My letter to the Mayor of London – Stop the Purley Skyscraper

I have written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, calling for him to intervene and Call In the proposed 17 floor Purley Skyscraper.

At recent pre-application hearings the Council has indicated that it is minded to approve the planning application for the skyscraper.

However, under Mayor of London Order 2008, the London Mayor is able to overrule the decision of the Council by directly intervening as the Planning Authority.

This application for a 17 floor skyscraper is totally out of keeping with a quiet area like Purley.

There are seven clear reasons why the Mayor should step in and prevent this Skyscraper from being given the go ahead. The style is clearly wrong for the area, it is much too large, it will set an unacceptable precedent for more Skyscrapers to be built in the area, there is a lack of parking places, it fails to demonstrate economic benefits for the area, it will have a clear effect on people living locally and the architecture raises significant urban design issues.

I look forward to the Mayor’s reply and hope that he will make the right decision Purley.


The text of my letter in full:

Dear Sadiq,

Re: London Borough of Croydon Planning application: 16/02994/P

Purley Baptist Church & Hall, Banstead Road, 1-4 Russell Hill Parade, 1 Russell Hill Road and 2-12 Brighton Road and 1-9 Banstead Road Purley CR8

I am writing to ask you to use your powers as Mayor of London to Call In and refuse the above planning application for a 17 storey tower and associated buildings accommodating 220 flats in the centre of Purley.

I am supported in this request by seven local residents associations and I also have a petition which has been signed by 8500 residents who also oppose this application.

The proposed scheme for the development of 220 flats does meet the criteria for Call In as set out in the Mayor of London Order (2008).  As you know under Article 7 you do have the power to direct that you will become the local planning authority for an application and I believe that there are sound planning reasons for your intervention in this particular case.

These are as follows:

  1. The proposal is completely out of character with the local area in terms of property style and type and constitutes considerable over-development of both sites
  2. The proposed scheme at 717 habitable rooms per hectare is beyond the London Plan density matrix and its size and massing is completely and utterly out of character with the local area.
  3. At 17 floors it will have a profound effect on a peaceful suburban area where the surrounding buildings which are a maximum of five floors but mostly of only 3-4 storeys – if allowed it will set an unacceptable precedent for further high rise developments in the centre of Purley.
  4. With 50 of the 87 parking spaces designated for use by the Church, which is part of the scheme and the main landowner, and 20 for accessible use, there will be just 17 unrestricted spaces left for 220 residential flats to use, putting enormous pressure on local leafy residential streets.
  5. It fails to clearly demonstrate its potential long term impact on economic growth or regeneration benefits
  6. It will have significant effects beyond the immediate locality
  7. The application raises significant architectural and urban design issues

Although the site needs developing (in my view 5-7 floors would be suitable) I am vigorously opposed to proposed development at this scale, as are thousands of my constituents.

I would be grateful if you would therefore Call In the application and refuse it.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Philp MP