By Toby Porter
Plans for up to 600 homes inside a town centre one-way system are being shown to locals to give their views.
Developer Barratt, along with landowners the Church Commissioners, want to build blocks up to 20 storeys high on the Catford Island site, at the core of £500million plans to make the area greener and less clogged by traffic.
The plot is one of the six key sites identified in the Catford Town Centre Framework, adopted by Lewisham council in June 2021 as a “bold vision” for Catford Town Centre, creating “a dynamic mix of uses including residential, retail and community space”.
Barratt says it aims to make the site “a new green haven, alive with ‘Play, Planting & Produce’”.
Its document adds: “Our vision for Catford Island is that it becomes an integral and cherished part of Catford Town Centre.”
The 131-page framework, drawn up by consultants Studio Egret West, and approved in July, details a £500m total redevelopment of the area over the coming decades, with Catford identified as “a location for major growth” and an “Opportunity Area” in the Mayor of London’s London Plan.
It aims to to turn Catford into the “greenest town centre in London” and build 2,700 homes.
The Catford Centre, bought by the council more than a decade ago – and the Milford Towers Estate – are expected to be redeveloped into housing, up to 20 storeys high, and shops.
The council wants to make the town centre largely car-free, with “generous areas of public space created as the South Circular is rerouted”.
In the next year, planned developments include a £7million revamp of the Broadway Theatre, converting the town hall into a public services work space, and turning the former Catford Constitutional Club into a pub.
Planning permission was granted on appeal for an eight-storey building on the Timberyard site, in the middle of the island.
Other work on the area around Catford and Catford Bridge railway station could start next year.
Traders in the area have expressed doubts that it will be able to go ahead – and that it would have any effect even if it did.
Barratt won the contract in 2009 to build almost 600 flats on the 11-acre site of the old Catford Greyhound Stadium, a 10-minute walk from the town centre, renamed “Catford Green”.
The original plan for the development – completed in 2017 – included a footbridge from the new flats to nearby Doggett Road, which would have allowed locals to circumvent the noise and pollution of the South Circular.
But in 2018 Barratt Homes told the council that it could no longer build the bridge and would instead pay £1.5m to the council.
There are two pop-up consultation events, tomorrow at 10am-1pm outside The Catford Centre, and on Tuesday between noon and 2pm on site outside Lidl.
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