In the last month or so Lewisham Council has learnt that a development of 589 new homes planned for the Catford Dog Track could be significantly delayed. Today I had a meeting with the Housing Minister, John Healy to explore ways in which appropriate development could be brought forward on the derelict site.
The overgrown stadium is a real eyesore and whilst I’m aware that some local residents had concerns about the redevelopment proposals, it worries me to think that this big patch of land could remain unused for the next 4 or 5 years.
When there are so many people in Lewisham who need decent, affordable places to live, we mustn’t let sites like this languish. This was the point I put to the housing minister today.
I also explained how Lewisham Council is pursuing the redevelopment of the nearby Catford Shopping Centre, with a view to demolishing 276 flats at Milford Towers. Decant arrangements are yet to be determined for this scheme, but it would be great if new build provision on the Stadium site could accommodate decanted households from Milford Towers in the future. The timing on this might be impossible but I think it has to be investigated.
If the process has to restart from the beginning, I think the council should use the opportunity to develop a scheme with significant numbers of socially rented homes and shared ownership/equity properties for key workers.
Plans should be developed which deal with the concerns about the design/scale of the scheme raised by local residents and which deliver a new station building at Catford (this was part if the original idea for the scheme but the dropped out of the plans as they developed due to the scheme’s deteriorating commercial viability once property prices began to fall).
I will continue to keep a very close eye on this site as it’s really key to regenerating Catford and we must make something happen there.
NB: Thank you to Yersinia for grating permission on flickr to use the photo (I hope I’ve understood the Creative Commons License correctly!)