Croydon Council has torn up a deal with developers and taken full control of plans to redevelop the site of its former headquarters.

John Laing, the company that signed a 28-year agreement to work with the council on several major property projects, will no longer be involved in building 420 flats at the location of the now-demolished Taberner House.

Croydon Council’s Urban Regeneration Vehicle (CCURV), a joint venture which sees profits on such developments split equally with John Laing, secured planning permission for five towers at the site in May last year.

But the council has instead now established its own development company, which will have full control over the site and will submit a fresh planning application later this year.

It has brokered a deal with John Laing to remove Taberner House from CCURV, the cornerstone project of which was the council's new headquarters at Bernard Weatherill House. 

The council declined to provide details of the new agreement but said CCURV itself would continue.

Coun Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance, said: "By doing it ourselves through the development company we can achieve a triple win, which is more affordable housing, Queen's Gardens preserved and a much better financial outcome for the council.

"Basically we wanted to have a totally different approach to it and were prepared to get involved in a different way by taking an active approach."

Croydon Guardian:

Headquarters old and new: Taberner House, left, was demolished after Croydon Council moved into Bernard Weatherill House, right

Under the revised plans, the development will include 30 per cent affordable housing, up from 15 per cent. It will consist of four buildings instead of five, meaning less encroachment Queen's Gardens.

But contentious plans for a 32-storey tower will be retained.

The council has opened negotiations with a new developer over the project.

Coun Hall said: "CCURV was a structure put in place with one developer with a particular set of constraints, profit-sharing arrangements and so forth, and by taking it out of that and doing it ourselves it enables us to get a better deal at every level for the residents of Croydon.

"It has to do with profits but also flexibility in terms of how the site gets developed and retaining a long-term interest in some of the housing."

Coun Alison Butler, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, added: "With severe cuts in government funding, we have to look at innovative ways of generating revenue while providing essential public services.

"By taking a more proactive approach and delivering schemes through our development company, the council will be able to secure profit that would previously have gone elsewhere."

The council hopes construction on the site will begin in the first three months of next year and be completed by 2020. 

The floor-by-floor demolition of the 19-storey Taberner House was completed earlier this year.