In Upper Norwood, residents are working together to take a profit-hungry property developer to court over what they see as a broken covenant over the land in a road of 1920s-built bungalows and cottages.
Neighbours on Downsview Road, off Beulah Hill, claim that their homes are subject to a legal restriction that ought to prevent overdevelopment.
But after the council’s planning department ignored the covenant, one rapacious developer went ahead and demolished a perfectly sound bungalow, in order to build a three-storey block of flats.
This week, nearly 100 neighbours came together in a meeting where it was explained that, since the developer has continued to proceed with their planning application at 19 Downsview Road to develop a block consisting of nine flats, “our only choice now is court proceedings”, according to Caroline Fenech, one of the meeting’s organisers.
“We discussed our evidence, read a statement from Croydon Council planning department, and answered concerns raised by the public regarding this and other future developments,” she said.
According to Fenech, everyone at the meeting “agreed that we should act against the developer”.
She said, “Our aim now is to raise £10,000, which will help us commence court proceedings against the developer, which we can achieve if everyone as a community came together -but we must act quickly to prevent other developers causing mayhem to Downsview Road.
“We are a small suburb of London where families and neighbours care about each other and what is happening in their community, and we feel strongly that tearing down lovely bungalows to build high-rise buildings is an assault on the people of north Croydon and our way of life.”
According to the residents’ legal advice, there are three stages to the court process, the first being the court application and documenting the case.
The residents have begun a GoFundMe page to help raise the money towards the legal battle, which you can visit by clicking here.
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At the root of all this Croydon Council Planning Policy SPD2 which is the shit-lubricated cresta run that allows any half-brained developer to try his luck in Croydon.
Heather Cheesbrough was in charge when SPD2 was passed off as a piece of legitimate planning guidance. Some of us knew at the time it would be a disaster for Croydon. Cheesbrough has been desperately trying to lay the blame for it on Pete Smith but we all know it was written, signed off with subservience or abasement at the feet of Cllr Paul Scott by her.
Heather, what do you have to say?