Menta have recently submitted a new planning application for their sites at the southern end of Cherry Orchard Road (their previous application was withdrawn in July 2009 shortly before Croydon Council’s Planning Committee was due to consider it).
For those not familiar with the history, the sites in question are a strip of land adjacent to East Croydon station, part of which is currently open land being used for car parking and part of which houses the empty Amy Johnson House, plus the former Cherry Orchard Gardens site on the other side of Cherry Orchard Road at its junction with Oval Road. The new application is for a mixed-use scheme comprising:
• two residential buildings, one of them a 53-storey tower, providing a total of 499 homes;
• a 165-bed 4-star hotel with 22 luxury serviced apartments;
• 6,600 square metres of ‘Grade A’ start-up office accommodation;
• community amenities including a 530 square metre community centre, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants; and
• a public square enabling access to the proposed new bridge across the railway.
You can view the detailed application here.
In my opinion, the new scheme is an improvement on the previous one. There are fewer very tall buildings and significant public realm improvements. However, serious concerns remain, most notably about the height of the main building, which is wholly out of character with the surrounding two-storey residential housing; the lack of parking spaces and the likely consequent impact on parking in the surrounding area; and the impact on local services of an additional 500 families living in the area.
But ultimately it is not my opinion that matters – my job as the Member of Parliament for Croydon Central is to represent local residents' opinions. I am therefore writing to everyone in the area encouraging them to comment on the application by the 13th May deadline - either online via the address above or in writing to Planning Control, Croydon Council, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1JT quoting reference number 11/00981/P - and to copy me in so I can represent residents' views.
Cherry Orchard Road is in need of regeneration but it is vital that we get the right scheme.