Even by the oh-so-low standards of consultations which the Croydon public have learned to endure (how about the Selhurst Park expansion consultation last week that didn’t mention the five houses that would have to be bulldozed?), the latest effort from consultants working on behalf of the Queen’s Hotel in Crystal Palace has managed to plumb new depths.
As Inside Croydon reported last October, it took the votes of two Labour councillors on the Town Hall planning committee to side with local residents and overturn the recommendations of the council planning officials, and make planning chair Paul Scott go even redder in the face, by blocking an application from Euro Hotels to make their big old hotel on Church Road into a 530-room low-rent mega-hostel.
As well as being opposed by a local residents’ association and ward councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, objections to the original scheme were also posted by Croydon North MP, Steve Reed OBE.
But the redevelopment could make the hotel owners many millions, and as predicted four months ago, they’re already back with what appear to be barely “revised” proposals. They want to test the water with the planning committee with a pre-application presentation at the Town Hall tomorrow night.
Ahead of that, the hotel’s consultants staged a couple of public sessions for residents to get an idea of what the revisions to the plan include.
Not that they tried too hard to engage with the public.
According to Labour councillors who attended the public consultation yesterday, “only 300 residents contacted for such a significant site”.
Held in a venue that had no disabled access, the developers told Councillor Stephen Mann that they had invited local councillors from Upper Norwood ward.
The Queen’s Hotel happens to be in South Norwood ward. Or “#Doh”, as Labour’s ward Twitter account added to its commentary on the underwhelming efforts of the developers’ consultants.
Residents who had got the message that there was a consultation session and then gone along remained unimpressed by what one described as “the massive over-development”.
Another said that the “… plans are still far too huge and overwhelming for nearby residents, who would live in its shadow”, with concerns about more traffic congestion in the conservation area still high.
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