What is the engagement about?
Catford town centre is on the brink of big and exciting change so we’re calling on everyone who lives, works, shops, socialises, commutes or runs a business here to have their say as Catford goes through its biggest change in decades.
Lewisham Council is leading a major regeneration which will transform the town centre by re-routing the south circular road freeing up more space for pedestrians; redeveloping the Catford Shopping Centre for new retail space, replacing Milford Towers and providing new homes across the town centre as well as creating pedestrian-friendly areas, open spaces and new community facilities.
How will this happen?
It starts with a masterplan framework that will allocate areas of the town centre for new public space, shops, homes and office space. Architects have been appointed to draw this up and it will be shared with the community for feedback. Once agreed, this masterplan will be the vision for Catford - a blue print to guide planning applications from developers and investors.
When will it happen?
Work on the masterplan framework began in autumn 2018 by the selected architects Studio Egret West and Carl Turner Architects. However, it has been delayed so it can be aligned with the Local Plan. A local plan sets out local planning policies and identifies how land is used, determining what will be built and where. Adopted local plans provide the framework for development across England. Local peoples' views are vital in shaping a local plan, helping determine how their community develops.
Team Catford and the selected architects will engage with the community over the summer and the first full draft of the masterplan framework will be ready to share in autumn 2019. Once the final version has been drawn up and following approval by Mayor and Cabinet, proposals for individual sites will be considered through the planning process.
The overall plan is a long-term. Some aspects will begin construction after 2020 with the entire redevelopment complete by 2030.
Regeneration is not just about physical change. Placemaking and meanwhile use initiatives including the Catford Food Market, Catford Cornucopia, Catford Gin Festival and new tenants in Council owned units are already revitalising the town centre.
WE'VE HEARD THIS ALL BEFORE. WILL IT ACTUALLY HAPPEN?
We acknowledge the natural scepticism that many local people will feel about the regeneration of Catford Town Centre. It’s something that has been talked about for many years and people are understandably frustrated by the apparent lack of progress. Why should people believe that Catford’s time has actually now arrived? The major reason for optimism is the game-changing decision taken by the Mayor & Cabinet in July 2017 to re-align the south circular to the south of Laurence House. This finally removes a significant block to progress, and allows the town centre to be properly masterplanned, in a way that is now supported by Transport for London and that is in line with the emerging London Plan. The London Plan has also now officially identified Catford Town Centre as within a Growth Corridor and on Phase 2 of the potential Bakerloo line extension.
These recent strategic policies at a London-wide level set the context for Catford as one of the places for positive transformation in the capital over the next 10-20 years. Now is also the first time that the Council is procuring a comprehensive masterplan of the town centre, fully incorporating local people’s views and aspirations. It is important to understand that a regeneration scheme of this size does take time, and it will be 3-4 years before the earliest construction phases actually start appearing on site. However, the Council is committed to driving forward the revitalisation of Catford town centre.
Who is paying for it – will it raise our council tax?
No, it will not raise council tax. The regeneration of Catford Town Centre will have funding from a number of different sources, including the Greater London Authority and central government.
The Council is committed to ensuring the public get the best short and long term benefits from every development and asset they own.
The Council, unlike with other major town centre developments, is a significant land owner, so will have more influence on future proposals. However, the Council has to be realistic. Whilst their vision for Catford Town Centre will be bold and ambitious, it will need to take account of the constraints and realities they must operate within, with a focus on developing a robust masterplan, that is costed and deliverable.
Will the Catford Cat stay?
The Catford Cat is firmly staying put.
Is the Bakerloo line coming to Catford?
The Council is doing everything in its power to persuade the Mayor and TfL to extend the Bakerloo Line to Catford. In early 2017, TfL undertook a public consultation on extending the Bakerloo line to Lewisham. You can read a report of the consultation here.
Who is Team Catford?
We are a team who specialise in engagement, film making, placemaking, social media and meanwhile use. We all live in the borough, mainly Catford, and are passionate about leading a change that reflects the character of Catford. We're leading on major community engagement on behalf of Lewisham Council and are here to make sure that everyone who lives, works, socialises, shops, commutes or runs a business in Catford has their say as our neighbourhood changes.
How can we take part?
Come along to one of our engagement events which are held at least every month at different times and days of the week.
Add your thoughts to the map at catfordtowncentre.commonplace.is
Pick up the phone and call us on 0800 772 0475
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to contact us by mail simply write FREEPOST TEAM CATFORD on the envelope and your letter will find its way to us – promise!