A former deputy leader of the council is demanding that Croydon’s planning department should withhold permission for Menta Redrow’s latest luxury flats development scheme on Cherry Orchard Road, unless or until they make good on six-year-old promises to allow the Bridge To Nowhere at East Croydon Station to be completed on the Addiscombe side of the railway tracks.
“Residents want this link and they want it now,” said Jerry Fitzpatrick, a barrister and former Labour councillor in Addiscombe ward.
Today is the deadline for public responses to the planning application by Menta Redrow, who have replaced their original scheme for a 55-storey residential block with two “turgid towers”.
The scheme has already been criticised as architecturally dull, poorly designed to avoid creating a wind tunnel effect, and only providing 15 per cent affordable housing within its 445 “executive apartments”. The developers claim that this is because the scheme would otherwise not be financially viable. Yet they have withheld their financial viability report from the public consultation.
Redrow is one of Britain’s most successful building companies, making huge profits. According to the company’s own figures, they have this year reported record profits, up 23 per cent on the previous 12 months, with pre-tax profits at £250million off group revenues of £1.4billion. They say that they have had an operating margin of 19 per cent.
But what they haven’t managed to do is fulfil an agreement with the council, Transport for London and Network Rail, to allow access to the land that they own on the eastern side of the railway at East Croydon for the completion of the access bridge which spans the station platforms and, in theory so far, offers a pedestrian route from Addiscombe to Dingwall Road and central Croydon.
The £24million bridge has been left hanging for five years because of the developers’ intransigence – earning it the title from Inside Croydon of “The Bridge To Nowhere”.
In a formal objections lodged with the council planning department, Fitzpatrick has written, “The developer has given no time-scale for the completion of the pedestrian link, aptly known as ‘The bridge to nowhere’ in its current sawn-off configuration. The council should require the developer to complete the link forthwith.
“The residents of East Croydon have now waited since 2011 for the developer to complete the pedestrian link. If permission for the building of ‘Morello 2’ is granted , the developer is likely to defer constructing the link until they have built the flats, should permission be given for this.
“The construction of Morello 1 took five years from the granting of permission, and the building of three further blocks (including the block on the eastern side of Cherry Orchard Road) is likely to take a further five years.
“Residents want this link and they want it now.”
- You can object to the planning objections by emailing Development.Management@croydon.gov.uk, quoting the planning application number 17/05046/FUL
- View the planning application for the turgid towers by clicking here
- And click here to read the application to, finally, provide the bridge link from the East Croydon Bridge to Nowhere
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