The Purley Conservatives have a campaign running to oppose the construction of a skyscraper in Purley town centre, that will dwarf the area and cast a giant shadow. They object to various aspects. The proposed development is within the planning strategy masterplan inherited from the previous Conservative administration, and contains a good proportion of social housing.
Now you may feel some rush of sympathy for the residents of Purley, given the East Croydon experience of having the 50 storey plus Menta tower imposed upon the area in the face of considerable opposition. However, the proposed SKYSCRAPER is 16 storeys high, smaller than the Menta-Redrow developments or any of the other developments around East Croydon Station and in the town centre.
Alternatively, you might like to take a slightly different view and consider whether the burden of providing social housing should be borne across the borough, with areas like Purley taking their share. My own view is that if Croydon has a housing crisis, then all of Croydon should help shoulder the burden and the Purley development should go ahead.
It has been far too easy for the successive administrations to permit a very high concentration of development in the town centre and shelter the areas away from the town centre, as it allows them to provide social and economic solutions that the town needs without having to compromise the interests of the residents of the leafy suburbs. There are too few people in the areas immediately adjacent to the town centre, who are negatively affected, to have any political impact if they oppose such developments.
Concentrating the bulk of social housing into the rigid confines of the town centre will ultimately create a quasi-ghetto that will be in no one’s interests. It will concentrate certain public services (bail hostels, drug rehabilitation centres, etc) into very tight areas, as has happened in South Croydon, with the inevitable negative impact on residents.
I invite ECCO members and friends to consider the Purley proposal and use the survey to express their views, in the same way that people outside of the ECCO area expressed views about the Menta development. See link below.