This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 04/08/2018.
Public anger that so many new flats are being built in Purley
Residents have written to the council asking it stop allowing so many existing single homes to be demolished and replaced with scores of flats.
Unhappy residents in Purley have complained to Croydon Council about the number of flats being built in the east of the town.
Homeowners living in Oakwood Avenue, Purley Hill, Selcroft Road, Riddlesdown Road and Grasmere Road asked the council to reconsider its position on building flats in Purley ahead of a planning committee meeting on Thursday (August 2).
“We write with regard to the recent spate of high density residential developments approved for construction in East Purley that requires the destruction of of existing properties and we request that the council reconsider their current position,” said the letter.
But the council’s director of planning Heather Cheeseborough said the letter was similar to others received in the past that the council has responded to.
She told the committee that council officers had met with members of residents associations’ in February and would be happy to meet with them again.
Ms Cheeseborough added: “The fact that some applications are sometimes submitted with inaccuracies does not mean that the application should be refused.
“Planning officers are skilled at interrogating documents and can make a judgement on whether inaccuracies are material or not.
“The planning division takes the consideration of applications extremely seriously and careful consideration is taken on every occasion.”
At the meeting councillors approved the demolition of a bungalow in Grasmere Road. It will be replaced with a three-storey building containing eight flats and four parking spaces, which will be built by Sterling Rose Homes.
Thomas Allport lives next door and said he and his wife to be will consider leaving the borough to raise a family because of the development.
“It’s a genuine shame that young couple looking to add back to the borough and raise a family are being pushed out of the area,” he added.
Councillor Jason Perry admitted that a lack of parking and the fact the flats would overlook existing properties could be issues.
He said: “It is very clear that the surrounding area is semi-detached properties so I think in reality the bungalow is out of character with the locality and therefore to come forward with a pair of [semi-detached] houses would fit in.
“I think what we’ve got here from a design perspective looks like a pair of semi-detached houses. I think it will look OK with the street scheme.
“I think it’s a shame we are losing the opportunity to create good-sized family homes [though].
“I think the other thing [is that] because it is a number of flats there it’s going to be 24-plus people living here and 10 or so cars.”
But Councillor Chris Clark said the development will provide much-needed homes.
He said: “I think this is a very sympathetic design that reflects the buildings around it and improves the street scene.
“The key thing for me is that there are going to be two new family homes within the development.
Another plan to build a three-storey building made up of nine flats on the site of a house in Purley Hill was also discussed and approved at the meeting.