Urgent – have your say about the updated planning application by Menta

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At their meeting at 6.30 p.m. on 6 April 2017, the Council’s Planning Committee is set to consider proposed significant amendments by Menta Redrow to their plans for the development of the East Croydon site (Morello Tower II and Cherry Orchard Gardens.)   Menta Redrow received permission for their original scheme in 2010 and 2011.   The first phase of the scheme (“Morello I” is close to completion.

The meeting will be in the Council Chamber (Katharine Street entrance to Town Hall) and is open to members of the public.

The detail of the amendments is set out at the bottom of this post.   You can find the full Committee paper here, item 6. 

The changes are being considered by Committee on a pre-application basis.   In practice, this may mean that Menta Redrow are looking to see both what is acceptable to the Committee and also for indications from Committee as to possible areas of contention which might impede the granting of permission.   Probably we can infer that Menta Redrow may amend the proposal to take account of concerns raised by the Committee and then submit a revised application for determination.

So, there will no final decision taken on Thursday.   And there will be full consultation with the community before that final decision is made.

Although what happens on Thursday will not be decisive, it will have an extremely important influence on the final outcome.   The time is now to express your view on the amended proposal.

ECCO member Jerry Fitzpatrick will collate responses from residents, so if you have a view, please email him on jerryfitzmsp@gmail.com     Jerry’s summary of responses will be forwarded to the Planning Committee and posted on the website.    But time is short, and he will need your views by no later than 12 pm on Wednesday.

One or more of the Addiscombe councillors will speak on the amended proposals at the meeting.   Jerry understands from conversations with the councillors that they welcome the scaling down of the application, but retain a number of concerns.   Not their only concern – but a major one from the point of view of local residents – is that Menta Redrow should address the issue of the “bridge to nowhere” as a matter of urgency.   The “bridge to nowhere” is the bridge from Dingwall Road over East Croydon Station, which is meant to link eventually with Cherry Orchard Road.   Menta Redrow entered into an agreement with the Council to provide funding towards completion of the Cherry Orchard section of the bridge.   However, the terms did not require Menta Redrow to complete the work until the building was over.

ECCO is aware of the very strong wish of local residents that the bridge to nowhere is completed as a matter of priority.   Residents have waited for it for five years and should not have to wait for another five.   Since the first application was made, the share price of Redrow PLC has more than tripled as profits have handsomely increased.   In short, this is a very profitable development for a very profitable company, and it is reasonable for residents to expect work on the completion of the bridge to commence as soon as possible.

Key changes from previous planning consents for the site

Site area

  • Previous planning permission includes Network Rail land and Porter and Sorter land.

Morello II site

  • 54 storey tower reduced to 25
  • 16 storey hotel replaced with predominantly residential 25 storey tower
  • Single level basement beneath removed.   Use of basement to north of site introduced
  • A direct link to pedestrian bridge over railway was included.   Bridge as built does not extend to boundary of land owned by Menta.   In order to complete link at the appropriate level, the previous permission included development on Network Rail land.   Publicly accessible terraces were included (above Network Rail structures) which were intended to connect to the bridge-link.   A “grand staircase” was included to connect the public realm to this terrace link
  • At present, the proposal includes a starircase within the application site and the offer of a commuted sum for the construction of the remaining link to the bridge
  • The previous application also indicated a terrace on the southernmost tower, to facilitatet a future pedestrian link to Billinton Hill (as part of future improvements to and in the vicinity of East Croydon Station).   Prior to Billinton Hill works being undertaken, the approved scheme proposed a temporary solution to deal with differences in levels, which included a lift and stair access to be provided for public use towards the southwest corner of the approved hotel.

Cherry Orchard Gardens site

  • Retail and community uses removed from this site
  • Building height reduced from 4/10 storeys to 3/6/9 storeys
  • Public open space on the corner of Cherry Orchard and Oval Roads reduced
  • Decking level to the rear reduced
  • Town houses on Oval Rove removed
  • Affordable housing percentage increased from 10 to 15%.   Tenure changed to 100% shared ownership from 50% affordable rent/50% shared ownership.   All affordable housing to be located on Cherry Orchard Gardens site.

Density

  • In the previous consent, the permitted density was 616 dwellings per hectare/1489 habitable rooms. In the proposals a density of 597 dwellings per hectare is suggested/597 habitable rooms.

 

 

 

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