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
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”.
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.
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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