It was interesting to see the different views expressed about the future of Central Parade in the letters page of this week's Advertiser. My view is that New Adddington needs investment. The pool, the library and the community centre are all showing their age. And the Parade and the people of New Addington would benefit from a major supermarket – at the moment, many people go elsewhere to do their weekly shop; if Central Parade had a major supermarket, it would be much more convenient for them to shop there and they might then use some of the other shops.
Many people opposed the scheme proposed by the previous Labour Council because its size was completely out of character with the rest of Central Parade. But a development of that size was only necessary because Labour weren’t prepared to put any Council money in – there had to be enough new housing and a big enough supermarket to pay for a new library, pool and community centre.
With a Conservative administration in place at the Town Hall things are different. New Addington is no longer being overlooked. Cllr Tony Pearson and I have successfully lobbied for funding for a new pool to be included in the Council’s capital programme so any new development won’t have to be so big and can respect the village green character of the Parade. It’s a chance for New Addington to finally have the facilities it deserves without changing its character. We should take it with both hands.