This evening, Croydon Council's Planning Committee was due to consider Menta's application to build seven new buildings - including four skyscrapers, the tallest of which would have been 51 storeys - at the southern end of Cherry Orchard Road.
Council officers were recommending that the Committee refuse the application. However, a few minutes before the meeting was due to begin we were told that Menta had decided to withdraw it.
Menta's decision is a resounding victory for local residents, who were virtually unanimously opposed to their plans. Over 250 people objected to the application, many of whom attended the public meeting that I and the three Addiscombe councillors (Maria Garcia, Russell Jackson and Andrew Price) organised back in January.
It is also a victory for Maria, Russell and Andrew. They have been working hard to convince Council officers and senior members of the Council that this application was wrong for Addiscombe. They have shown, both on this application and the Arrowcroft scheme for an arena next to East Croydon station, that they are prepared to stand up for local residents, even if that means clashing with other Conservative councillors on occasion. They are doing a fantastic job and whichever way you vote at General Elections I hope you will give them your support next May.
The last few months have also shown what a strong community there is in Addiscombe. Residents came together to oppose this scheme, spoke with a single voice - and both the Council and the developer listened. We all want to see the area regenerated but hopefully developers will now have got the message that this community will not accept over-development of this kind.
Now we need to change the Council’s planning policies - which we inherited from the previous Labour administration - to prevent any more applications of this kind. I'll be posting about how we can do this tomorrow.