News
Wednesday May 22, 2019
  • Site last updated at 1:29pm on Tuesday 21st May 2019.

We have received notification today from the Secretary of State that the application to redevelop Purley Baptist Church (a.k.a. "Purley Tower") has been REFUSED.

You will be aware that this application was initially approved by Croydon Council, however due to immense pressure from local residents, associations, and our MP, the Secretary of State directed that on 12 April 2017, the planning application should be referred to him.  A subsequent local public inquiry was held from 9-17 January 2018 for which HADRA were represented daily by Diane Hearne and Lee Cooper. 

The objections from the Residents Associations were led by Phil Thomas (Riddlesdown) and in addition to HADRA also comprised of Charlie King (ECRA), Dennis King (Sanderstead), Jan Stollery (OCRA) and Rita Barfoot (CWRA). 

Following the inquiry, the Inspector submitted his report to the Secretary of State, which we learnt today was to recommend that planning permission be granted, however, the Secretary of State disagreed with the Inspector’s recommendation and has decided to REFUSE planning permission.

The developers may challenge this decision in the High Court, but must do so within the next 6 weeks.

The Resident Associations which were represented at the inquiry all underwent a steep learning curve in what at times appeared to be a "David and Goliath" task, however the decision taken by the Secretary of State does indicate that local voices can make all the difference when it comes to unpopular local developments which are out of scale and out of character with our local community.

HADRA has always maintained that we support the work the Purley Baptist Church does and would welcome suitable redevelopment of the site, however the scale of the proposed buildings were completely out of character with the local area and we are pleased that the Secretary of State has agreed with our submissions. 

We would like to extend our gratitude to all those who opposed this scheme and who took the time to present their arguments at the inquiry.

If you wish to read the Secretary of State's letter in full, you may do so here.

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