Next in the firing line for Macar Developments is a beautiful Arts and Crafts house on Coulsdon Court Road, which the developers want to destroy and replace with six small terraced houses.
The architecturally significant house was built as part of the Coulsdon Court Estate, around the nearby golf course, in the 1920s and 1930s.
Macar Developments are the profit-hungry builders whose director, Natalie Gentry, is married to a senior member of the council’s planning department, Ross Gentry. And the company seems to have few difficulties in pushing their various schemes through the Croydon planning process.
Macar are already building five houses and a block of four flats in the garden of the house on Coulsdon Court Road.
Residents have until July 19 to submit any comments – although for the second weekend in succession, the council’s planning portal appears to be “down”, for repairs or some such convenient excuse.
According to Coulsdon sources, the Arts and Crafts house was bought in March 2020 for a little under £2million. With its once large garden, local heritage groups reckon that the house now has an estimated value of less than £1million.
In the Affordable Housing Statement submitted to the council to help justify their development, Macar claim that, “The donor property was marketed for sale with Cubitt and West between October 2020 and February 2021, but there was very little interest and no reasonable offers.” Conveniently for them.
The sale of six terraced houses built in its place might expect to raise at least £3million. The development in the garden could generate another £3.5million in sales.
By the beginning of this week, the council had not published its pre-app advice for this proposal.
It’s unusual for developers not to wait for this pre-app advice – which includes the points which the council planners might suggest are less acceptable and need changing – before submitting their planning application.
It can’t possibly be because the developers have inside information from the council’s planning department, because that could never possibly happen. Perhaps Macar are just confident in their plans…
But as one concerned local has pointed out, “It’s also worth mentioning that if this goes through, Macar will have built 15 homes on one site without contributing a single unit towards the borough’s affordable housing stock. The required minimum is 30 per cent for sites with 10 or more units.”
Read more: #Macarnage: Planning officer’s ‘leaving present’ to Coulsdon
Read more: Purley residents outrage over planning’s ‘husband and wife act’
Read more: Questions tower over council’s husband and wife planning act
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