Last year the council launched a competition to transform the Ambassador House forecourt.
A year later this is the result – a mural and and an unfinished garden.
Here we examine the story so far and try and unpick just how much has been spent on the forecourt.
The £75,000 budget was sourced from the Thornton Heath regeneration scheme and included a £15,000 prize for the competition winners.
Following the announcement of the winners, a collective of architects, public consultations were held resulting in a grand design. A mural was painted and then months spent creating a garden by the bus stop which is full of weeds.
The space was meant to be completed to be reactivated in time for summer but the community. Instead a series of poorly attended events were staged on the unattractive forecourt called Active Lifestyles and the long awaited return of the market was similarly disappointing.
Then out of no where the forecourt was back in the spotlight. The council had done a deal with Timberland as part of its Nature Needs Heroes campaign with Croydon rapper Loyle Carner declaring plans to green up the area. The forecourt was cordoned off and transformed in to a trendy venue with marquee and a concert stage and the public hurriedly invited on a week day to look at the plans, though to the untrained eye looked much the same plans.
Brixton based Urban Growth showed locals pictures of fancy planters (pictured.) It was revealed Timberland were putting in £75,000 to green up the CR7 Square forecourt, so it could be completed. In the evening the space was handed over to Timberland for a concert headlined by Loyle which was an invite only press event mainly for industry insiders which has drawn criticism from some local residents who said the event wasn’t publicised and not inclusive.
MTV were paid by Timberland to capture the events of the day as part of two ‘documentaries’ with the film crew following Loyle around but the greening up mainly focussed on the Brit School which the singer attended as an aspiring artist and already has a garden.
The Chronicle has also uncovered a £100,000 allocated to the forecourt in October 2018 from S106 planning gain attached to a development in Queens Road and Pawsons Road which would bring the budget to quarter of a million pounds.
The latest date to install and launch the square is April 2020. Watch this space!