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A joined up approach to improving Croydon’s infrastructure

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A joined-up approach is being taken to delivering the infrastructure improvements which form a key part of the regeneration of Croydon.

Nigel Turner, executive director of the Kier Group which is carrying out many of the improvements including landscaping of the Wellesley Road, told a Develop Croydon-organised gathering at MIPIM 2017 about the planning needed to deliver the borough’s vision.

“There is no point in creating a great place if you don’t connect the great place,” he told guests at a specially-organised Brunch on the Beach which coincided with the world’s most prestigious real estate show in Cannes, France.

“So what we’re doing at Kier is we’re actually digging the holes in the ground, we’re putting the infrastructure in, we’re changing the junctions, we’re providing the power, the new utilities, and all of that has got to be linked up.

“There are so many places where development companies build in their own little bubble and then the street scene that gets you from A to B is just not good.

Sunny setting: The Brunch on the Beach. Photo: Bonnie Stephensmith

“One of our visions is to make sure that when we dig things up, we don’t dig them up five times. So we have the benefit of a highways team, we have the benefit of a utilities team, power water etc.

“We are trying to be more in tandem and with the likes of Highways England, Thames Water, the utility and power providers say let’s do it once.”

Jo Negrini, chief executive of Croydon Council, said the infrastructure improvements were part of the authority’s vision to improve the borough as a whole.

“Great sustainable regeneration is all about place,” she said. “I want everyone at Croydon Council to understand their role – whether you’re a social worker, whether you’re a bin man – what we are all contributing the creating is creating a great place.

“It’s about what connects the big sites, it’s the culture, it’s the public realm, it’s all the work that Kier is doing at the moment on Wellesley Road.

“We said a couple of years ago that we were going to turn Wellesley Road into a French-style boulevard and everybody laughed at us. Well the trees are going in as we speak.”

Main photo by Yolande Carpenter