There were two Purley planning applications up for decision at last night's committee meeting.
1) 71-73 Pampisford Road
This was a truly horrendous application to replace 71 & 73 Pampisford Rd by an enormous five storey block of 23 flats with only 12 car parking spaces between them. It was totally out of keeping with the area, occupied a large proportion of the plot, and required the removal of several fine trees. I was absolutely delighted that the officers recommended refusal of this application; this should normally have been the end of the matter, but for some strange reason, it was nevertheless brought before the committee, perhaps in the expectation that the Labour majority on the committee would follow its previous pattern of approving almost anything in the South of the Borough. To my surprise and delight, the committee unanimously accepted the officers recommendation and refused the application.
2) 1 Higher Drive
This was another depressingly familiar type of application for the replacement of an attractive early 20th century cottage by an ugly modernist block of nine flats, with inadequate parking. I spoke against this application on the grounds of cumulative impact, out of character, overdevelopment and parking, but my concerns were ignored by the Labour members of the committee on the grounds that Croydon needs more homes. This is true, but it should not be at the expense of the destruction of the local streetscene.
I was particularly unhappy about cumulative impact, given that three other blocks of flats have been approved within 100 yards of this site, and inadequate parking provision; the survey assumed that it was possible to park on BOTH SIDES of Foxley Hill Road and Higher Drive - how crazy is that?!