Last Thursday, I spoke at my first Planning Committee in opposition to 15A Russell Hill which sought seven flats, including two three-bedroom flats.
The developer had already been granted outline planning approval for six flats, which I accepted as settled. I was therefore baffled that they tried to sneak in a seventh flat.
Russell Hill is arguably the street in Purley that has suffered the most as a result of overdevelopment in recent years and the Council’s Local Plan says they will take into account cumulative impact.
A number of residents have contacted me about existing building works causing issues such as missed bin collections due to limited crew access and the blocking of parking bays – and I was concerned that this application would only add to the problems Russell Hill residents face.
I also had concerns about visual intrusion, increased noise and loss of privacy given the size and scale of the proposed development and had issues about the lack of access to daylight and sunlight in some of the flats.
Whilst I was disappointed to speak virtually due to a positive Covid test, I am delighted that the five Conservative members of the Planning Committee refused this application citing overdevelopment and cumulative impact. I am grateful to all of them.
The five Labour councillors on the Planning Committee as usual voted in favour despite some reservations. It’s a pity they didn’t join their Conservative counterparts in rejecting this inappropriate application. The Conservative Chair of the Planning Committee, Cllr Michael Neal thankfully used his casting vote to turn down the application.
We are seeing real progress when it comes to planning in Purley & Woodcote, with more inappropriate applications being rejected. However, we must not be complacent, and I will continue to support residents in challenging such applications wherever possible.