Higher Drive builders take scheme to planning hearing

The planning hearing for the site at Higher Drive in Purley takes place at the Town Hall tonight.

Building works in Higher Drive. Despite the lack of any planning permission, the diggers have moved in at No92 already

Our regular reader will know that while former video salesman John Whelan has obtained a strictly conditional planning consent for a 30-bed hospital at No92, his business actually wants to develop a £20 million-a-year high dependency unit of twice that size by also building on No94.

Yet they want to do this without making any proper provision for staff or visitor car parking, and with a questionable attitude towards what the planning inspector insisted should be a proper travel plan.

Councillor Steve O’Connell was moderate in his language when he described the Whelan scheme as “barmy”.

If any of the councillors on the panel had any doubts about the impact of the Fairlie House development on local residents, their lack of consideration for their neightbours, and their disrespect for the law and planning permissions, then perhaps they should take a look at some of these pictures, taken by residents in the past few weeks.

The developers' temporary traffic lights on Higher Drive. Did they ever get permission?

One shows the temporary traffic lights installed by the builders on Higher Drive, causing total traffic chaos. Questions have been asked whether this was done with any consultation or permission.

Even before the builders imposed their own traffic controls on Higher Drive, according to one resident, “There have been significant on-street parking problems from vehicles associated with the construction works which have led to pavements being completely blocked and more than one accident.”

Croydon Council even had to intervene, ordering the contractor to remove the cordons that had been placed along the roadside to re-open the pavement.

Residents have been busy putting up banners against the hospital development

There remains contractor vehicles lining both sides of the street and pavements, the pavement being blocked by trenching works and traffic often backed up.

The temporary traffic lights have now gone, but the developers’ arrogant attitude towards the residents, and the planning laws, remains.

Our top picture shows a digger parked in the garden of No94, despite the absence of any planning permission.

No94 is being used by the developers as the site office for the works going on at No92, again stretching the planning consent to the limit, and certainly treating the process with utter contempt.

It will be interesting to see what the council’s planning committee has to say tonight.

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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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