Fury as hospital developers bulldoze onwards at Higher Drive

Building site, but no planning permission: No 92 Higher Drive, with the builders in

There’s renewed outrage on Higher Drive, where despite Croydon Council rejecting a planning application to build a hospital in a residential area of Kenley, developers have gone ahead with work on the site.

Care home operators Fairlie got permission last year to develop 94 Higher Drive into a 30-bed High Dependency Unit, though only after appealling to the Planning Inspector. Secretly, they had also bought the neighbouring house at No92, but their scheme to rebuild that for a further 22-bed unit was rejected by Croydon’s planning committee.

Undeterred by that official snub, the builders have nevertheless set about demolishing the garage and conservatory at No92. Residents believe that by eliminating the boundary line between the two houses, the developers have bulldozed ahead with one merged building site for a 50-bed hospital, for which they have never sought any permission.

Yet despite the complaints and the lack of any permissions, Croydon Council say there is nothing that they can do.

Gina Pink, Croydon’s planning enforcement officer, has written to residents to say, “The demolition of the conservatory and garage do not require planning permission and can not be accepted as an intention to implement the refused planning application. We therefore can not pursue this matter any further.”

The council says it is also unable to act on the developers using No94 as the site office.

However, even before the planning hearing at the end of April, the developers had started to build a brick power plant – presumably for both No94 and No92 – and Croydon Council say they are  investigating whether this is in breach of planning regulations.

Meanwhile, long-suffering residents on Higher Drive are having to endure further disruption with another round of road works as electricity suppliers have dug up Higher Drive and surrounding streets to upgrade the power networking required by the creation of a 50-bed hospital.

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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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