Croydon Council has thrown out plans by Horden Cherry Lee for a 34-storey build-to-rent tower that included an 11-storey screen to shield it from existing homes
The local authority’s planning committee acted in line with a planning officer’s report in refusing consent for the Canterbury House proposals.
The planning report cited a number of reasons for refusing the scheme – which was backed by developer Croydon Investments – including the impact of the screen, the small size of proposed flats and the effect on Croydon’s skyline.
It quoted a review by the council’s place review panel, which concluded ‘the scheme is not of the quality and standard that Croydon needs and expects’.
The review added: ‘The panel remains unconvinced about a significant number of aspects of the scheme as submitted and presented, and does not consider it to be exemplar design in any aspect.’
The planning application proposed 296 homes in a tower next to an existing 12-storey residential building on the site.
But planning officers were scathing about the proposed frosted-glass sight screen, which would stand just 4.5m away from windows.
Their report said the privacy screen represented ‘poor design’ when assessed against national and local planning policy.
It added: ‘The detrimental visual and urban design impact of the screen is further exacerbated by the significant amount of inactive frontage at ground level directly below the screen and to the east of the proposed Phase 2 tower which, together with the bin storage areas, creates a hostile public realm.’
In addition, the council said it was not happy with the size of the ‘micro’ flats proposed, which a Greater London Authority report said were all below London Plan space standards.
The place review panel voiced concern that kitchens in the flats were not ‘big enough, or sufficiently well designed, to cook a healthy meal in’.
Historic England said the proposals had the potential to cause harm to the setting of nearby heritage assets, and recommended further assessments before planning was granted.
According to the planning report, the developer had promised to submit amendments to the scheme, but none had been forthcoming.
It said: ‘Officers consider that the time provided to respond has been proportionate and reasonable, particularly in light of the matters of principle including environmental and amenity concerns, consistently highlighted to the applicant since the council issued its pre-application advice in February 2017.’
Horden Cherry Lee declined to comment. The agent listed on the application was contacted for comment.