Credit crunch forces Hyde Housing Association to withdraw from project to build 500 homes and a pool

A £100m scheme for 500 homes and swimming pool in Croydon has been put under review as the developers have walked away following the credit crunch.

Croydon council said that housing association Hyde Housing Association had withdrawn from the Waddon pool scheme saying it was “no longer willing to proceed in the current uncertain economic climate.”

The development, on council owned land, was to have included a community cafe, youth centre, sports centre and gym in addition to the 500 homes and swimming pool. While the council does not have a signed development agreement it can hold Hyde to for the scheme, it does have a development agreement with the housing association for a different proposal on the same site.

Jon Rouse, Croydon chief executive

The earlier development agreement was for a much smaller leisure centre with no swimming pool and fewer homes. Croydon chief executive Jon Rouse, said the council was currently deciding whether to try to proceed with the earlier development. He said: “relations are still good with Hyde and we’re continuing to talk to them.”

Rouse said it was also possible the council could try to fund the development itself, or take the scheme back out to the market again. “We’re already building council homes, so doing it ourselves is not out of the question,” he said.

Council leader Mike Fisher said Hyde's withdrawal was “disappointing.” He added: “we've now got a chance to look at how we might better meet some of the concerns we've heard from residents, including those worried about the density of the building.”

The council said in a statement it did not think the decision would cause a significant delay in the timetable for development of the scheme.

Ian Hagger, development director at Hyde, said: "Hyde is disappointed that the well publicised downturn in the housing market has put the proposed scheme under financial strain. However, we are liaising with Croydon council with regards to this project and will continue discussions to try and agree the best way forward.

"As an established local development partner we are committed to working with the council to realise opportunities to regenerate and revitalise communities within the borough."