London

Former Catford Greyhound Stadium to be redeveloped

Derelict Catford Stadium
Image caption Catford Stadium has been empty for the past 10 years

The former Catford Stadium is to be turned into more than 500 homes, the Mayor of London has announced.

The historic greyhound track in south London closed in 2003 after years of falling attendances.

Boris Johnson said the £117m redevelopment, by Barratt Homes, would create more than 1,000 jobs, on the assumption of two jobs for each home.

He said 113 of the 589 properties would be for "affordable rent", and 60 would be earmarked for shared ownership.

Image caption Mr Johnson said there was "unprecedented demand" for housing

The 4.7 hectare site was owned by leisure group Wembley when it was a greyhound track, before being acquired by English Partnerships in 2004. It was destroyed by fire the following year.

The land was transferred to the Greater London Authority last year under the Localism Act.

Mr Johnson said London's "unbeatable allure" meant "unprecedented demand for housing".

He added: "The transformation of Catford Dogs, which for the last decade has been left empty and unused, will not only bring hundreds of new homes to the heart of London, but will feed into the wider regeneration of Catford Town Centre."

The mayor said the redevelopment would make the area "an even better place to live" and inject new jobs and growth "into one of the capital's key opportunity areas".

Catford Stadium was founded in 1932 and attracted large crowds until the legalisation of betting shops in 1961, which hit attendances at tracks throughout the country.

Work on the development is expected to start by early 2014 and be completed by 2017.

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