The council is set to commission a large scale consultation to develop proposals for a masterplan for Thornton Heath.

The brief is being officially described as a ‘development plan’ and was initially meant to take in just the area around Thornton Heath station but is now being broadened to include all the sites around the station including Ambassador House, Tesco, and Iceland which is also the focus of the community competition (below). 

A sizeable brief is being drawn up by regeneration officers and will then be put out to tender in March. The winning consultancy will spend a year researching  and collaborating with the local community to create a strategic plan for the area.

The aim is to drive ideas, build interest and start a dialogue with developers and landowners, and identify what is realistically deliverable as well as locating possible funding streams to bring the plan to fruition.

One option for funding is the government’s £675million Future High Street Fund which was announced in December to transform local high streets into modern vibrant community hubs.The fund is intended to help local leaders implement bold new visions to transform their town centres and make them fit for the future.

Submissions of  interest for the fund have to be made by March 22. The council intends to apply but Thornton Heath is one of three possible options. The Chronicle has been told that the decision on the final choice will be made by the council’s political Labour leadership.

In the meantime the council has made significant progress in bringing together owners of Ambassador House to discuss a plan of action for the long term use of the empty office block which is presently occupied by a group of artists calling themselves CR7 Studio.

This was the first time the parties had agreed to sit down at the same table together.  Red Wing Property Holdings Ltd is owned Sajid Bashir and Acebench owned by Yousuf Bhailok.  Mr Bhailok, who  was in the race to buy British Home Stores and is a former secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.Mr Bashir is a property developer and has links to the current Prime Minster of Pakistan Imran Khan.