- 14 November 2021
- Posted by: Cllr Sean Fitzsimons
- Category: Affordable Housing, Application, Citylink House, Cycling, East Croydon, Planning, Tall Buildings
Say No to a 28-Storey Residential Tower
Still time to object to a planning application that will overshadow Number One Croydon.
Fifth State has amended their 2021 planning application 21/02912/FUL . This means that residents who didn’t object previously have a second chance to object to this overdevelopment of Citylink House. The formal deadline for comments is 22nd November 2021. You can make your objection via this link, or you can email the planning department at [email protected].
As local councillors, we wrote in August 2021 Why we oppose the 498 Co-Living units redevelopment of City-Link House at East Croydon. The applicants have made some minor amendments since the summer, but our fundamental objections still stand. The proposed 28-storey residential tower is too tall, the flats are too small, and we need to protect key employment/office sites near East Croydon, as Croydon needs jobs as well as homes.
One of Britain’s wealthiest families, the Westons, owners of Selfridges, Associated British Foods and Primark, are principal backers of a planning application from Fifth State to replace the Citylink House office blocks at East Croydon with a 28-Storey Residential Tower of 498 Co-living Units (student accommodation-style micro-flats for adults). Your local Councillors are opposing this, not because it is a housing scheme, but because the building is too tall, the 498 Co-living units are too small, and it will result in the loss of a key employment site, right next to East Croydon Station.
28-Storeys is too tall
Number One Croydon (NLA Tower) is Croydon’s most iconic building, and over the last 50 years, has become one of Croydon’s most recognisable landmarks, visible from all quarters of Croydon. This proposed 28-storey building at 92 metres threatens all this, especially as it will loom over the 81m NLA Tower. For those who use East Croydon Station, the sight of Number One Croydon coming into view announces one arrival in the Town Centre. The proposed building will loom over Seifert’s NLA Tower, smothering its looks and ruining one of Croydon’s key Townscapes. This 1960s building needs protection from being surrounded by taller, blander buildings. Due to its small size, we know Citylink House is ripe for redevelopment, but we argue that any new building should be smaller and subservient to the NLA Tower.
498 Co-living Units are too small
In the age of Covid-19 and pandemics, do we want to provide student-style accommodation for single professionals that is only on average is only 22metres in size, effectively a room 7 metres by 3 metres? The rental markets that the developer is aiming at are people in the late 20s and early 30s, who in previous generations would have become homeowners, but can’t now due to exorbitant house prices. The applicant state that this is a sui-generis application which means they don’t have to comply with the London Plan’s minimum accommodation size, but that doesn’t mean that Croydon has to accept the sizes offered.
Loss of a Key Employment Site
Croydon needs jobs. The success of Croydon as a Town depends on a good balance of Jobs, Homes, Retail and Culture. Croydon used to have an oversupply of poor quality office blocks, but developers have converted many to residential buildings over the last ten years. As a result, Croydon now has a shortage of Grade A office accommodation, the type larger employers seek, especially offices close to major public transport hubs like East Croydon Station. One of the reasons the retail sector in Croydon is struggling is the reduced number of office workers around, who use the shops at lunchtimes and after work. More jobs mean more money circulating locally in the Croydon economy and make Croydon a more attractive place to live and work.
In this article, we have set out the three main reasons we oppose this planning application for a 28-storey building on the site. We have detailed our objections here, which you are welcome to use as the basis of your submission to Croydon Council’s planning department. You can make your objection via this link, or you can email the planning department at [email protected].
Summary Of Objections Reasons
1) Height of the building and impact on NLA Tower
2) Inadequate size of each co-living unit.
3) Loss of a Key Employment Site and proposed application delivers inadequate levels of employment
4) Inadequate amount of affordable housing
5) Street scene and failure to provide a cycling path around the building.
6) Privacy issues
7) Daylight and Sunlight issues on neighbouring properties, especially for Altyre Road and Addiscombe Grove residents.
Details of the Planning Application 21/02912/FUL
Citylink House 4 Addiscombe Road Croydon CR0 5TT
- Demolition of existing building and redevelopment of the site to provide a part 14 storey and part 28 storey building with basement,
- comprising 498 co-living units and associated communal amenity spaces (Use Class Sui Generis),
- 84 residential units (Use Class C3),
- commercial space (Use Class E) and flexible commercial and community space (Use Class E/F1) at ground/mezzanine level,
- together with roof terraces and balconies, wheelchair accessible parking spaces, refuse and cycle storage and associated landscaping and public realm works including removal of subways.
- Works include stopping up of section of highway on Altyre Road and subway to No.1 Croydon, 12-16 Addiscombe Road under Section 247 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended)