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Croydon picks architects for council-led housing drive

Croydon 2020
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Pitman Tozer, Mikhail Riches, Stitch, Mae, vPPR, Coffey Architects and HTA have been chosen to deliver hundreds of new homes on council-owned sites across Croydon

The practices were selected by Croydon Council’s new private development company called Brick by Brick with each architect handed eight or nine schemes to deliver.

The authority’s recently set up in-house practice has also been given projects on some of the 50 plots around the south London borough.

As a non-contracting authority outside of the EU procurement regime, the development company claims ’it will be able to respond more quickly to new opportunities in the market place placing it on an equal competitive footing to other private sector developers’.

The council will remain the sole shareholder of Brick by Brick, however the company has been ’established as an independent commercial venture and acts separately from the council’.

The outfit does not directly employ staff, commissioning development management, design management and administrative services from the council. As an autonomous company it is also able to contract architects and other multi-disciplinary services from the private sector.

The company’s managing director and chief executive is Colm Lacey - who is also director of development for Croydon Council. He is responsible for the day-to-day running of Brick by Brick as well as securing funding, land acquisition and development management.

Lacey is joined on the company’s board by Lisa Taylor, the borough’s head of finance and two independent, non-executive directors Jayne McGivern and Jeremy Titchen. 

Lacey said: ’This structure allows the council to extract value from the core components of development activity - funding, building, selling - in a very efficient way. Traditionally such value would leak out of the borough.

’The Brick by Brick model maximises the return to Croydon residents, and allows the council to reinvest in core services at a time when other budgetary sources are constrained.’

The first planning applications are likely to be submitted this summer with a view to starting on site in 2017.

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