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New Addington is an area in the London Borough of Croydonmarker. It is a large local authority estate surrounded by open countryside, woodland and golf courses. The Prime Meridian crosses the eastern edge of New Addington.

The eastern edge of New Addington itself follows the line of the Londonmarker to Lewesmarker Roman road.

History

Until the 1930s, the area now known as New Addington was farmland and woodland in the southeast of the ancient parish of Addingtonmarker. The farms were called Castle Hill, Addington Lodge and Fisher's Farms. At the time, central Croydon and London more generally had overcrowded slums causing concern to the authorities. In 1935, the First National Housing Trust purchased 569 acres (2.3 km²) of Fisher's Farm with the intention of erecting a 'Garden Village', with 4,400 houses, shops, two churches, cinema, and village green. The Chairman of the Trust was Charles Boot, hence the earliest part of New Addington is sometimes called The Boot's Estate.

By 1939, when the outbreak of World War II suspended construction, 1023 houses and 23 shops had been built. The new estate was popular, but the provision of amenities had not kept pace with the house building. Only one of the proposed schools and few of the shops were in operation. For employment, decent shopping and entertainment, the residents had to travel off the estate. This heralded a long history of isolation for the estate, then nicknamed Little Siberiamarker, partly remedied 60 years later with the arrival of Tramlinkmarker route 3, discussed in the 'Regeneration' section below. Tramlink runs alongside Lodge Lane, the main (northern) road access. There is only one other point of access by road, where King Henry's Drive connects with minor roads to the south, leaving the area with a sense of detachment unlike any other community of a similar size in south-east England.

After the War, there were concerns about the amount of green space being used for building around London. Much of the countryside around the developing estate was declared Green Belt. The County Borough of Croydon bought the unused First National Housing Trust land and a further 400 acres (1.6 km²) to add to it, for extensive further development. This was more development than had been originally envisaged and brought about the structure of the estate as seen today. Many more houses, blocks of flats, the Central Parade of shops, churches and factories were built. The London Borough of Croydon obtained permission for a further 1,412 houses, which were completed in 1968. This area, at the Croydon end, is known as the Fieldway Estate and has developed its own identity to an extent. The total population counted by the 2001 Census was 21,527, of which 10,351 were in New Addington ward, with 11,176 in Fieldway ward.

Reputation

New Addington has had a mixed press over the years. Its isolation has perversely given it a strong sense of community and independence. The Croydon Advertiser publishes a separate New Addington edition. The presence of the library, youth clubs, leisure centre, shops, churches and street market enables locals to lead full lives in many ways. The Addington Community Association has provided an important hub for the community. However, the distance from Croydon and other centres, with only patchy bus services, prevented New Addington residents from being able to access a full range of employment and educational facilities or indeed shops. Educational and health standards were low, with a high number of teenage mothers, particularly in Fieldway. Additionally, New Addington has suffered from a bad reputation in the neighbouring areas because of a spate of anti-social behaviour and gang violence involving youths on the estate from the 1970s to the present, as well as the perceived poor standard of schools.

Regeneration

Beginning in the late 1990s, there has been an improvement in quality of life in and perception of New Addington and Fieldway. The area was declared one of the first Education Action Zones by the Labour government, with extra investment and opportunities for partnership for schools. The majority of the houses were bought by their tenants, which some say has led to renewed pride in their properties and community. The London Borough of Croydon increased its investment in the remaining housing stock and in the leisure and youth facilities. It also organised a neighbourhood partnership for the estate which local people lead to hold public institutions to account.

But perhaps the most important improvement was the arrival of Tramlinkmarker (route 3) in 2000, providing a connection with Croydonmarker and Wimbledonmarker in a little over 20 minutes, and from there connections to central London. This provided the opportunity of a greater choice of schools and jobs. Several 'feeder' bus routes were also introduced to connect with Tramlink, along with general enhancement to bus services in the area. More recently the Octagon Cyber Café has been opened by the London Borough of Croydon, although Tescomarker closed its supermarket and Lidl have bought, closed down and have demolished the Cunningham pub, one of six in New Addington and Fieldway, for redevelopment. The remaining public houses are the Man on the Moon, The Warbank, The ACA, The British Legion and the Randall Tavern.

New Addington is still surrounded by open space, woodland and golf courses, including some important chalk downland sites. It is on the top of a hill and its temperature can be noticeably colder on the estate than in surrounding lower areas, lending a meteorological justification to the 'Little Siberia' epithet.

Politics

Politically, New Addington and Fieldway have traditionally been Labour strongholds, providing the only five Labour councillors out of 70 in the London Borough of Croydon between 1982 and 1986. Four of the last six leaders of the Labour Party on Croydon Council have been councillors representing the estate, including Geraint Davies, the area's former Member of Parliament, and Val Shawcross, now a London Assembly member. In 2006 the two wards of Fieldway and New Addington had two Labour councillors each, both wards seeing strong challenges from the British National Party. These wards are unusual as being two of the very few in Greater Londonmarker that do not have three councillors each - the Boundary Commission could not find a way to make this standard fit in the isolated New Addington estate. The wards of New Addington and Fieldway represent turnout to both local and general elections in the lowest 10th percentile in the United Kingdom, highlightling the popularity of the aforementioned party and the independent nominee, Alfred Hunstanton Cheadle, who in 1994 narrowly lost his deposit when representing the Make Fieldway Safe party. New Addington has the highest rate of spoilt ballot papers per capita in the South or England.

Facilities

The Anglican parish church of New Addington is St Edward's church at the end of Central Parade, built in 1957. Fieldway however is part of Addington parish, under the 11th-century St Mary the Blessed Virgin church in Addington village. There are also a Baptist church, the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic church, the Salvation Army and several other smaller places of worship.

Although most of the rest of Croydon has the London telephone dialling code '020', New Addington has the Orpingtonmarker code for BT customers of '01689'. In recent years, cable telephone providers have entered the estate, using 020. New Addington is in the CR0marker postal district, the largest in the country.

Since the beginning of 2006, Croydon Council have started consultation with the local community with a view to regenerating the Central Parade Shopping district and bringing in a partner to develop new housing and a Supermarket retail outlet.

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