MILLIONS of pounds worth of prime real estate is being traded in Thornton Heath as developers look to build more and more houses.
Back gardens, garages, pubs and industrial sites are all fair game with the council driving the agenda to build 30,000 homes in the borough over the next 20 years.
The issue is a political hot potato as a large percentage of the building has been identified for the south of the borough which has space aplenty but where housing applications generate huge controversy and objections.
Affordable housing providers have signed multi million pound deals for sites in Thornton Heath. Housing developer Bramble Estates who are already building dozens of new homes at The Pond on the old site of the Wheatsheaf public house and the former Surrey Van Centre have now landed deals to build housing on Brigstock Road and Bensham Lane.
Bramble Estates in partnership with affordable homes provider PA Housing have just purchased Station Yard at the back of Iceland owned by Kenexa Estates which Dorset based businessmen Stephen King and Andrew Hurll purchased for just £675,000 in February 2018 and have now been sold on with planning permission for 58 homes for £5million.
Building on the tiered six, seven, eight and nine story tower blocks, with the tallest measuring 28.6 metres, is set to get under way later this year. The development is car free and likely to accommodate 200 people including families with parking of bikes only. The half an acre site also has consent for ground floor commercial space.
Bramble is also partnering with another Housing Association Optivo after buying the former Day Lewis site at 324 Bensham Lane which already has planning permission for 47 flats paying £4million for the land.
Separately Optivo also submitted planning permission for the adjacent former 1960s industrial site at 304-306 Bensham Lane on the corner with Ecclesbourne Road which was Lyntons and is presently occupied by a church and double glazing business.
Addiscombe Treehouse Limited which has submitted plans to build a three storey block of eight flats at land at the rear of 46 Kynaston Road and 25 and 27 Swain Road cites in its application the: “primary purpose of eight residential units is to respond to the increasing Croydon population and the need for an additional 32,890 new homes by 2036 (Croydon Local Plan).“
The council’s ambitious house building plan, with a proposed minimum requirement that 30 per cent of new homes on larger sites to be affordable is being challenged by Independent Planning Inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State to examine how sustainable this growth really is.
Thornton Heath is already dense and built up and the Local Plan identifies only medium and moderate residential growth with some opportunity for windfall sites, limited infilling, and dispersed integration of new homes will “respect existing residential character and local distinctiveness.”
The applications generate income for the council to spend on projects through Community Interest Levy and Section 106 and are meant to be spent on on vital infrastructure such as schools, roads, transport hubs and health facilities.
The council’s Local Plan promises local communities will be strengthened by reviving district and neighbourhood centres through the support of local shops, services and community facilities.
But given the council’s financial crisis its unclear how it will be achievable.
There is over £25million in interest levy in the council’s coffers but there are not the resources to deliver projects with many key departments covering areas of regeneration decimated by staff cuts.
- Top picture shows what the Station Yard site will look like
- Old Day Lewis building
- Over view of Day Lewis and Lyntons industrial site on Bensham Lane
- The new builds proposed for Bensham Lane