Anger at planned 12-storey block of flats in Selhurst

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

Concerned residents in Selhurst say that a proposed 12-storey block of flats it just too tall.

Brick by Brick, the development company owned by Croydon council, has submitted plans for 89 flats across three buildings from five to 12-storeys tall.

If approved, the flats will be built on the site of garages and land at the back of Holmesdale Road.

A planning statement says this land includes “44 garages, 53 pram sheds, several refuse stores and underutilised shared spaces”.

Along with a few neighbours, Frances Wright has started the campaign Save Our Space objecting to the proposal.

She has lived in Charnwood Road for the past four years.

The new affordable flats would be built alongside an existing estate of more than 100 flats across eight three to five-storey buildings.

Ms Wright said: “They are knocking down 44 garages which people let from the council for £14 a week.

“People in the flats on the estate use them as storage.”

She described the 12-storey building as ‘intensification’ of the area, and said it would be the tallest building in the area.

The plans include four blue badge car parking spaces, as well as 147 cycle spaces and those in the new flats would not be able to apply for a council parking permit.

Ms Wright is concerned that this will clog up the streets even more – and said that some cars which park by the garages would also be pushed out on to the street.

“Parking is awful, we are about 500 metres from Crystal Palace football ground,” she said.

“The report says there is about 16 per cent on-street parking and there are almost enough cars in the garages that will take that up on the street.

“A football game is a completely different situation around here, it is gridlocked.

“This is people’s homes, their sunlight, their wellbeing we are talking about.”

The Save Our Space group has stared an online petition expressing concerns with the proposals which has gathered more than 270 signatures.

All of the 89 flats will be offered as affordable houses – 78 at affordable rent and the remaining 11 as shared ownership.

A spokeswoman for Brick by Brick said that the company had engaged with the community, including two public exhibitions, door knocking, a webinar and one-to-one telephone conversations.

And the company plans to send another 700 leaflets to residents in the next few days.

The spokeswoman added: “We understand some residents have concerns about the scale of this development, however there are precedents of taller developments within close proximity to railway lines in similar contexts to this site.

“Importantly, our proposal includes enhancements to the existing neighbourhood, which are designed to reduce anti-social behaviour by improving natural surveillance, improving the functionality and appeal of the landscaped spaces and surrounding streets, and providing a new community space in the ground floor of the central block.”

They added that any loss of daylight as a result of the development was not considered significant, and that residents support a controlled parking zone (CPZ ) in the area.

Public consultation on the plans has now closed and a decision is expected to be made by September 23.

The Brick by Brick spokeswoman said the application will be “fully scrutinised,” adding: “Due to our accountability to Croydon council, our applications tend to attract more scrutiny compared to developments by other developers, not less.”

Pictured top: Residents opposed to the new development

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