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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ruskin Square, London, United Kingdom

Fosters' design wins through as Compulsory Purchase Order refused
Foster + Partners and developers Schroders and Stanhope will be breathing a sigh of relief today as plans to scupper their Croydon Development have fallen flat. The developers had already received planning permission for their development when Croydon Council submitted a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for the land to build an arena with housing and retail. Last week, however, planning was refused for the Council's Arrowcroft-designed development and today it has been announced that the CPO has also been refused by Secretary of State, Hazel Blears meaning construction of the Fosters development can continue as planned.

This represents the end of a long and bitter battle between the developers and the council and they now face an awkward time ahead as co-operation will be essential to completing the approved scheme. Schroders and Stanhope, however, maintain a positive outlook, William Hill, Managing Director of Schroders Investment Managers and David Camp, Chief Executive of Stanhope, said:

"We are delighted that the Secretary of State has declined to support the CPO. We argued at the planning inquiry that the arena scheme was not appropriate for this site and we are pleased to see that the Secretary of State agrees that it does not justify taking our land.

"We have already secured planning permission for our development and we now look forward to working constructively with Croydon Council to ensure the early redevelopment of this key site."

The land on which the development will sit has been derelict for 30 years and is seen as key to the regeneration of Croydon which is in talks to be recognised as 'London's third city'. Fosters' Gateway development will be known as Ruskin Square and will consist of 500 new homes, 1million sq ft of office space, new health facilities, a 200-seat community theatre, cafes and restaurants, all encircling a 4.5 acre public park.

Mr Hill and Mr Camp said: "We hope that having fought for years for permission to develop our site, we can now put the torturous planning history behind us.

"We look forward to early discussions with the council so that we can make a start on our development which we believe will act as the catalyst for the regeneration of the rest of Croydon."

Niki May Young
News Editor
architecture NOW

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