The council has revealed in its revised Local Plan that the Tesco supermarket has been identified to be redeveloped.
The store which is the biggest business on the High Street has been earmarked as mixed-use development which would see it carved up to include a smaller retail offering and residential for 45 to 54 new homes.
A spokesman for Tesco said: ”We have had preliminary discussions with London Borough of Croydon exploring the possibility of future redevelopment at our Thornton Heath site, whilst keeping a Tesco and increasing the number of homes.”
The Chronicle understands the council’s regeneration team has met with Tesco executives to discuss the scheme as part of a wider plan to regenerate the area around Thornton Heath station.
In February last year it was revealed that the council was pursuing a ‘masterplan’ for the area around the station including Ambassador House, Tesco, and Iceland store which is set to refurbish its Brigstock Road store in the New Year.
Regeneration officers were meant to be drawing up a ‘sizeable brief’ to be put out to tender in March with the winning consultancy spending a year researching and collaborating with the local community to create a strategic plan for the area but it never materialised.
Tesco opened the superstore in 1981 and owns the freehold to the site which incorporates two blocks comprising of 85 flats above, known as Kettering Court and Laxton Court providing sheltered housing which the council has a long lease on.
Alison Butler, cabinet member for housing, reassured residents: “If in the future, any mixed use development should take place, there would be a long period of engagement and participation work with the residents whose homes are above the store and indeed an estate ballot – and it needs to be borne in mind that these are people’s homes we are talking about and I would not wish to cause undue concern particularly to those living in the sheltered block when there are currently NO plans in place to take this forward.”
Building work has also started on the empty office block Ambassador House which also features in the Local Plan for mixed use conversion comprising of residential, retail and community facilities for potentially 26 to 145 homes.
The 1960s tower block which has been disused for years has permitted development rights which means the owner doesn’t require permission for office or housing use.
Pictures taken at the rear of the premises which was squatted last year show large amounts of waste being dumped out of the unkempt looking building in to the car park below.
The old Barclays bank building closed for two years has also been undergoing refurbishment and the empty Wetherspoon pub was meant to be fitted and opened as a gym by franchise Energie Fitness but this has further been delayed until at least March.
Despite meeting Sajid Bashir the owner of Redwing, and Ambassador House, the council hasn’t been told of his plans for the building but hopes to support a “sustainable long term use. “
Earlier in the year a group of young architects won a competition to Reimagine Thornton Heath organised by the Thornton Heath Community Action Team proposal (pictured) and came up with a design which would see theTesco complex demolished and redeveloped in to a co-living space with educational with commercial use and entertainment facilities including a cinema.
The aim of the contest was the winning concept would generate interest in improving this space and encourage engagement with property owners and potential investors.
Over the next 20 years it’s proposed that 430 new homes will be built in Thornton Heath with 172 of those houses already under construction.
The large proportion of these homes will be built on consolidated unused land around Croydon University Hospital but it also pinpoints other sites within the area. This consultation is the first part of the review of the 2018 Local Plan and looks at issues facing the borough, such as a need for up to 46,040 new homes, employment growth and how to improve sustainability.
The Thornton Heath plan reveals a desire for improving access to nature and the quality of local space
as well as better cycling provision at the station, creating an improved gateway from the train station with a new public square and public realm improvements.
Strand House, in Zion Road has also been identified for residential development subject to impact on designated views for 12 to 67 homes.
To share your views on the Local Plan by January 13 visit www.croydon.gov.uk/localplan