Massive 247-flat scheme proposed for Purley Station site

Developers with ties to the Croydon Establishment move in on suburban town centre with a proposal for five blocks of flats that would cover the pitch at Wembley Stadium three times over

Massive mansions: the proposed blocks backing on to Purley Station would dwarf most other nearby buildings

Purley town centre, already the site of dozens of developments of blocks of flats, is now facing a proposal to build 247 flats on the railway station car park, which would also require the demolition of 14 terraced houses along Whytecliffe Road.

A final decision on the massive development – involving five blocks of up to nine storeys, backing on to the railway lines – has been delayed because of the multiple cancellations of Croydon Council planning meetings. There is a planning meeting due to be held tonight, which will be the first to take place since April 22 – 10 weeks ago. The Whytecliffe Road scheme is not on tonight’s agenda.

The planning application has been made on behalf of three development companies, RAA Ventures Ltd, V Fund and Regent Land and Developments Ltd, a South Croydon-based business.

The same three companies collaborated two years ago to secure planning permission for 39 flats on nearby Whytecliffe Road North, which Regent Land described at the time as “the first part of future plans for the development of the area”.

Cosy: Regent Land are sponsors of the Croydon Business Awards

They weren’t joking.

Regent Land are in the middle of overseeing a major development on Surrey Street in central Croydon, including the former Matthew’s Yard site, which they are calling Beamhouse Yard.

They are also repeat sponsors of the Croydon Business Awards, a cosy little piss-up organised annually by Croydon Council’s favourite PR company, Grey Label.

But Regent Land’s latest Purley project, it is reasonable to state, dwarfs everything they have so far proposed in this borough.

The flats in the proposed development could have an estimated sales value of more than £80million.

Purley gates: the development site is massive – the size of three Wembley football pitches

The council considered a pre-application notification last September, when councillors raised concerns about the then proposed 10-storey building.

The revised plans lop just a single storey off the blocks’ maximum height, even though the developers’ paperwork brazenly quotes from the 2018 Croydon Local Plan, which requires that developments within Purley District Centre should “complement the existing prominent building heights of three to eight storeys”.

The scheme has four “mansion blocks”, which have six storeys facing Whytecliffe Road, increasing to nine storeys backing on to the railway. There is also a fifth, five-storey building. In total, the development covers 21,000 sqm – the size of three Wembley football pitches.

With this development evenn more than most, as it is using the railway station’s car park, parking has been a key consideration. The developers propose 192 car parking spaces, 175 of which would be for people using Purley Station, where there are currently 195. Of the remaining 17 spaces, 15 of those will be reserved for blue badge-holders living in the blocks, while the rest of the residents of 247 new homes will have two spaces between the members of a car club.

Quoting from the Paul Scott playbook, the developers state, “Intensification…” of Purley, “is witnessed through the marriage of many plots, providing opportunity for an up-lift in density and development.” It can only be assumed that the developers came up with this guff before they realised that Scott had been sacked from the planning committee.

The application has attracted nearly 90 objections on the council planning portal. Click here to see the extensive paperwork for yourself.

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9 Responses to Massive 247-flat scheme proposed for Purley Station site

  1. Ian Ross says:

    Another monster to flood yet more into an already overcrowded town. Parking is the most obvious and glaring inadequacy. Unless there is a strict and strictly enforced ban on vehicle ownership this will strew yet more cars over the area.
    Where are all the people for this “much needed” housing coming from?

  2. Lewis White says:

    This seems to be another example of too many big and bulky (but not high rise) new buildings , with far too little open space, bursting out of the plot.

    The site is on the higher side of the road, and will look like a cliff face of buildings, even though the upper storeys are set back, which I do acknowldge , is far better than a single face from street to roof. But it needs to be much lower, to equate to the height of the buildings on the opposite (lower) side of the road, with big gaps between the buildings to let the light through to them and to the street in between.

    People objected to the Purley Tower because it was “too tall”. I only objected because of the blank-looking top floor lurking darkly behind the outsized verticality of the concrete portal goalposts on top, which will make it look taller than it really is, and drawing attention to the imprisoned trees that in theory will grow happily in the windswept gaps between the portal frame.

    What the Purely Baptist redevelopment has done is to have one high rise, and more low rise buildings. It succeeds in respecting the scale of adjacent buildings by “stepping down” the height of new blocks along the Brighton Road, and on Banstead Road, to meet the listed Library and not dominate it. Praise to the architect,client and developer on that. . Meanwhile, as I noted in a recent Inside Croydon comment, surprise, surprise, the poor old Library now finds itself dominated by a new massive neighbour from hell– to its North side ! A truly whopping brick faced square block. A bully of a block, with zilch new landscape setting, and no green street frontage interface between the huge block and Foxley Lane’s extreme East end.

    These proposed blocks on the Purley Station car park look a bit better as individuals, but the site can not take 4 of this outsize bulk. Could it not be two of the big ones, linked with two lower ones, and each block separated with a landscaped gap–to let the sunlight in. That’s would still provide a good amount of accommodation, and give more greening for those who live there to enjoy, and those who live opposite, to view and be glad for. I would rather see a variation in height.

    But the existing 4 blocks wihout spaces are a cynical over-development . Out of scale , dominating, overwhelming, and blocking out ALL the morning sun from the street. I do hope that the Planning Committee reject the application, and request a re-design.

  3. Anthony Mills says:

    I don’t understand the objections. When detached large house sites in the ”leafy glades” suburban roads are filled with 9-homes developments there are howls of protest at descrating the idyllic landscape – with homes that are beyond the reach of 90% of the population replacing those beyond the reach of 99% of the population. Yet when there’s a development of a site that is ideal for moderately dense housing, the main and over-riding regret and failure to me is that they are not ALL properly social housing, none of the nonsense of ”affordable” [which at 80% of market rent they are not, by most], It is as good location as could be found locally for those who can’t afford cars and need public transport most. There are 220,000 homeless families in temporary accomodation in London and it is a disgrace that developments like this are not wholly devoted to alieviating that distress.

    • Agree with you up to a point, and this “mansion”-style development of itself seems better than many (and parking? There will be a similar of number of station spaces as now; the developers just want to save themselves some cash by not providing spaces for their residents, a common ploy).

      But the problem is that this is just the latest of many developments in the immediate vicinity which are changing the suburban character. The residents know, and live with, that. The planning department deals with each application on an individual basis, backed up by a Local Plan under which Paul Scott increased the targets for housing in the area unnecessarily (apart from for his profit-hungry developer and architect mates) by one-third.

      A handful of larger developments, using brown field sites such as this scheme, or the Purley Tower (which MP Philp objected to, but which the Tory government minister found entirely acceptable) could be more tolerable were it not for the wrecking of suburban streets and neighbourhoods by the destruction of family homes for block after block of eight or nine flats, which local developers find so profitable and Croydon’s planning department – which its cosy relationship with some of the builders – rarely resist or exercise proper planning controls over.

      The real question in all of this is: where are the council homes for social rent?

  4. Hazel swain says:

    why should Purley be spared what the rest of South and Central Croydon are having to put up with despite objections ?

  5. D. Nicholls says:

    This development should be rejected on the simple ground that it will worsen air quality in the area. The fact is that the quality of air in an area is influenced by the volume of economic activity by the residents. Increasing the number of residents will therefore worsen air quality. London is full up and unworkable. People and their jobs need to be moved out.

  6. Mel says:

    I don’t think Inside Croydon are positive about any development. Times change. More houses are needed. Why is it such a problem that developers make money? It must be hard work and involves a lot of upfront cash. Of course they should make a gain. Surely any homeowner wouldn’t want houses to be built and sold for a pittance as it would devalue their own home. Im fed up of seeing article and post after post on social media about developments and how terrible they are. Get over it!!! Your home was a development at some point. London is expanding and Croydon being a London borough will not have the pretty suburb look forever. If you don’t like it move further out the city.

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