The officers are recommending that the Planning Committee meeting on Thursday 16 June should refuse the application for the 69 storey development at 1-5 Lansdowne Road and 30-32 Wellesley Road.
This is very welcome.
Up to now the developers have appeared to be driving the changes to the Town Centre without regard to the real needs of Croydon’s residents as identified and quantified by the Council.
There are seven issues that it would be useful for Committee members to explore when they discuss the application.
- Given the compact and dense nature of the Town Centre where is the nearest space that off-site play areas for children can be provided?
- Has the applicant identified and own a site suitable as a play area?
- Will the distance mean that parents will be loath to let their children go there except when parents can accompany them?
The Council has a target figure for new residential units in the Town Centre and Opportunity Area. I believe that the numbers of completions, on site construction and permissions have reached if not exceeded that target.
- Are 9170 extra units needed to meet that target?
- If the target has been met can refusal be on the grounds that no more units are needed under existing policies?
- As the units will not be contributing to meeting Croydon residents identified housing needs is that sufficient grounds to refuse?
Since the 1960s it has been well documented that families living in town blocks above the 5th floor is not conductive to family life. It is also assumed that a two bedroom flat can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children.
- Is it possible to have as grounds for refusal the lack of space for family life of two bedroom apartments, especially for families that have a boy and a girl who will need in due course their own bedrooms?
- Is it possible to have as grounds for refusal the lack of space for family life to enable children to have a quiet area for homework especially if they do not have their own bedroom?
- How sustainable is a 69 story block in terms of the energy levels needed to ensure water pressure to the top stories, and to power lifts to that height?
- What are the water and energy needs of servicing such a building?
- What additional investment will be needed by the utilities to service the building, in terms of increasing of water supply and electricity generation?
- Has the applicant given assurances that in order to ensure that priority is given to purchasers form Croydon and London, it will not market the apartments overseas and not accept offers to purchase from people living overseas or their nominees?
- What will be the long distance visual impact of a 69 storey dwelling?
The proposed height will mean that it will experience the impact of high wind, a problem that seems to be more frequent in Croydon in the last 2/3 years.
- What have been range of wind speed at that height over the Town Centre over the last 2/3 years?
- What therefore is the typical and adverse wind speed impact as it hits the top of the build?
- What will be the sway tolerance of the building as it absorbs the impact?
- What speed will the wind increase to as it comes down the face of the building?
- What speed will the wind be as to hits the ground and moves outwards around the building?
Lack of Public Objections
It is interesting to note that only one objection was submitted to the plans. This may well reflect the fact that most people who are concerned about the domination of tower block residential schemes in the Town Centre and Opportunity Area:
- may be daunted by the amount of documentation that has to be looked at, and
- may be put off by the fact that the Council has accepted so many previous schemes that it seems a complete waste of time and effort to submit views.
The officers’ report can be seen here.
The full application can be seen at