Lewisham Council is investing in a masterplan framework – 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 two years, 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 1,800 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 realigned 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
London is strategically planned and 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 draft New London Plan as an Opportunity and Intensification Area, which means it has scope for growth, regeneration and renewal. The Council continue to campaign for the Bakerloo Line Extension to continue through to Catford, further strengthening the case for growth.
Lewisham town centre has undergone a significant transformation in recent years and will continue to grow as it has potential to become a town centre of Metropolitan importance. Catford has the potential for significant urban renewal, so will grow, but not to the same scale as Lewisham. Catford will remain the civic heart of the borough with the Council’s offices and services located in the town centre.
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). The framework team have identified six character areas across the town centre, the key sites that make up the masterplan.
Town Centre: this area includes the historic Catford Broadway, our celebrated venue the Broadway Theatre, the Old Town Hall and Civic Suite stretching south to include the Council offices at Laurence House. This central area could feature a mix of homes, shops and community facilities. It presents an opportunity to showcase Catford’s best assets - the theatre, the distinctive curve of Catford Broadway and its historic buildings with generous public open space.
Station Approach and South Circular: starting from Catford Station, following the south circular road past Catford Bridge station and along towards the town centre, this area includes what will be the new stretch of the south circular road behind Laurence House meeting the junction with Sangley Road. As a key approach to the town centre, this area would benefit from significant improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Yards: directly behind the Catford Broadway, this area includes the Thomas Lane car park and stretches all the way east to Rushey Green. This area has the potential to create a relaxed mixed-use quarter with flexible space for workspace, creative uses and small, independent shops.
The Lanes: this area includes Milford Towers, the Catford Shopping Centre and the multi-storey car park. Reimagining the use of these buildings with some redevelopment, this area could become a quieter residential area to respect adjacent Victorian neighbourhoods.
Ravenesbourne Quarter: not in Council ownership, this area includes the sites between the two railway lines currently occupied by Wickes and Halfords with the pedestrian and cycle route through to River Pool Linear Park. With few neighbours, this area has the potential for high density new homes and improvements to better connect the town centre with the Ravensbourne river and the natural parkland.
Plassy Island: not in Council ownership, this area to the east of the town centre includes the retail island encircled by the Catford gyratory - home to Lidl, McDonalds and other retail units. Realigning the south circular, and making this two way working, could create stronger links to the town centre with new pedestrian crossings encouraging improved retail space and new homes.