Addiscombe residents express fears over hostel environment

Residents around East Croydon Station are trying to organise concerted opposition to a planning application to convert a family home on Addiscombe Road into a 13-bedroom … yes, 13 … HMO, or home of multiple occupation.

At risk: residents fear that family homes being converted into HMOs will change the area along Addiscombe Road

Two of the rooms in the HMO proposals are less than 12 sqm in size. The hostel would be unstaffed and managed from offices in the East Midlands.

The local residents, who have the support of their Labour councillors in Addiscombe West ward who have called in the application for consideration by the council’s  planning committee, say that the proposal “poses an immediate threat to our community”.

In a flyer distributed around the neighbourhood, they say, “The area near East Croydon Station has a growing problem with street dealing and other drug crimes. The cramped and vulnerable resident will simply attract dealers and make it worse.”

The HMO has the potential to become the latest instance in which Croydon has, in recent times, “imported” social problems, as other local authorities and housing associations, from London and further afield, acquire properties in this borough to provide temporary housing for their residents.

Gutted: property developers want to turn this large family home into a 13-room hostel

The application for 51 Addiscombe Road has been made in a deliberate effort to bypass normal residential standards.

The Addiscombe residents say that Croydon Council already regards HMOs as often being the cause of anti-social behaviour and noise issues, creating problems around litter and the management of refuse, while providing overcrowded and cramped living conditions.

“The development is of such a poor standard that the 13 transient residents of its cramped conditions, and their visitors, will spend much of their time in neighbouring streets,” the residents claim.

“They, and the wider community, will be further targeted by drug dealers who are a known and increasing problem in our area.”

This, the Addiscombe residents claim, risks “radically changing the area”.

They say, “The current mixed housing requires some larger family homes. Previously settled residents of the few remaining unconverted houses in Addiscombe Road will be driven by the above threats to leave in whatever ever way they can. These houses will no longer be viable as family homes and their owners will be forced to seek further development given the loss in value of their main asset.”

Cramped: the developers’ plans show how cramped some rooms will be

They complain that they have had only “very general, brief promises” of how the HMO and its residents will be managed. “While the scheme has obviously been in development for many months, its true nature has been kept secret from neighbours and the wider community.”

Seeking support of neighbours and others living or working in the area, the residents said, “We have all watched the changes around East Croydon with mixed feelings, sometimes including powerlessness.”

Registering an objection to the proposal on the council’s planning website, they urge, “is our chance as a community to start drawing the line”.

The application, made on behalf of a firm of property developers in Pall Mall. It first appeared on the council website last month, with a deadline for comments set for next weekend.

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8 Responses to Addiscombe residents express fears over hostel environment

  1. mikebweb says:

    This location is totally unsuitable.

    • John Harvey says:

      Nimbus Maps is an organisation helping property developers make money by taking advantage of the government’s readiness to see a reduction in the size of units on conversion to increase the number of new homes in statistics.

      Go to its website and watch advice videos to get an idea of the future

  2. Totally unsuitable location and accommodation. Brutal and inhumane. The Council Officers themselves ought to live next door to an HMO for 24 months to feel the 7 days a week 24 hours a day impact. 13 units with no responsible adult is impossible. You can assume that say 1 in 3 occupants will have serious mental health problems they will threaten the lives of the others in the unit; there will be drug taking, if not dealing; there will be conflict because there are too many desperate people crowded into a tiny space for private profit. There will be chronic damp because you cannot ventilate such spaces properly – damp and the associated fungus will cause ill health to the occupants. Who is going to be responsible for the waste and the bin management for 13 separate units? Trust me no-one will take responsibility and there will be a rat problem too. If there is a drug dealer in the house people will come day and night calling up to get in to do a deal. If there are alcoholics then others may join them and you will have a gang of them hanging around which will be just like the old Normanton Park Hotel.

  3. Eve Tullett says:

    HMO’s are simply ways of getting the absolute maximum profit from a property, which I don’t agree with, but the statements made about the “type” of person who might live there is a bit harsh. Often they’re people who can’t afford the exorbitant rent of the newer builds e.g. those ridiculous high rise flats going up by East Croydon will be out of the reach of a lot of people. That’s the bigger problem.

  4. Hazel swain says:

    totally agree .. ALL parts of Croydon are in great danger of over development/ over crowding … and we have enough of our own miscreants without importing any more.. its not NIMBYism.. just self preservation.

  5. Rod Davies says:

    The application appears to be made in the name of the Windrush Housing Association whose corporate goals are described by itself as,

    “We are a registered provider of supported and affordable housing and work with an alliance of partners to ‘provide access to housing (PATH)’ through a ‘Tailored Pathway’.
    Our ‘Housing Pathways’ are designed to meet the housing needs of vulnerable adults with diagnosed mental health conditions, vulnerable adults on probation and vulnerable with other varying support needs. The pathways enable them to move forward and live independently in the community.
    We are driven by our values and what we do is complemented by working in partnership with Local authorities, health services and specialist agencies, including health improvement services. These alliances enable us to deliver tailored care and support for those at risk of homelessness and people facing significant challenges.”

    Placing 13 vulnerable adults into an HMO located in this part of East Croydon seems rather irresponsible to me. The East Croydon area is a densely populated area with little or no public space. There is already an issue with drug dealing and use, crime and other antisocial issues. How long will it be until these vulnerable people are drawn into the begging and other antisocial activity around the station and along George St? Or become victims as gangs exploit their vulnerability and lack of local support, to move in and use the premises to deal drugs?

    By all means have supported and affordable housing, but have 24/7 on-site management to support the vulnerable adult residents and ensure a happy relationship with the neighbouring community.

  6. Jasmine Gahda says:

    This labour council has ruined Croydon
    The residents should demand a public inquiary in to how this area has hit rock botton in nearly every way possible by this council
    We the residents need to push through the plan for a Mayor elected by the residents to truly serve our area and hear us

  7. Nazia Hasan says:

    I live on Cedar Road and during my school run to Park Hill, I have seen all sorts of characters loitering around the corner of Brickwood Road and Addiscombe Road as of late. The said property was once a beautiful family home. The elderly neighbour is often seen pruning her front garden (last of the ‘old skool’) and often stops to talk to my daughter and other children. Upon discovering as to what is about to be unleashed with 13 room HMO, the lady literally turned purple. Rising street crime, empty beer cans, drug dealing is increasingly becoming a common sight. Just take a walk along Colson Road with its HMOs!

    With the massive L&Q development across the road, the whole character of our ward is set to change for worse – what was once a family-centric oasis is increasingly filled with HMOs. We must strive to preserve the character of our ward hence I intend to object!

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