Bids wanted for fire-ravaged former asylum
CANE Hill has been put up for sale, as details of the Coulsdon Masterplan finally become clearer.
Companies which want to buy the 82-hectare site are now being invited to make offers to the former asylum's owner, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
In a document aimed at potential investors, the HCA said Coulsdon and Cane Hill could be used to build 500 to 800 homes over the next five to ten years, with Cane Hill used for up to 700 of those.
The organisation said there was also capacity for 8,000 to 9,000 square metres of retail development across the site, potentially creating hundreds of new jobs.
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A draft masterplan for Coulsdon town centre has been completed, but the winning bidder will be expected to work with Croydon Council to create the final masterplan for Cane Hill.
Officials at Croydon Council are hoping to attract one mid-sized supermarket or two smaller units, to create a town square in the centre of Coulsdon and improve routes between the town and Cane Hill.
The masterplan for Cousldon also includes improved pedestrian and cycle routes.
Charlie King, chairman of East Coulsdon Residents' Association, said: "I think the masterplan is a step forward in the regeneration of Coulsdon and we are very grateful for the way that it has been done.
"Having gone this far, the work must continue; we don't want to see it tucked away in a drawer somewhere.
"We will therefore be keeping up the pressure on our councillors to ensure that the centre of Coulsdon is regenerated and that Cane Hill has a sensible high-quality development on it that is in the best interests of the town."
Councillor Jason Perry, Croydon's cabinet member for planning, conservation and climate change, said the Cane Hill and town-centre proposals were a "once-in-a-generation opportunity for Coulsdon".
The cabinet will discuss the current masterplan ideas at a meeting on Monday and the document will be sent out for public consultation once a developer has been appointed.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the HCA said the organisation still does not know what caused the mysterious fire that devastated Cane Hill last autumn.
The blaze destroyed much of the landmark structure, including the iconic clocktower.
The spokesman added: "The report the police made at the time of the fire recorded 'no offence disclosed', and the report we received from the Fire Brigade stated that their investigation had proved inconclusive."
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