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Lewisham Council launches major new green vision for Catford

Major plans to make Catford the greenest town centre in London have been announced today by Lewisham Council.

The Catford Town Centre Framework – a long-term vision to guide development in the town centre over the next couple of decades – will create an accessible and welcoming place for everyone. The Framework Plan has been shaped by over 3,000 comments from local residents during a public consultation. The plans are due to be considered by Mayor and Cabinet next month, and the project is expected to begin as early as 2022.

Lewisham Council’s vision is for Catford to be the greenest town centre in London.

The plans include rerouting the South Circular, which will make it easier for people to walk and cycle and help improve air quality and road safety. The heart of Catford town centre will be largely car-free.

Generous areas of public space will be created with new trees, planting and riverside access to the River Ravensbourne. During the public consultation on the plans for Catford, local residents asked for natural planting, for local biodiversity to be respected and for genuine improvements to the river allowing access to the water’s edge.

The Council has listened and will do even more to enable walking and cycling in Catford - adding segregated cycle lanes, securing routes through to Ravensbourne Quarter, plentiful on-street cycle parking and setting the bar high for expectations of projects to enable local people to make fewer journeys by car and help secure a greener future for Lewisham. An early project to come forward is the improvements to the area around the train stations, and new visuals published today show a fully pedestrianised approach to Catford Bridge station in response to local feedback.

A green toolkit will underpin regeneration and developers will be made to meet the Council’s vision for a Greener Lewisham, helping to meet our pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030, ahead of the national Government.

A vibrant town centre will reflect Catford’s character.

The Framework Plan emphasises a strong, independent retail offer, investment in the Broadway Theatre and better space for the market and special events.

It signals a positive economic future for Catford with new jobs for local people and opportunities for small businesses. A new civic hub will put employment and health services at the heart of Catford, as well as creating a cluster of affordable creative and cultural workspace, securing more day to evening footfall with hundreds of new people working and visiting the town centre.

An accessible and welcoming place for everyone

Building new, affordable homes is an important part of the Framework Plan and up to 2,700 homes will be built in total over the next couple of decades. Half of these homes are set to be affordable, with almost 1,000 new social homes for residents on the Council’s housing register. These are ambitious targets, far higher than many London boroughs, and this commitment will go a long way to tackling the housing crisis facing thousands of Lewisham families.

The Framework Plan will encourage carefully designed buildings that will open up views, allow sunlight in and create street-level spaces that will be welcoming for local people to walk, relax and enjoy new shops, cafes, restaurants and leisure activities. In response to local feedback, indicative building height ranges have been lowered on the corner of Thomas Lane and Holbeach Road and at the Ravensbourne Quarter, alongside Catford Road. 

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham said:

“Strengthened by local involvement, the Catford Town Centre Framework is a bold community-led vision that will secure huge benefits for local residents. Our plans involve nearly 1,000 new social homes, massively improved walking and cycling and brand new shops and businesses, creating thousands of new, local jobs.

“Time spent talking to local people over the last few years has allowed us to refine a vision that is realistic and deliverable. We have uncompromising standards of design and the Council’s Framework Plan sets clear expectations of developers of the quality of architecture that Catford’s community demands.

“Catford residents have told us they are ready for change and we’re pleased to be able to deliver projects that support our vision for Catford to be the greenest town centre in London. Rerouting part of the South Circular means Catford will become a largely car-free town centre with a new civic hub bringing hundreds of jobs and championing the sustainable, green principles that are at the heart of our approach.”

Read more information and view the draft Catford Town Centre Framework Plan in full.

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