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New Addington

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An unofficial new town situated in the far east of the borough, set on a steep hillside rising into the North Downs by nearly 200 feet along its north-south axis. New Addington’s centre lies 2 miles south of the nearest train station, at West Wickham. Domesday Book records that, “Albert the clerk holds of the king Addington. Osweard held it of King Edward. It was then assessed at eight hides; now at two. There is land for four ploughs… woodland for 20 pigs.” This was the manor later known as Addington Temple, which covered roughly the area of modern New Addington. It remained as farmland well into the twentieth century. In 1935 the First National Housing Trust acquired 569 acres of Fisher’s Farm to lay out a garden village. Croydon council supported the plan as a way of reducing the over-crowding in its semi-slum urban areas. By the time the outbreak of war brought a halt to construction just over a thousand homes had been built. After the war housing need had become even more pressing, but there was also pressure to protect London’s countryside. The borough took over the housing trust’s unused land and acquired a further 400 acres, while the land west of Lodge Lane was declared green belt. The plan was completed by 1963, but continuing housing need prompted another extension to New Addington five years later. This latter part is known as the Fieldway estate and has become the most disadvantaged part of the district. As one of the largest estates in London without any nearby rail services, New Addington’s inaccessibility was a major reason for the creation of Croydon Tramlink, which arrived here in 2000. Fieldway and New Addington are the borough’s first and second most deprived wards and are the principal recipients of its regeneration funds. A 2001 planning document declared the council’s aim to counter the perception that, “if you come to live in New Addington, you’ve failed.”

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The estate’s layout included generous open spaces, like this area in Fieldway. Some critics dismissed this as ‘prairie planning’ – arguing that the greenswards served only to inhibit a sense of community while providing little in the way of beautification or recreational facilities.

Postcode area: Croydon, CR0
Population: 21,527 (Fieldway and New Addington wards)
Tramstop: Tramlink Route 3 terminus

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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