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Seven local Residents' Associations have sent an objection to Croydon Council to the plans for the proposed

re- development of the Island Site, including the 17 storey skyscraper. Our full objection is as follows:"

 

Mr Pete Smith                                                                                    By e-mail from;

Head of Development Management,                      Riddlesdown Residents’ Association

Place Department                                                     (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

London Borough of Croydon,

Bernard Weatherill House,

8 Mint Walk,

Croydon, CR0 1EA

9 July 2016

Dear Mr Smith

 

MOSAIC PLACE, PURLEY Application No 16/02994/P

 

We the undersigned members of the seven Residents’ Associations (Riddlesdown, Hartley &

District, Kenley & District, Sanderstead, Old Coulsdon, Coulsdon West, and East Coulsdon)

and abutting Purley Town Centre, lodge our objections to the above application.

 

We set out our reasons why, below:

 

 

1. The developer has presented no Design & Access Statement with the planning

application. There is only a Planning Statement. This is required to gather a clear
overview of this development.

2. The scheme at 717 habitable rooms per hectare (hrh), is beyond the density range in
the London Plan density matrix which identifies “urban” areas with a PTAL score of
4-6, as being appropriate for schemes between 200 -700 hrh. Reflecting this, the
scheme does not present convincing evidence that it represents an appropriate
configuration in terms of scale, massing and layout given the existing Purley
townscape.

3.   Croydon Council’s Local Plan Strategic Policies (CLP1) supports regeneration of the
Purley District Centre (PDC) and identifies the sites as appropriate for a
comprehensive mixed use scheme. CLP preferred and an alternative option (draft
November 2015) supports landmark buildings of up to 16 storeys but has limited
weight given it is a consultation document.

4.  The key issue with this proposal is whether it represents an appropriate use of both
sites given their location and significance in terms of the future regeneration of
PDC
and the wider locality. For example, does Purley need “landmark” buildings? What is
the evidence that these would make a positive contribution in terms of economic
benefits and the long term regeneration of
PDC? Why are the landmark buildings
considered to be the most appropriate form of development for both sites?

5.  Linked to the above, how will the proposal provide a “gateway” to PDC in terms of
improved accessibility? How will it increase the viability and vitality of
PDC,
particularly given the impact that the existing Tesco development has had on Purley?
Rather than using the town centre, we believe that residents of the scheme are more
likely to use public transport to travel to Croydon, London and the south coast etc.

6.  It is accepted the proposal could potentially make a significant contribution to
Purley’s housing needs. The question is whether it represents the optimum
 configuration in terms of scale, massing and layout given the nature of both sites on
 the edge of the PDC.

7.   Both sites could potentially make a significant contribution to housing needs in the
 area. The level of affordable housing at 18% (39 units) is low in terms of the total of
 220 residential units proposed, the existing need for affordable housing across the
  housing market area and current residential land values. The proposal states that
 mitigating factors for the level of affordable housing provision include the need for
 high quality design and construction, abnormal housing and financing costs and the
 provision of church/community facilities. It is not clear how these factors, even when
 considered together, account for the low level of affordable housing proposed. As the
 proposal represents a key regeneration opportunity for Purley, there needs to be
 greater transparency as to why higher levels of affordable housing cannot be
 provided, particularly when considered against CLP1’s target of negotiating up to
 50% affordable housing on residential schemes.

8.    Flooding – the proposed sites are on the edge of the Environment Agency’s Zones 2
 & 3 Flood Risk map in Purley town centre. The proposals have the potential to
 increase surface run off in an area already experiencing severe significant flash
 flooding and drainage issues. The site is also within 100 metres of the Caterham
 Bourne, which is prone to periodic extensive flooding, the last significant occasion

 being in February 2014. There are no soakaways on the sites, only surface water (sw)

 drainage into Banstead Rd (450mm dia sw drain) via two on site sw storage tanks

 (210m3) on the island site and one on site sw storage tank on the south site (170 m3)

 limiting flow at 5 litres/sec into the sw drains. Will this put additional pressure on

 already well used existing sw drains and create more flooding? Will the existing

 nearby foul water sewers cope with all these additional residential units and

 community facilities?

 

9.  The proposed development will be a phased construction and is expected to take at

 least 47 months to complete. This construction period will have a significant effect on

 traffic, on both the major routes of the A23 (which passes between the two sites) and

 also the A22, which converges on Purley Cross.

 

10. Such a massive development on the island site will prevent future strategic

modification of the Purley Cross gyratory system and an improved solution for

managing the ever growing volume of traffic passing through the Borough, via the

Purley crossroads, from Junctions 6 (A22) & 7 (A23) of the M25. Any future redesign

of the A23 & A22 Purley Cross junction could now be thrown into doubt because of

this development, as Tfl will not CPO a new development. Should the Westfield

Development also take place soon in central Croydon, then this will no doubt have a

potential major impact on Purley Cross and add to what is an already congested part

of the South London road network (i.e. the A235, A23/A22 network to and from the

M25 & M23). What are the views and policies of both Croydon Council and Tfl on

highway improvements to benefit the traffic flow at this Purley Cross junction and the

environment of Purley Town Centre, prior to possibly granting approval?

11.  Non-compliance with Croydon Local Plan Places of Croydon – Policy SP 7 – Purley:

items 7.57 to 7.60. “Retaining and respecting local heritage, character and

distinctiveness”. The exterior fenestration proposed is considered to look like a
“bogstandard”
design style of urban mass development, so typical of the 1970’s property
boom era. There is absolutely no harmonisation of aesthetic external design

in terms of detailing or styling to provide any of the local contextual qualities the CLP
requires. The elements of the building conceived to be around 4 storeys high should
be positioned at the Brighton Road frontage and styled to reflect (not copy) the fine
looking early 20
th  century parades. The highest 17 storey building should be set back
nearer to the existing Baptist Church building to reduce their visual impact on the
local heritage and character of Purley. This is an elementary rule in architectural
design and good town planning, which has, very strangely, been disregarded here.

 

12.  Car Parking: Inadequate residents parking provision for 220 units on both sites, is a

major deficiency. There should be recognition that despite the excellent and

convenient bus and rail services in Purley, there can be no restrictions on residents

desiring to own and use cars for domestic and business purposes, despite a lack of

parking facilities within their development. The consequences of not providing

additional car parking capacity within a major development for the benefit of both

residents and the district centre, will result in serious negative factors for Purley and

surrounding area. Also the proposal for only 50 parking spaces for the Church and

community use, which will have an auditorium to accommodate 500 people, will put

pressure on already well used public carparks nearby, as well as nearby residential on

street parking. Banstead Rd (A23) in particular is already heavily parked on Sundays

and causes traffic hindrance because there is no red route parking restriction on this

day. There are no visitor car bays which will prohibit emergency parking for doctor,

care workers and other medical staff to visit. Whilst one large vehicle is parked in the

limited area of the entrance it would prevent other vehicles from entry because of the

need to use all the available space to reverse in the turning head to egress the building.

There is only the one space available for an ambulance, removal or delivery vehicles,

which would need to take turns to deliver. There are also very few on street parking

bays in Banstead Rd for deliveries. Should the limited parking be approved from the

island site (church & flats), vehicles will be exiting the site into Russell Hill Rd and

will have to turn right into three lanes of traffic already stacking for the traffic lights

on Brighton Rd. If site traffic wishes to go along the A22 (southbound) then it will

have to cross at least one lane, if not two lanes, in order to be able to proceed straight

on at the second and third set of traffic lights. There is very little option for drivers to

ensure they get into the correct lane before the traffic lights on Russell Hill Rd. Is this

safe and will it increase risks of accidents at this location? In addition, vehicles, (in

particular lorries) whilst stacking to exit the island site and waiting for the traffic

lights to turn green, will be a hindrance to pedestrians, wheel chair users, and parents

with buggies etc, walking on that side of the footway!

13. Overshadowing Effect: Though the submission includes hourly approximate shadow

plans relative to surrounding buildings and streets, these understate the true impact of

the lack of direct sunlight into the existing district centre. They show only the hours

between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on 21 March (Springtime), a week before British Summer

Time starts. The biggest shadowing period in summer months would occur from early

afternoon in Russell Hill Road and mid-afternoon across the main Brighton Road

parades and later afternoon in Purley Road (Godstone Road) across the pedestrian
underpass amenity areas in front of Tesco’s and the Jolly Farmers public house. The

effect of darkening the streets in the town will have an adverse subliminal effect on

pedestrians and be further deterrent effect on shoppers and diners.

14. The “South Site” Block, 1-9 Banstead Road fronting Brighton Road: Scale, Massing

and Design Appearance. The massing of this large “square block” 7 to 8 storeys to

Brighton Road reducing down to 4-5 storeys facing Banstead Road is just over-large

and out of scale, motivated by maximising the end capital value with quantity over

quality. The proposed rather blank, flat facades do not respect or harmonise with the

long established street scene, which the CLP expressly requires. As proposed, this

development is not an attractive addition to Purley.

15. The excessively high density of the island scheme, 114 dwellings on an area of 0.86

hectare, built on a very restricted site is a major factor in the serious disadvantages of

the development.

16. The term “Landmark” indicates a prestigious building set on a site with adequate

room to achieve an architectural presence. The building is cramped, built to the back

edge of the pavement and would over dominate the nearby, three to four storey

shopping area. The main entrance is positioned on the corner of Russell Hill Road and

the Brighton Road with its constant heavy and noisy traffic.

We trust the Council will consider these objections and comments and refuse the application

as it stands. The Riddlesdown RA as a registered Residents’ Association would ask that if

Officers are recommending for approval, and if it hasn’t been done already, that the

application is referred to the Planning Committee.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Thomas Diane Hearne

Phil Thomas - Riddlesdown RA Diane Hearne – Hartley & District RA

Brian Longman Chris Stanley

Brian Longman – Riddlesdown RA Chris Stanley – Kenley & District RA

Dennis King Jan Stollery

Dennis King - Sanderstead RA Jan Stollery – Old Coulsdon RA

Rita Barfoot Charles King

Rita Barfoot – Coulsdon West RA Charles King – East Coulsdon RA

 

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