NEW designs for the redevelopment of the council's former Taberner House headquarters site - extending Queen's Gardens and doubling the number of affordable homes - have been revealed.
The rethink by applicant Croydon Council Urban Regeneration Vehicle (CCURV) – a partnership between the council and developers, John Laing – is a result of concerns raised by the Labour administration after it gained control of the authority in May.
Pre-planning application proposals will be presented to a meeting of the council's planning committee on Wednesday.
It is being stressed by planning officers that the new designs are at a very early stage and a lot of work still needs to be done by CCURV before a formal application is submitted.
The new design has been described by Councillor Alison Butler, the cabinet member for homes and regeneration, as "a significant improvement".
Original plans for a 420-home development in five blocks, the highest being 32-storeys was approved by the council in May.
The new scheme also envisages 420 homes but the number of blocks will be reduced to four.
It is planned to drop the original six-storey block from the scheme, allowing a reconfiguration of Queen's Gardens providing 9,654 sq metres of accessible public space, an increase of just over 1,000 sq metres on the approved scheme.
To allow for the homes which disappear from the block, the preliminary idea is to increase the height of the two nine-storey blocks to ten and 15 storeys and the 13-storey block to 16 storeys.
No changes are planned for the 32-storey building, although the committee report says CCURV is anxious to use the pre-application process to help push for early delivery of the tower, which will provide all private rented homes. The existing development would have contained 15 per cent affordable housing.
The revised scheme would involve the applicant "aiming to provide" 30 per cent affordable housing across the site, in line with the Labour council's policy.
The committee report indicates this total will still be "subject to financial viability testing".
Cllr Butler said: "While these new designs will still need to go through the planning process and be properly assessed, we are confident they represent a significant improvement.
"We also hope the new proposals double the amount of much needed affordable housing in the scheme, which is a major part of the regeneration Croydon is set to see in the coming years."
She added: "These new designs will save Queen's Gardens and ensure that the new development offers a larger amount of green space.
"These important changes to the designs mean this open space can now be retained and enjoyed by all members of the community."