Labour members of the Planning Committee are so obsessed with providing increased housing numbers that they are giving approvals to new housing which is of poor design and inadequate space, and that will end up being the slums of the future.
A good example is Thanet House where last night the Committee approved the conversion of the roof space into 7 one bedroom flats, against the wishes of the existing residents.
The other example is the proposed housing scheme for 32-34 Fairview Rd, which could put the future of the excellent Fairview Medical practice at jeopardy.
The Practice Manager and I (for Love Norbury Joint Planning Committee) spoke in favour of rejection.
I suggested that if they did not want to refuse they could defer a decision to enable discussions between the planners, the developer/site owner and the Practice.
While everyone acknowledged that they do not want to see the future of the Practice jeopardised, no Councillors challenged the assertion of Pete Smith (Head of Development Management) that a construction and logistics plan condition could minimise any construction phase access problems, and be enforceable. The Council’s track record on planning enforcement is very poor.
The Conservatives proposed refusal which was defeated on and then approval given both on Chair’s casting vote.
Despite local Labour Councillor Shafi Khan speaking against the application, none of his colleagues on the Committee suggested deferring the decision. While Smith regretted the failure of the developer to have consulted the practice as part of preparing the application, he did not suggest deferral to ensure that consultation would take place.
The failure of consultation is particularly unfortunate given by the companies’ Directors are involved in the retail pharmacy business.
The Complex world of property development
The owner/developer of 32-34 Fairview Rd is Stonebridge Developments Ltd., at 12 The Ridge Way, South Croydon. The two Directors are the brothers Anju Vatsel and Vatsel Babubhai Amin. Back in 2009/10 they were involved in an extended family dispute over their business involvements.
They are also Directors of the retail pharmacy businesses 24Hr medicines Ltd and Nissi-Cross Ltd.