Clean up at notorious Purley Way fly-tip may pave the way for mini shopping mall

By Harrison Galliven, Local Democracy Reporter

A new 40-shop mini mall will be built on the former site of a Sports Direct gym in Purley Way, which has become a notorious fly-tipping hotspot.

A mass clean-up of the site is now under way following months of campaigning by residents and councillors.

The site had become a hotspot for commercial and general waste in the years following the closure of the gym that previously occupied the land at the southern end of the Purley Way.

The site is easily accessible due to its positioning on the side of a major dual carriageway and next to adjoining retail units.

Despite local outrage at what some called a ‘disgrace’ of a site, nothing was done to prevent illegal waste disposal.

The issue was also raised by Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones in a House of Commons debate earlier this month.

The impasse was finally broken when a group, backed by business people, started to clear the site last week. The group, led by Wallington resident and business consultant Koby Yogaretnam, has taken responsibility for the site from the incumbent landlord, with the intention of building the commercial thoroughfare’s newest shopping centre.

Mr Yogaretnam said: “[We want] to create a high street that’s not on the high street, a multi retail store, a mini-mall for instance.

“We want to get the companies in. Not your Starbucks and Costa, but your local greengrocer, butcher and other people who are just being priced out of the high street.”

Before the takeover, the responsibility to clear the site sat with the landlord, Spark Properties LTD, while enforcement of anti-fly tipping laws lies with the Environment Agency.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We have begun legal proceedings against Spark Properties Ltd to force them to clear waste from land they own in Imperial Way, Croydon. The company previously ignored an Environment Agency order to clear the site.”

Pictured top: Work began on clearing the Purley Way site last week (Picture: Rowenna Davis)

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