Planning committee rejects The Ship application for third time

Croydon Council faces a legal challenge, after its planning committee last night refused permission for the development of The Ship pub in South Norwood – for a third time. The fall-out from the Town Hall meeting could also represent the first serious test of the Labour-run council’s landlord licensing scheme.

An asset of community value: The Ship pub in South Norwood

An asset of community value: The Ship pub in South Norwood

Members of the planning committee may also be having some strong words in private with council employees, who failed to take any enforcement action against the property owner who last year went ahead and converted parts of the property into seven flats, which have been rented out since.

Indeed, council officers spent the past six months working with the property owner to re-submit the planning application for retrospective permission.

That application for planning permission – following two previous refusals – was refused last night, to the delight of a group of South Norwood residents, who want to re-open the pub as an Asset of Community Value, which would give it protected status from future speculative development.

The Ship is a 160-year-old pub on South Norwood High Street, which closed its doors as a local boozer in 2014.

The Save The Ship campaigners are trying to raise £200,000 towards the cost of re-opening the pub as a community-run business, along similar lines to the successful Hope pub in Carshalton.

The future of the seven tenants in the illegal conversion of The Ship seems uncertain. Their landlord could also be one of the first to be pursued by Croydon Council under its new landlord licensing scheme, which attempts to ensure that private rented property is up to certain minimum standards.

According to one Save the Ship campaigner at last night’s Town Hall planning meeting, “We feel sorry for the tenants but they will now have to move out. The properties don’t have sufficient ventilation and are not up to building standard.

“The owner also faces a fine as his application for a landlord licence will be refused due to the flats not meeting building regulations.

“We will again write to the developer with an offer regarding purchasing The Ship building.

“It’s been a long struggle but this refusal represents a turning point. Even I am shocked at how quickly this joker got his appeal in. We need to expose him as the pub-wrecking, community-destroying, rapacious developer that he is.”

Last year, the developer’s agent, Ehsan Amouzandeh, had claimed to be acting on behalf of “an old lady” who had made the investment for her pension. Then, Amouzandeh said his client would be willing to listen to any financial offers by groups wanting to keep The Ship as a pub.


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2 Responses to Planning committee rejects The Ship application for third time

  1. Well-well illegal conversions and Planning enforcement failing to act where have we seen this before and remaining the but left to affect the legal residents from the poor illegal conversion work undertaken by a Leaseholder who as the lease to two, yes two Council control flats on Handcroft Road Estate. A Leaseholder (Landlord) of a two bedroom property in Rodney Close and another in Renown Close on Handcroft Road Estate that’s is a Council owned estate with Council tenants and Leaseholders decided first to convert his two bed Rodney Close flat to make two separate flats (without permission) and he repeated same in identical property in Renown Close the latter being three years ago. He messed with utilities supplies and communal heating pipes and waste pipes to create his nice dell-boy earner despite all the breach of planning laws and Fire Regulations and damaged caused to other residents flats and communal hallways and complaints made regarding illegal conversion and being asked to place both properties back to original size and state properties both remain illegal and guess he not paying two separate Council tax and two Services charges for the one converted in to two. The Council have the legal power to apply to Court to get back the lease of the properties and or repair flats back to original state before illegal conversion including in matters of Public Safety and Health and protection of the building to meet all current legal laws to Close and Seal the property and make it safe for all its other tenants and leaseholder. But not Croydon and question as to be asked WHY?

  2. derekthrower says:

    So the Ship’s so called “conversion” does not even comply with accepted standards of building regulation. Despite this the Council’s Planning Department co-operated and represented a developer who has not even bothered to meet any level of regulation they are supposed to meet in a large scale development. They appear to have began to act “ultra vires” and started making policy by themselves without oversight. This may be due to lack of policy leadership from the Council’s elected members, but does demonstrate a drift into an area of moral hazard. This along with other issues of conflict of interest should start alarm bells ringing about their conduct.

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