A survey has revealed that safety, cleanliness, more greenery and less traffic feature highly in the list of priorities for local residents and businesses.
Participants wanted more seating and with reduced traffic on the High Street, better playground provision and a farmers style market.
Diversity and community featured highly in what people were most proud of about Thornton Heath along with connectivity to Croydon and transport links but when they didn’t lie was that it is dirty, neglected, unsafe and the number of betting shops.
Green spaces, particularly Grangewood Park, street art and local talent such as Stormzy were seen as assets.
The online survey was conducted by consultants who have been employed by the council to work with the community to create a blueprint that can be used to shape the future of Thornton Heath High Street and Brigstock Road. The Shaping Thornton Heath plan will be used to influence developers, and to seek funding for local projects.
The survey had 360 responses, The project has also been holding zoom meetings with residents to discuss key themes and aims to work toward a draft plan by November.
Additionally, Thornton Heath based artist PINS encouraged people to contribute to a comic-book style collection of drawings about Thornton Heath now and in the future.
The ‘now’ drawings featured litter, drug addicts, begging and homelessness with Thornton Heath described as having character and raw beauty but a bit grimy at times and ‘needs work’.
Another showed a drawing of a drunk punk on a bench at a playground and suggested drink safe benches with more visible outreach and support.
Another focused on diversity but said Thornton Heath was dirty, run down and unloved and there was a general desire for it to be clean and green but not gentrified.
The survey participants had a real desire for the plan to create safer streets and spaces for all ages with more greenery and better local air quality.
Safety and Anti Social Behaviour was seen as an issue and a need for more enforcement and support for drinkers.
As expected cleanliness and less fly tipping was a concern along with general maintenance and the need for more bins and to make the area ‘prettier; Trumble Gardens was cited as being neglected with participants generally wanting better children’s play area provision in the area with broken equipment cleaned, repaired or replaced.
Parking on the High Street was a concern not only the need for more enforcement but less traffic in favour of better pedestrian and cycling provision with less parking bays and more off street parking utilising the Gillet Road car park.
There was interest in cultural attractions and more independent family pop ups, with community space, hot-desking, and artists studios but overwhelmingly 204 of the 360 who took part wanted to see a farmers style market in Thornton Heath.