In time we hope to undertake lots of projects in the area. Our first project is on a road called The Lawns.
The Lawns, Croydon
We won a bidding process to develop this small infill site on The Lawns, just south of Beulah Hill. The land is owned by Croydon Council, and we are working with their in-house developer Brick x Brick to create our plans. We’ve explained the relationships here.
As of November 2020 we are in the early stages of designing a proposed scheme that will:
- provide homes that are as affordable as possible – we are not-for-profit, and will prioritise affordability
- build low energy homes that are better than building regulations
- protect and celebrate the ancient oak tree, and enhance the habitats for wildlife
- create a new community garden suitable for food growing that can be used by the new and existing residents
- minimise the impact on the views of neighbours
The design is being led by a Resident Design Group, made up of 18 local people who applied to take part. They are representative of the local area – 55% are on low incomes, half are in housing need, and 55% are BAME.
Our proposals are led by local residents, and we want to make sure people neighbouring the site are properly involved.
In drawing up our bid we:
- Knocked on doors of neighbours to the site on 3 occasions, speaking to 17 residents to understand their concerns and invite them to participate in our group.
- Promoted our project on local social media, benefitting from the Transition Town’s channels and profile. One poll showed 54% support for a CLT taking this site forward, 21% happy to see the site developed in any way, and 25% opposed, with 61 votes.
- Held open meetings, advertised locally, for people to join the group and/or influence our bid.
- Distributed leaflets to local businesses and community centres, advertising our CLT and our thinking for the site and inviting feedback and engagement.
- Spoke about our CLT and the site at community events including the Crystal Palace Festival.
We did some more leafleting, door knocking and social media work to recruit our Resident Design Group.
Once we have an initial design proposal, we will consult the wider community. This will give everyone a chance to give feedback, and we will make changes where possible to reflect local views ahead of submitting a planning application.
The footpath into Spa Woods
In our site bid in July 2019 we floated the idea of adding a short footpath from the end of The Lawns to join the footpath which goes from Grange Road into Spa Wood / The Lawns park. The new footpath is shown below in red:
This would mean people living on The Lawns could walk up to the shops and amenities on South Norwood Hill in five minutes. At the moment the residents have a much longer walk, and just one corner shop nearby.
We noted the comments we’d had back from residents – the positive, and the concerns. We also noted that it would be tricky to find a route for the footpath between the end terrace and an electrical substation.
The council was interested in our idea and went away to do a feasibility study. It’s now being pursued by the council separately, and we are not involved.