Plans to demolish three sets of garages on Bedwardine Road and replace them with housing have been given the go-ahead by a Croydon planning committee.
A move by Conservative opposition councillors to defer the application, partly because of the lack of on-site parking, failed after committee vice chairman Cllr Paul Scott (Lab, Woodside) said the key to the application was housing and the “many,many homes” we need.
“I can’t see the level of the impact on the neighbours will be at a level that would make it unacceptable.” he said.
There were 79 street parking spaces available of a “typical” weekday evening “available in the immediate area.”
“As has been said earlier and by Government scientists, we do need to move away from our love affair with cars which is killing us, basically”
Cllr Scott added that the design was “really good” and “improves the character of the area.” The impact on neighbours would not be of a level that would suggest it should be refused, he added.
But Cllr Jason Perry (Con, South Croydon) said: “It’s not about putting cars before homes it’s about the people who already live in this community, taking away parking from them. “Were removing parking and creating an additional need. “That’s the undoing of this particular scheme.”
A total of 14 car parking spaces would be lost. He found the suggestion that there were 79 spaces in the area “hard to believe. “I know that area quite well. “The loss of these spaces will have a big impact.”
He said a lot of effort had gone into the design of the blocks. It was difficult trying to create something that would sit within the design styles of Bedwardine Road but on the whole it has been reasonably successful, Cllr Perry added.
Cllr Perry moved to defer the application so the parking could be looked at again because “the fact we’re providing no additional parking doesn’t make any sense” and secondly, because of the overlooking of habitable rooms.
But Cllr Scott had already moved approval of the application. Earlier, Cllr Sherwan Chowdhury (Lab Norbury Park) had said: “We’re discouraging people to have cars. “More cars cause more problems”
Cllr Chris Clark (Lab, Fairfield) said the area was 11 minutes walk from Gipsy Hill station, 16 or 17 minutes from Crystal Palace station.
A “significant number” of concerns over the original planning application had been mitigated. “The issue we have is a desperate shortage of housing. “On that basis, I support this application.”
Cllr Clark later added:“Too many times this committee is presented with applications which sit just below the number of homes that would be obliged to provide affordable housing. “This developer has chosen to provide three homes in the form of shared ownership.”
Cllr Joy Prince (Lab, Waddon) said that one of the three proposed blocks (block A next to ) did not work as well as the other two describing it as “narrow and rocket-shaped.”
The applications for the three developments, which were considered jointly, were approved by five votes to three with one abstention.