Campaigners supporting Purley Pool are concerned that a council consultation process is laying the groundwork for redevelopment of the pool, car park and the former Sainsbury’s store.
The council’s “spatial” planning team has issued a circular inviting submissions from developers and residents with suggestions of how best to use council-owned buildings and sites.
The council letter says: “Croydon Council is inviting land owners, developers and other bodies to put forward sites in the London Borough of Croydon that they think should be allocated for development in the Council’s Joint Detailed Policies and Proposals Development Plan Document. However, it’s not just about development sites.
“The Council also wants to know if you think there are sites where the buildings should be kept but used for something different. Or perhaps there are sites that you think should be protected from development? What about space to accommodate the various uses that serve the borough’s growing population? Are there sites that could help provide open space and play space etc?”
Ken Whittick, of the Purley Pool campaign, said, “You will see from the letter that it is possible that our pool and car park could come under attack with suggestions that this site should be developed.
“The defence is in our own hands for we can argue that the pool and car park should be protected.
“The way you can help to do that is to fill in the form nominating the pool and car park as sites to be protected. You could say, as I will, that the Sainsbury store site should be developed and put in your own proposals for its development.”
In 2010, Purley Pool was given an undertaking by the council leader, Mike Fisher, that it will stay open until 2014. Its future thereafter seems uncertain: with new leisure centres to be opened in Waddon and Coulsdon, the facilities at Purley seem likely to be closed by Croydon Council on the grounds that it cannot afford the maintenance and running costs of three centres. The Purley site, in the centre of the town and close to the railway station, would seem to be attractive to developers, though the global economic downturn deterred bids in 2009-2010.
Anyone wishing to obtain a submission form for the Purley Pool site, or others within the borough, should contact the council’s Plan Making Team on 020 8407 1385 or email email@example.com. Forms need to be returned by April 2.
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