Developers Menta Redrow are marketing £499,000 flats from a shed alongside East Croydon Station that doesn’t have planning permission, after the cheque to pay the application fee bounced. WALTER CRONXITE reports on the development’s latest controversy
An application for permission for a temporary sales office for the multi-million-pound luxury apartments development on Cherry Orchard Road goes before the council’s planning committee next week – months after the Portakabin-style shed was plonked down at the corner of the busy entrance to East Croydon Station.
The shed has drawn fierce criticism from one Addiscombe councillor, who describes it as “an eyesore, and an affront to local residents”, and who claims that it is proof that the existing granted planning application for the site is not sustainable.
Delay in the process has been caused by the cheque to accompany the planning application having bounced.
Or “was returned by the bank”, according to a source at Croydon Council’s offices.
Payment for the planning application is estimated will have cost just a few hundred pounds. It was not banked by the council until last week, around two months late. Despite the delays in making the application and the payment, Croydon Council has not taken any enforcement action against the site’s developers, Menta Redrow.
The lovingly landscaped shed, or “marketing suite”, as the developers prefer it to be known, is the base from which Menta Redrow are busy flogging the luxury apartments in their “Amarelle” block, where a one-bed flat will set you back a cool £370,000 for a mere 534 sq ft of real estate.
Three-bed flats in another part of the development nearby are on the market from the developers for a thousand short of half a million pounds.
Documents seeking permission for “Erection of a single storey pavilion for temporary use as a sales and marketing suite with associated car parking and landscaping for a temporary period of 2 years ” at “Amarelle Apartments 41 Cherry Orchard Road” were originally drawn up on behalf of Redrow Homes in February this year, but were not submitted to Croydon Council until August. The carefully drawn architect’s drawings show the shed/marketing suite with two Porsche 911s parked outside…
The application for the marketing shed has attracted objections, including what is believed to be the first reference in formal council planning documentation to “The Bridge to Nowhere” – the term devised by Inside Croydon for what has become a £22 million folly.
The property to the eastern side of the railway tracks, now being developed by a business trading as Menta Redrow, blocked Croydon Council and Network Rail from completing the access bridge at the north end of East Croydon Station, a publicly funded project which seems likely to increase the convenience, and therefore value, of the properties in the development.
But for almost four years, there has been no access to the bridge from the Cherry Orchard Road side as the tall and pricy Menta flats have been built.
The developers’ belated application for the marketing suite will be considered at a planning committee meeting next Thursday, together with strong objections from Labour councillor Sean Fitzsimons.
In his formal objections filed with the council’s planning department, Fitzsimons says, “It’s in breach of the current planning permission and conditions in regards this site granted previously to Menta. It is not an office block, or a 55-storey skyscraper, or delivers an entrance and bridge connection to East Croydon Station. It also delays the Council receiving its Section 106 money.
“As is common building practice, a marketing suite could have been incorporated into the Menta Redrow building, and can still be done.
“Good Meanwhile Use of this site has been curtailed and the site is underused to the detriment of the community. Boxpark across the tracks from this site shows how a site waiting for development can be used while waiting for permanent development to benefit of both the landowner and Croydon.
“It prevents the building of the new entrance and exit of the Bridge to Nowhere for the foreseeable future.
“It proves the existing granted application is not sustainable, as though house prices are at an all time high, the site is still not able to deliver the previously consented application.
“It’s an eyesore, and an affront to local residents.”
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