Cross-party criticism of Menta’s mental 53-storey plan

The "Mental" Tower: 499 flats proposed with wonderful views over the main London-Brighton railway tracks

A local Tory MP has expressed “serious concerns” over the latest planning application from property speculators developers Menta for the Cherry Orchard Road site, with a 53-storey residential skyscraper as its centrepiece close to East Croydon station.

Gavin Barwell, Tory MP for Croydon Central, has appealed to his constituents to look into Menta’s planning application, filed earlier this month, and to lodge their own comments. But while Barwell, who was a Croydon councillor until last year, concedes the scheme is “an improvement on the previous one”, Lord Ashcroft’s former bag man is unusually scathing of the project.

Barwell echoes criticisms already raised by Inside Croydon and other local websites when he says of the revised proposals “serious concerns remain, most notably about the height of the main building, which is wholly out of character with the surrounding two-storey residential housing; the lack of parking spaces and the likely consequent impact on parking in the surrounding area; and the impact on local services of an additional 500 families living in the area.”

You can view the proposals for yourself, and add your own comments, by clicking here.

Barwell joins local Addiscombe Labour councillors and Selhurst councillor Timothy Godfrey in condemning Menta’s proposals, as well as the developers’ somewhat premature, unapproved demolition of the existing buildings on the site, using the flimsiest of pretences.

The ever-insightful Croydon Future site has this week offered a dystopian outlook of what Croydon might be like in just four years in the council cravenly acquiesces to the demands of the multi-billionaire property speculators over the longer term interests of residents and local businesses.

Commenting on the post, Godfrey describes the council’s handling of developments such as Menta’s, and the use of public money for the provision of a pedestrian bridge for private profit, as a “scandal”.

“I can see no rational argument for super tall residential towers,” says the councillor.

Godfrey criticises the past five years’ planning policy as “basically privatised planning by developing policy through Masterplans that work with ‘stakeholders’ or in real language ‘developers’ to come up with a planning framework that they can all agree to and then submit a compliant planning application”.

Godfrey also expresses his concerns over likely plans for the Selhurst Park site, where developers are believed to be eyeing another hypermarket development and a massive residential development, the size of the existing main stand outline.

“The love of Grand Projects runs like a disease through our town councillors and senior council officers,” Godfrey says.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Addiscombe West, Cherry Orchard Gardens, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell, Housing, Timothy Godfrey. Bookmark the permalink.

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