Loss of Sanderstead Road car park
01/03/2017 11:26:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
Croydon Council has been working for over a year to identify sites for its new housing development company, Brick by Brick (BxB), to develop out. Clearly there are a number of council sites in the borough where there is little controversy about the proposed developments, but there are others where it is highly controversial.
One of these is the car park opposite the parade of shops by the main entrance to Sanderstead Station. The last time Labour was in administration in Croydon (2002-6) it sold off half the existing car park, which formed the site on which the new block of flats was built.
That time it took several years for us to get the council to reinstate remaining portion of the car park and it wasn't until we returned a Conservative council in 2006 that we got the site resurfaced and the appropriate ticket machines installed.
Now the council is proposing to almost completely close the car park and reduce the number of public spaces to just seven. It wants to build a new block immediately overlooking the existing one - so that there willl be considerable shading of one by other for most of the year, as well as a total loss of privacy to the current residents.
The new building would be a 4/5 storey block with 20-22 flats, and NO provision of ANY car spaces for the new residents. There would be a permanent loss of about 25 parking spaces in this very popular car park, while at the same time the local demand for car spaces will be massively increased as a result of the influx of new residents.
If the site absolutely has to be developed, then there should be a way to retain at least some parking spaces, for example by putting the building up on stilts leaving part of the ground floor still available for parking; no doubt there are many other planning options.
As you would expect, the traders are up in arms - they rely heavily on people being able to conveniently park opposite for quick shopping visits. The station car park is no substitute, as this is set up for long stay parking for commuters, so would be too expensive for shoppers (as well as often being full).
Another aspect which has incensed local residents is that the site of the car park was a gift to the people of Sanderstead from a resident many decades ago, to be used for the benefit of residents. The council apparently has 'no record' of the terms of the bequest, so feels free - as it did last time - to completely ignore it.
Whilst the design of the proposed new block is not finalised, initial sketches are not encouraging - it looks more like a prison than a home! Sadly, athough we are always told 'oh, it's only an outline design at this stage', when the design is finalised it usually bears a striking resemblance to the one initially presented!
Here's a link to a page with links to the initial designs.
If you wish to express an opinion on this development, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of March 2017.
This site is just in Purley ward but we will be working closely with the Purley councillors on this. The shops are in Croham ward while St Mary’s Road is in Sanderstead ward, so the site is at the junction of three wards.
I would stress that I am not opposed to BxB's work on principle, but I do believe that a number of the sites which Labour believes are 'surplus' are actually vital community assets (it also proposes developments on other car parks, community centres and youth clubs). This one is the wrong development in the wrong place, and is one our council should back off from.