Catford Town Centre is changing. Lewisham Council is leading major regeneration which will transform the town centre by rerouting the south circular freeing up more space for pedestrians. Catford Shopping Centre will be redeveloped, providing new retail space and new homes. Pedestrian-friendly areas, open spaces and new community facilities will also be created.
Over the last year we've gathered lots of feedback from people who live, work, shop and socialise in the town centre on what they like and wanted to improve. With over 1,600 comments shared so far, we’re starting to build a clear picture of the issues as well as ideas to improve the town centre.
Nearly everyone has told us Catford has a special character that should be preserved as we embark on the big changes.
How will Catford town centre change?
A vision for our town centre will be set out in the masterplan. In summer 2017, Lewisham Council secured agreement from Transport for London to reroute the south circular road. This major road, that currently divides our town centre, will be rerouted behind Laurence House and reconfigured to create easier pedestrian crossings and introduce dedicated cycle lanes. Two-way traffic flows around Plassy Island and new traffic light-controlled junctions will replace the current gyratory system. Construction work on the rerouted road will likely start after 2021.
Moving the road will open up a large central site for regeneration – where Laurence House, the Old Town Hall, the Civic suite, the Catford Shopping centre, Milford Towers and the multi storey car park is currently located. The Broadway - Catford’s market and shopping street - as well as our theatre will remain in place and we will have an opportunity to consider how new town centre leisure, culture and shopping uses as well as homes could complement these historic buildings in this central space.
Across the entire town centre, the opportunity area spans 11 hectares (15 football pitches). In addition to this central site, the masterplan will also explore land use options for the area between Catford and Catford Bridge train stations as well as Plassy Island (where Lidl and McDonalds are situated) and the large site currently home to Wickes and Halfords. Not all of these sites are in the Council’s ownership but it is sensible for Lewisham Council to consider these strategically important sites in an overall vision for Catford Town Centre.
THE LONDON PLAN
The Council’s priorities for Catford are partly guided by the London-wide policy context.
Catford, along with Lewisham and New Cross is identified in the Mayor’s London Plan as an Opportunity and Intensification Area, which means it has scope for growth, regeneration and renewal.
It has been suggested that the identity of these areas need more clearly defining and that opportunities to improve the traffic congestion and pedestrian and cycle routes such as Waterlink Way should be explored.
BUILDING NEW HOMES
With Lewisham’s population set to grow by over 14% (ONS, 2014-2024), there is a pressing need to build more homes. With excellent public transport links and a wealth of community facilities on our doorstep, Catford Town Centre is already an attractive prospect for residential developers and the Council will continue to see applications for new homes come through the planning process.
The masterplan will open discussion on how new homes can be accommodated in the town centre, making the most of underused sites with sensitivity to residential neighbours. Our community has an opportunity to actively participate in decision-making about new homes and our strategy for housing growth which will inform where new homes should be built.
The Council will work with local residents to ensure the right mix of housing: homes for social and affordable rent, shared ownership and private sale are built.