Poster boards mounted on the fencing around the site (photos taken on the 28th April) give what is likely to be many people's first glimpse of what is being built. A sad state of affairs really but there you go. A source of some amusement is the mention that all this development will bring in Asda, Burger King, Bon Marché, Ethel Austin and Poundland. Asda will be occupying a new store built in the next phase of development on the site of the swimming pool and the latter three are already firmly established in the Market Square. So it seems that shopping wise, the sum total of this development in terms of well known names is going to be a Burger King. Hardly a cause for great excitement.
The new development will include the new leisure centre, a primary health care centre, apartment towers and also the new bus station. Curiously the artist's impression of this is illustrated with bus routes that don't come anywhere near here (how hard would it have been to look up a local route number?). It would appear that the bus station will be in the area north-east of the roundabout, in what was the green area between the old bus station and the New Road junction.
Completion of the development is targetted at Summer 2006.
The Concourse has been obliterated in the demolition works and replaced by a temporary covered way between the two main areas of construction. The four shop units that were on the south side (numbers 10 to 13) are still there which might suggest they will survive the redevelopment.
A tower crane has been assembled on the site of the old car park, though at the end of April it hadn't been completed.
The crane didn't remain jibless for too long and the construction process was well underway behind the fences. Just the occasional break in the fence at the site entrances revealed the activity at ground level though the railway station revealed more of what was going on (6th May).
The rather poor quality photo above left shows the four shops on the south side of The Concourse that have survived demolition with the roof of the temporary covered way. The shop called "Splash Out" to the left of the opticians occupie numbers 8 and 9. Number 7 was the old address of the opticians when it was located in front of the tower block (just to the left of camera).
The smart blue fencing at the front of the site has been replaced by more temporary looking panels and this includes a couple of panels that allow the public a view of the works. The wire fence is distracting in the right hand photo but you might be able to see clear signs of a structure appearing in the background. (Photos taken 18th May).
A look over The Green from the station platforms on the 27th showed more activity picking up and a second tower crane had been assembled.
A week into June (the photos were taken on the 6th) and already structures were shooting up on the south side. About ten yards north of St George's Road a new road is clearly being laid. Later examination of the kerb line suggests that the pavement line may be being moved east a little so perhaps The Broadway will once again be broad.
Things are also beginning to happen on the north side of the site.
A couple more views from the station (taken on the 7th) give the obligatory crane shot and a look at activity in the centre of the site.
Two more views from the station taken on the 17th don't really add much. Not long after these photos were taken the entrances to the covered way to the Market Square and into the North Square opposite Tesco were tarted up a bit to make them more obvious and welcoming.
The two entrances mentioned previously can be seen more clearly in the above photos taken on the 12th July. The new bus station is to be constructed in the area north of the roundabout alongside the high road. As of July this was still largely used to store piles of stones which were presumably recycled from the demolition, however the junction with the roundabout was already beginning to take shape.
The next batch of photos concentrates on the leisure centre development. It can be seen quite clearly that the development stops short of St Georges Road where a new road has been created alongside the new building.
Photos taken from the Church Street end of the station platforms will appear frequently on this page. These two pairs give the state of play as of July 15th and July 22nd and the following pair are from August 4th.
I had time to take some photos at ground level on August 26th before taking the usual pair from the station platform. There were now site boards announcing the two sites as those of the bus station and leisure centre, though of course there is a site right next to the bus station too.
The obligatory two photos from the station were taken on the 16th.
I took a number of photos on the 29th September. Unfortunately I am writing this over six months later so I might be bit vague as to exactly what I was taking photos of! Clearly the first photo is of the sign on the south side of the entrance that belatedly appeared so people knew what was being built! The second photo shows the start of the structure for the swimming pool being constructed behind the street frontage and the other two are taken through peep holes fitted on the hoardings alongside the main entrance. I would guess the first photo is the north side of the site and the second one looks like the swimming pool again.
I think the first photo is probably of the north side of the site looking in a southerly direction. The next three photos show the entrances to the bus station from the roundabout and the sign saying what it is. I never noticed a sign saying exactly what the building next to it is going to be though.
The next two photos are no doubt intended to show the new kerbline of The Broadway suggesting it might be wider in future and the next one shows a new road or service entrance. The next two photos illustrate the site of the new Primary Care Health Centre but I am still not clear if this is part of the main building shown or if it is another building they haven't started on yet.
I also seem to have another photo taken the next day which doesn't really seem to show too much, it being rather dark and having a tree in the way!
Back to shots taken from the station platforms. The two usual suspects were taken on the 14th, followed a week later by one from further along the platform and the on the 28th back to the usual two.
Three of the usual photos taken on the 11th and 18th complete the photos I have from 2005, and indeed having moved to Croydon in December future photos are going to be fewer and far between. It does seem a good point to start a new page though.