Purley Tower Update
Wednesday December 11, 2019
  • Site last updated at 4:38pm on Monday 9th December 2019.

Purley Tower Update

A Brief History

"Purley Tower" goes by many names - "Purley Baptist Church", "Mosaic Place", or "Purley Skyscraper".  Whatever you decide to call it, thousands of local residents have objected to the scheme based largely on its proposed size and the traffic problems it will add to in an already congested area of the borough.

The scheme by Thornsett Group and Purley Baptist Church seeks the “demolition of existing buildings on two sites; erection of a 3 to 17 storey development on the ‘Island Site’ (Purley Baptist Church, 1 Russell Hill Road, 1-4 Russell Hill Parade, 2-12 Brighton Road, Purley Hall), comprising 114 residential units, community and church space and a retail unit; and a 3 to 8 storey development on the ‘South Site’ (1-9 Banstead Road) comprising 106 residential units, and associated landscaping and works.”

The scheme was originally approved by Croydon Council on 15 December 2016, but due to a large amount of local objections, plus pressure from 7 Residents' Associations and our MP Chris Philp, the decision was "called in" (Referred to the Secretary of State) on 12 April 2017.

A two-week Public Inquiry then took place on 9 January 2018, then, many Secretary's of State later, Croydon Council's decision was overturned on 3 December 2018.  Planning permission had therefore been refused.

On 14 January 2019, this decision was taken to the High Court and on 1 April 2019, the decision by the Secretary of State to deny planning permission was overturned.  On 30 May 2019, we learnt that there would be a new Public Inquiry later in the year.

The second Public Inquiry opened on Tuesday 3 December 2019 and concluded on Friday 6 December 2019 at which point the future of the proposed tower was placed back into the hands of the Secretary of State.

Seven local Residents' Associations, including HADRA, whilst continuing to support the work Purley Baptist Church carries out in our community have to represent the overwhelming number of our members who continue to object to this unsightly and oversized development.

Today, after 4 days of discussions, the second public inquiry into the proposed 17th storey Purley Tower concluded.

As you will be aware, HADRA are one of the 7 local Residents' Associations who are formally objecting to these plans and we were represented at this week's inquiry by our current Chairman, Lee Cooper and HADRA's Chairman at the time of the initial inquiry, Diane Hearne.  Also present were Phil Thomas (Riddlesdown RA) and Charlie King (East Coulsdon RA).

Further to the decision of the Secretary of State James Brokenshire to re-open the Public Inquiry, some members of the seven objecting Residents' Associations (including HADRA) met with the Purley Baptist Church and the developer Thornsett in early June to discuss the situation.

The seven local Residents' Associations as the Rule 6 party, were advised on 30 May that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Govt (James Brokenshire) "has given careful consideration to all the representations before him (from all parties), and on the basis of which he is of the view that in accordance with Rule 19(1)(c) of the Inquiry Procedure Rules he needs to reopen the Inquiry to consider further the following matters:

A Joint Statement by Riddlesdown, Hartley & District, Sanderstead, East Coulsdon, Coulsdon West, Old Coulsdon and Kenley & District Residents’ Associations.

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.

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