New Addington

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Coordinates: 51°20′34″N 0°01′00″W / 51.3427°N 0.0167°W / 51.3427; -0.0167

New Addington
New Addington tramstop look north.JPG
New Addington tramstop
New Addington is located in Greater London
New Addington
New Addington
 New Addington shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ382622
    - Charing Cross 12 mi (19 km)  NNW
London borough Croydon
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town CROYDON
Postcode district CR0
Dialling code 020
01689
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Croydon Central
London Assembly Croydon and Sutton
List of places
UK
England
London

New Addington is an area in South London, England in the London Borough of Croydon. It is located near the Greater London border with Surrey. It is a large local authority estate surrounded by the Metropolitan Green Belt of open countryside, woodland and golf courses. The Prime Meridian crosses the eastern edge of New Addington.

The area's isolation from neighbouring boroughs of Croydon has given it a strong sense of community and independence. The Croydon Advertiser publishes a separate New Addington edition. The presence of the library, youth clubs, leisure centre, shops, churches and street market enables locals to lead full lives in many ways. The Addington Community Association has provided an important hub for the community.

History[edit]

Until the 1930s, the area now known as New Addington was farmland and woodland in the southeast of the ancient parish of Addington. The farms were called Castle Hill, Addington Lodge and Fisher's Farms.[1] At the time, central Croydon and London more generally had overcrowded slums causing concern to the authorities. In 1935, the First National Housing Trust purchased 569 acres (2.3 km²) of Fisher's Farm with the intention of erecting a 'Garden Village', with 4,400 houses, shops, two churches, cinema, and village green. The Chairman of the Trust was Charles Boot, hence the earliest part of New Addington is sometimes called The Boot's Estate.[1]

By 1939, when the outbreak of World War II suspended construction, 1,023 houses and 23 shops had been built. The new estate was popular, but the provision of amenities had not kept pace with the house building. Only one of the proposed schools and few of the shops were in operation. For employment, decent shopping and entertainment, the residents had to travel off the estate. This heralded a long history of isolation for the estate, then nicknamed Little Siberia, because it is much colder than the rest of Croydon. The isolation was partly remedied 60 years later with the arrival of Tramlink route 3, mentioned below. Tramlink runs alongside Lodge Lane, the main (northern) road access. There is only one other point of access by road, where King Henry's Drive connects with minor roads to the south, leaving the area with a sense of detachment unlike any other community of a similar size in South East England.

After the war, there were concerns about the amount of green space being used for building around London. Much of the countryside around the developing estate was declared Green Belt. The County Borough of Croydon bought the unused First National Housing Trust land and a further 400 acres (1.6 km²) to add to it, for extensive further development. Many dozens of single-storey, detached, prefabricated houses (commonly known as "prefabs") were built in the Castle Hill area of the estate and these were inhabited until the 1960s when they were demolished and replaced with brick-built two-storey homes. At the same time as the smaller prefabs were built, larger two-storey semi-detached houses were also built. These houses, which had metal upper skins, still survive around the King Henry's Drive area near Wolsey School. This was more development than had originally been envisaged but it brought about the structure of the estate as seen today.

Many more houses, blocks of flats, churches, factories and Central Parade with its shops, were built. The London Borough of Croydon obtained permission for a further 1,412 houses, which were completed in 1968. This area, at the Croydon end, is known as the Fieldway Estate and has developed its own identity to an extent.[1] The total population counted by the 2001 Census was 21,527, of which 10,351 were in New Addington ward, with 11,176 in Fieldway ward.

Reputation[edit]

Beginning in the late 1990s, there have been actions to improve quality of life in and perception of New Addington and Fieldway. The distance from Croydon and other centres, with for many years patchy bus services the only main transport links prevented New Addington residents from being able to access a full range of employment and educational facilities or indeed shops. A significant improvement was the arrival of Tramlink (route 3) in 2000, providing a connection with Croydon and Wimbledon in a little over 20 minutes, and from there connections to Central London. This provided the opportunity of a greater choice of schools and jobs. Several 'feeder' 'bus routes were also introduced to connect with Tramlink, along with general enhancement to 'bus services in the area. The area was declared one of the first Education Action Zones by the Labour government, with extra investment and opportunities for partnership for schools. The majority of the houses was bought by their tenants, which some say has led to renewed pride in their properties and community. The London Borough of Croydon increased its investment in the remaining housing stock and in the leisure and youth facilities. It also organised a neighbourhood partnership for the estate which local people lead to hold public institutions to account. More recently the Octagon Cyber Café has been opened by the London Borough of Croydon, although Tesco closed its supermarket and Lidl have bought, closed down and demolished the Cunningham pub, one of six in New Addington and Fieldway, for redevelopment.[2] The store was finally given planning approval and was constructed during 2010. It opened in the New Year of 2011. But local residents are still not happy with the overall size of the development which includes 14 flats above the store.[3] The remaining public houses are the Man on the Moon, the Warbank, the ACA and the Randall Tavern.

New Addington has however continued to suffer from various reports of violence and public upset for several years, reflecting upon anti-social behaviour and gang violence involving youths on the estate from the 1970s to the present, as well as the perceived poor standard of schools, low educational and health standards, and a reported high number of teenage mothers, particularly in Fieldway. A Croydon Advertiser survey in 2013 cited New Addington in comparison with other areas to be the worst in Croydon to live, based on life expectancy, incapacity benefit claimants rates and income support, unemployment, crime, deliberate fires, school exam passes, unauthorised pupil absence, children in out-of–work households, public transport accessibility and access to open space and nurture. [4]

The area was disgraced during the 2011 England Riots, with the Co-Operative supermarket being destroyed by firebombs, and many youths taking to Central Croydon and Purley Way, seeing the stores Best Buy, PC World, and Comet looted predominantly for electronics. Following an evacuation of the area by the Croydon Police the following day, many of the stolen electronics were found on the Fieldway estate. New Addington councillor, George Ayres, stated that the area was now in need of 16 hours a day police coverage, as well as criticising the merger of Fieldway and Heathfield Safety Teams as opposed to Fieldway and New Addington, leading to calls for the area to have its own police station.[5] The day following the riots, groups of residents took to the streets protesting about their lack of faith in the Croydon Police protecting the area, addressing themselves as the "Addo Army." [6] One gang from New Addington involved in the riots was eventually convicted and gaoled on life sentences in August 2012.[7]

Fieldway was again under criticism in 2011 following a video being uploaded to YouTube of a woman holding a young child racially abusing Black passengers, attracting 11 million viewers by 2012. [8] She was later named as Emma West of Fieldway, New Addington and was arrested and charged with a racially aggravated public order offence. [9] Her arrest provoked peaceful protests by the British National Party. [10] On 1 July 2013 she was sentenced to 24 months' community service and ordered to be put under a supervision order, as well as receive mental health treatment. [11]

The estate was also the scene of the disappearance and death of teenager Tia Sharp.[12] Despite the community's support and sorrow for those affected by Tia's death, the area was once again publicly victimised for its reputation when former Observer journalist Robert Chesshyre referred to New Addington as "an impoverished ghetto that Tia Sharp called 'Home.'" [13] Residents of New Addington protested at Chesshyre's comments claiming he really knew nothing about the area and claimed his comments created fear for the area's economical recovery and responses to events such as these. [13] Further dismay in the area was caused when Channel 4 programme The Secret Millionaire was filmed in New Addington showing a billionaire businessman give a former criminal youth a job after accusations that his record prevented him from gaining work; the youth was then suspended from the workplace after just 6 weeks amid claims of threatening behaviour towards fellow staff. [14]

In 2013, the area was featured 3 times in the same episode of Crimewatch UK, predominantly focusing on the area's surfeit of gang culture, including the attack on Gary Hayward which resulted in his suffering from one blind eye, brain damage and requiring full-time care in a specialist rehabilitation centre. [15]

Councillor Ayres has, however, stated praise for the locals' response to upsetting events, claiming the area was now a stronger community than before and rates of anti-social behaviour were beginning to decline. [16]

Politics[edit]

Politically, New Addington and Fieldway have traditionally been Labour strongholds, providing the only five Labour councillors out of 70 in the London Borough of Croydon between 1982 and 1986. Four of the last six leaders of the Labour Party on Croydon Council have been councillors representing the estate, including Geraint Davies, the area's former Member of Parliament, and Val Shawcross, now a London Assembly member. In 2006 the two wards of Fieldway and New Addington had two Labour councillors each, both wards seeing strong challenges from the British National Party. In the 2010 local elections, New Addington ward elected its first Conservative Councillor, having one Conservative and one Labour councillor, while Fieldway continued to be a safer Labour seat. These wards are unusual as being two of the very few in Greater London that do not have three councillors each - the Boundary Commission could not find a way to make this standard fit in the isolated New Addington estate.

Facilities[edit]

The Anglican parish church of New Addington is St Edward's Church at the end of Central Parade, built in 1957. Fieldway, however, is part of Addington parish, under the 11th century St Mary the Blessed Virgin Church in Addington village. There are also a Baptist church, the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and several other smaller places of worship.

Although most of the rest of Croydon has the London telephone dialling code '020', New Addington has the Orpington code for BT customers of '01689'. In recent years, cable telephone providers have entered the estate, using 020. New Addington is in the CR0 postal district, the largest in the country.

Since the beginning of 2006, Croydon Council have started consultation with the local community with a view to regenerating the Central Parade shopping district and bringing in a partner to develop new housing and a supermarket retail outlet.

Nearest places[edit]

Transport[edit]

New Addington is served by several Transport for London'bus services giving it links with Croydon, Bromley, Eltham and Selsdon. There are also Tramlink services to Wimbledon via Croydon.

References[edit]

External links[edit]