This post was first published by My London on 18/02/2019.
‘Purley is getting overrun with flats and it’s changing the town’s character forever’
That’s the view of some fed-up residents…what do you think?
Purley was once famed for its green and pleasant environment.
The town grew up quickly in the 1920s and 30s as a lovely suburban environment for people working in and around London.
But it seems its reputation as a suburban idyll is now under threat with residents saying the large numbers of flats being built are ruining the environment.
What do you think?
Siva Param is one person who is worried that the character of Purley is changing out of all recognition as more and more flat complexes are given the OK by council planners.
He has lived in More Close for 29 years and feels that soon the cul-de-sac will be overrun with flats.
In the road right now, there are two pending applications.
And round the corner in Foxley Lane and Plough Lane there are flats already being built or recently finished.
Not far away, we reported recently how the controversial ‘Purley skyscraper’ could still be built. You can read about that here .
The retired accountant says the area will soon become saturated if more applications are approved.
Here’s what he had to say
Part of his argument is that properties being replaced aren’t actually that old.
He said: “I think it is a shame to demolish properties that were built only 45 years ago.
“They are beautifully maintained with manicured gardens and serve as family homes.
“Any developments in the way of building nine flats per property will change the character of More Close.”
The 77-year-old also thinks that more flats will encourage others to sell up and move out making way for even more flats… so the cycle continues.
And he he added that he would not blame his neighbours for doing so as developers are offering more money that residents would get if they just sold your home.
Mr Param said: “Very soon we are going to hit a saturation point where the flats will be empty.
“How can young people afford a one bedroom, 600 sq ft flat for more than £300,000?”
Mr Param also pointed out that because the developments are for nine flats there is no requirement to provide affordable housing. That rule only applies for 10 or more flats.
What are all these new flats going to be like?
One developer was keen to stress that guidelines are being met.
A statement from the applicant wishing to redevelop 3 More Close says: “The layout provides good quality contemporary open plan accommodation in line with Nationally Described Space Standards.
“The design as proposed therefore constitutes a good quality development which will provide additional residential units to Croydon.”
What does the council say about all this?
The issue was discussed at Croydon Council’s planning committee meeting on Thursday, February 14.
Plans for another development of nine homes, replacing one house in Riddlesdown Road in Purley, were approved.
Those plans were put forward by Aventier, which has three other developments of nine flats in the same road, including one next door.
Cllr Paul Scott said: “Our local plan and the emerging London Plan promote and support the idea of delivering the many additional homes that we require.
“To fit this number of homes in we need bigger buildings.”
But Cllr Jason Perry said he thinks developers are taking advantage of the fact that affordable homes do not need to be provided if the development consists of under 10 flats.
“The number of these schemes coming through just goes to show that developers are playing the system very cleverly,” he said.
“We would like to see more affordable housing.
“I think that Riddlesdown Road is being changed. I think that is why local residents are becoming upset about these schemes.”
What do you think? Email your views to Croydon’s Local Democracy reporter Tara O’Connor at tara.oconnor @reachplc.com