The Labour administration must have taken particular pleasure in lining up last night’s Planning committee agenda: The three items for decision were all in a tiny cul-de-sac off Russell Hill: Nos: 1,4,6 More Close. Each application was to demolish a family home with garden and replace it by a block of nine flats; two of these were approved despite spirited speeches by local residents and Cllr Oviri, and the third decision was deferred.
What makes this even worse is that Nos 2 & 3 have already been approved for yet more blocks of flats and No 5 is up for outline decision next week. It's therefore likely that six adjoining homes will be replaced by 54 flats, with no corresponding increase in infrastructure, parking, schools, doctor's surgeries, play areas etc.
One of the few arguments one can use against these applications is that of cumulative impact, and the Conservative members of the committee indeed emphasised this at last night's meeting. But Labour’s majority swept all such arguments aside in favour of the mantra that "Croydon needs more homes". Indeed Croydon does need lots more homes and particularly more affordable homes, but none of those approved last night will be affordable. It’s astonishing that this Close will potentially provide nearly 10% of the new homes target for the whole of Croydon in one year, while the Whytecliffe Road & Mosaic Place developments (see next blog) will provide another 50%. It’s entirely wrong that Purley is being swamped in this way while other areas of the Borough are left completely unscathed; sadly, the character of Purley is being deliberately and irreversibly changed before our eyes.