‘Sneaky’ plan for ‘vandalism on a grand scale’ in Addiscombe

Another day, another planning application which residents fear will destroy a characterful Victorian house, replacing it with a bland brick block of flats. This time, the proposals have been described as “sneaky” and “vandalism on a grand scale”.

275 Addiscombe Road as it appears today. A proposed ‘extension’ has been described as ‘vandalism’

A planning application for 275 Addiscombe Road was originally submitted last October, but has been amended more recently.

This is not the usual knock-down-a-grand-family-home-and-build-flats-in-its=place scheme, though. The revised scheme has been presented to the council planning department as a “mere” “Basement extension, two storey front, side and rear extension and roof extension”.

The reality is somewhat different. In fact, the “extension” will remove the grand Victorian turrets at each corner of 275 Addiscombe Road, and but for leaving some of the original walls standing, will effectively deliver a new-build block of five two-bed-roomed flats.

You can view the planning documents for the scheme, reference 19/05575/HSE, by clicking here.

275 Addiscombe Road was until recently the long-term home of the Ashworth family. It is believed to have been built in the 1880s. It was sold in July last year for £1.2million.

ASPRA, the Addiscombe and Shirley Park Residents’ Association, is on the case, but they fear that their intervention alone will not be enough to save what is a genuinely interesting local heritage building. Its twin was demolished nearly 40 years ago, and ASPRA are worried that if 275 goes, another part of their area’s character will be stripped away forever.

ASPRA members describe the proposals as “greedy vandalism on a grand scale”, and “a 80 per cent sneaky demolition of the complete building apart from a few straight walls”.

The application’s architects drawings make the proposals plain.

The building would go from this:

Architect’s drawing of how 275 appears today

To this:

Spot the difference…

The house has no listing or preservation status, so is vulnerable to profit-hungry developers. Clearly, in this case, the developers have decided to address any possible sensibilities about demolishing a heritage building by dressing up their proposal as simply an extension.

As one ASPRA member told Inside Croydon today, “This is a historic house of the most lovely and unusual design. To my mind, this has always been the most beautiful house in the area. It may have fallen into some disrepair of late, but nonetheless stands as an inspired and inspirational architectural gem, unique in the area and a bastion of imaginative design, aspiration and loveliness.

ASPRA members have put up signs to warn of the impending demolition

“The well-established gardens, too, were modelled on those at historic country houses, with large conservatories, thoughtful landscaping and planting.

“Now it seems that this wonderful building is under threat to developers, who, it seems, are not intending even to preserve the quirky turrets, towers and period details that are all part of its unique charm.

“Surely this building must be deserving of some sort of historic, heritage or distinguished architectural recognition? Can it be preserved and protected under the Local Heritage Area designation or buildings of special local interest?”


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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3 Responses to ‘Sneaky’ plan for ‘vandalism on a grand scale’ in Addiscombe

  1. whitgiftavenue says:

    What are the odds of the developer carrying on regardless and then quietly being granted retrospective planning permission 18 months later? There are examples of this happening all over the Borough, even in conservation areas such as Upper Norwood. For whatever the reason, be it lack of resources or inclination, planning enforcement in Croydon is a joke and developers know it.

  2. People should think twice about opposing the scheme. The developer could otherwise demolish the building under Class B, Part 11 Schedule 2 of the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (by providing a demolition statement and appropriately presented restoration plans) and then neighbours would have limited say and the Council could only refuse the demolish on very specific grounds or it will be overturned on appeal. So perhaps seek solutions other than to downright object to the development,

  3. Lewis White says:

    Quirky, interesting existing building, albeit the street frontage is less unified than the West side. Bland, very boring proposal. Surely, it would be possible to retain much of the building, and the wonderful turrets, but enlarge it in the same style?

    Not really sure how Mr Putin’s suggestion could bring about a better building. Could the planners really negotiate such a massive change ?.

    Thank you, Inside Croydon, for spotlighting this building at risk. Let’s hope that a large number of Loyal readers submit their views via the planning website to which you provided a link, albeit that the gremlins had stopped it working when I tried it. Am sending my response in , nonetheless, tomorrow morning.

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