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Blears blocks Gateway plan

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Hazel Blears has snubbed Croydon LBC’s long-standing bid to make the borough the venue for a 12,000 seat arena.

The communities secretary has told the south London borough that she had decided to reject plans by the developer Arrowcroft for a mixed use scheme, featuring an arena, next to East Croydon railway station.

The south London borough has been fighting alternative plans for the so-called Croydon Gateway site for more than 10 years. It wants an arena to lure more visitors into the town centre.

The company had submitted the application in line with the south London borough’s planning guidelines for the key town centre site, which stipulates that it should be the location for an arena.

Ms Blears’ letter to the council states that she supports the principle of developing an arena on the site but says the Arrowcroft application was turned down because it did not meet other transport and housing guidelines.

She says that an arena would help to rebrand and hence raise the profile of Croydon town centre, but expressed doubts over whether this element of the scheme was financially viable.

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