Lewisham Council is investing in a masterplan – a vision to be developed in collaboration with the community – that maps out how we want the town centre to evolve over the coming decades.
It will be major regeneration to transform Catford town centre. The south circular will be re-routed 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 18 months, we've gathered feedback from people who live, work, shop and socialise in the town centre on what they like and wanted to improve. With over 1,700 comments shared so far, we’re starting to build a clear picture of the everyday issues that affect life in our town centre. All of this feedback will be incorporated into the masterplan.
Now we’re asking local people to consider bigger issues - how do we build enough homes for Catford’s community that will meet needs and be affordable? How we provide flexible retail space that will adapt as the nature of high street shopping continues to evolve? How do we retain space for the variety of local shops, cafes and bars that make Catford what we love?
Nearly everyone has told us Catford has a special character that should be preserved as we embark on these big changes. We want to hear from everyone who has views and ideas on how we create a masterplan that ensures the town centre changes work for the entire community.
What will Catford look like in the future?
As in its heyday, Catford town centre will be a lively hub for culture and creative arts. Cinema, theatre, art and music will draw interest from across London and celebrate the passion and talents of the town’s local people.
Catford’s character will always be made by its people and its diverse but cohesive community will flourish and strengthen. The town centre will be for families, safe and welcoming with places to play, linger for a coffee, bump into friends and like-minds, chat and enjoy the moments of a day.
Homes will be accessible, affordable and desirable with priority given to local people and their families.
The shops will provide everything needed for local people to get the daily essentials but also provide a pastime to browse and shop for pleasure. The shops, cafes and bars that we cherish today will be supported by the community and will take pride of place in the town centre with generous public space. An evening out will be easily imagined with film, music, performance and good quality cuisine just a moments’ walk from home.
Coming into Catford town centre will be a pleasure as noisy, polluting and dangerous roads are tamed to the fringes of the centre. Whether on foot, a bike or public transport there will be effortless routes to make your way into the town centre, vastly improving quality of daily life for those who pass through for work, pleasure or day-to-day life.
CATFord in a capital city
Catford will naturally evolve as the population across London grows. With strong transport links to the heart of London, the town will continue to be shaped by market forces as the pressure on housing continues.
Building new homes is essential and it is estimated at least 2,500 new homes will need to be delivered through Catford’s masterplan. Prioritising these homes for local people, delivering as many Council homes or homes for social rent as feasible will be a focus for the Council but also the community. The Mayor of Lewisham has set a target that developer-led projects should deliver 50% genuinely affordable homes. Through the masterplan, the Council will aim to meet this, being upfront and honest about ways to fund these homes by offsetting value from other areas of the plan. Compromises will be made, but the Council will involve the local community with these decisions.
The Council’s priorities 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.
A unique space
Much of the land in the town centre is owned by the Council and this presents a unique opportunity to drive positive regeneration that truly reflects the needs of the local community.
Across the entire town centre, the opportunity area spans 11 hectares (around 15 football pitches). A large central site – 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 – will be the main focus for regeneration.
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.