An old garage site in Shrublands could become affordable homes built by local people for local people – and the council wants to hear from neighbours keen on getting involved.
Estate residents – with or without housebuilding experience – are invited to one of several events in February and March to find out more on how to bid to the council for permission to develop their own community-led homes.
Held on weekends at the end of the month, two site visits are aimed at helping Shrublands residents decide whether they want to club together with other locals and develop a bid. The council will choose a successful scheme later this year and the winners will then design and build between 10 and 15 homes, subject to planning approval.
The Shrublands site earmarked for development is a council-owned garage block off Shrublands Avenue next to an existing all-weather games pitch and green open space, neither of which will be removed.
The first event from 7-9pm on Friday 21 February will discuss issues across the estate and review ways to improve evening parking. This will be followed by a site visit on foot from 10am to 1pm on Saturday 29 February.
The council is also organising a community conference on Saturday 28 March from 11am-3pm at Shirley Community Centre in Shrublands Avenue. If you are a local resident and want to join one of these events, you can sign up via the Shaping Shrublands website.
As part of a wider masterplan for the area, other representatives will attend these events, including council officers from its housing and environment teams, as well as Brick By Brick to discuss its own housing proposals.
The Shrublands site is the second proposed location in the borough for community-led homes. Crystal Palace Community Land Trust (CLT) was chosen last August to develop its own low-carbon affordable homes at The Lawns in Upper Norwood after winning a council-run competition. They are working with local residents to decide details, such as the type and number of homes and design, ahead of a planning application being submitted later this year.
As with Crystal Palace CLT, the eventual winning bidders for the Shrublands site will receive design and development support throughout the process from the council and Brick By Brick, the council-created developer delivering around 2,000 homes, including affordable homes, across the borough.
“As well as providing new council homes for local people, the council is encouraging other kinds of good-quality affordable housing for Croydon residents, including community-led developments.
“You don’t need to be a housebuilder to get involved in this scheme but we do want local people whose enthusiasm and drive could deliver more affordable homes for their community, so I urge anyone interested in finding out more to attend these events.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services
For more information, visit the Shaping Shrublands website.