A £75,000 design plan is being drawn up to turn the Ambassador House forecourt in to a ‘town square’  which could be used for activities and artistic performances.

The council’s regeneration team is also commissioning a large year long research project to develop proposals for the area around Thornton Heath train station. 

The aim is to drive ideas, build interest and start a dialogue with developers and landowners, and identify what is realistically deliverable. The research will be in collaboration with the local community. 

Work on transforming Ambassador House forecourt, an adopted highway which comes under the council’s control, with trees in planters was due to start in the autumn but plans which were apparently conceived three years ago were shelved  at the last minute because of changed circumstances.

These amounted to what residents have long known that the space is  poorly lit, difficult to clean and maintain, windy and suffers from anti-social behaviour.

The budget would allow for new planting to the boundary, installation of lights, power source and water point, as well as engaging artists for the delivery of wall art. It would also include officer time to coordinate a programmed series of events in the space over the coming months. 

The forecourt is prominent and visible,  and central to Thornton Heath and large enough for different types of activities. 

The council believes the  best way of addressing the negative perception of the space is through activation and programming of the space. 

Officers are reviewing ideas for short-term activation with the potential to partner with GLL who run the borough’s Better Leisure Centres to provide sporting activities, though this has met with some derision as it is a congestion hotspot and there are three preferable green spaces nearby.

However, the space could provide a home for other community activities such as Thornton Heath Art week, locating the Christmas tree, CR7 market, and other events.

It is proposed that funding is used to enable this to happen through the installation of lighting, power and water. 

A new layout is being produced, which will include planting and commissioned artwork.  

OUR PICTURE: Shows Gillett Square in Dalston which was transformed from a neglected space in to a busy square.