook site they can join: