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Proctor and Matthews submits plans 'for only tower' in Purley

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Proctor and Matthews Architects has submitted detailed plans for a 114-home development in Purley, featuring the only tower ‘allowed’ in the south London town

The project, known as Mosaic Place, will sit on a brownfield site between Russell Hill Road, Russell Hill Parade and Brighton Road, and is backed by Thornsett Group on behalf of Purley Baptist Church.

Ranging in height from three to 17-storeys, the red and brown brick proposals include a replacement for Purley Baptist Church’s existing 1908 building on the plot, which will be flattened once the new centre is completed.

According to the practice, the scheme’s centrepiece will occupy the only site earmarked for a tall tower in the Purley district under the London Borough of Croydon’s local plan.

However the height of the proposal has already provoked criticism from some locals who claim the tower – dubbed the ‘Purley skyscraper’ by campaigers – will be three times higher than any other building in the town.

Proctor and Matthews director Andrew Cadey insisted the firm’s proposals ‘responded to a complex brief by Purley Baptist Church, whose publicly minded approach to development aims to serve the local community’.

He added: ‘Together we have produced a generous scheme that brings a wide range of uses to the site, provides much-needed new homes, improves the public realm, and creates an elegant new landmark for Purley.’

Meanwhile the practice is also working on the masterplan of a neighbouring site, known as  South Site (1-9 Banstead Road), which will provide 106 new flats. Detailed plans for the scheme have been submitted by Capital Architecture. Croydon Council is expected to make a decision on the scheme in early autumn. 

Elsewhere in the capital, Proctor and Matthews is also masterplanning the major regeneration of South Thamesmead, south-east London, where some 1,900 new homes will be built. 

Project data

Location London Borough of Croydon
Type of project Mixed use (residential, ecclesiastical, community facilities, leisure, retail)
Client Thornsett Group (on behalf of the Purley Baptist Group)
Masterplanner Proctor and Matthews Architects
Architect Proctor and Matthews Architects
Landscape architect Philip Cave Landscape Architects
Planning consultants Nexus Planning
Structural engineer Price & Myers
M&E Peter Brett

Purley tower 1

Purley tower 1

Source: Proctor and Matthews Architects

Plans for Mosaic Place

Architect’s view

Three residential pavilion buildings, incrementally rising in scale and height towards the landmark tower, are connected by smaller residential blocks overlooking shared courtyard gardens containing children’s play space. A ‘campanile’ element faces the town centre, acting as a bookend and anchor to the tower. Herringbone brickwork provides interesting texture, and mimics existing brick patterns elsewhere in the Edwardian town centre.

The tower itself rises as a slender landmark, carefully positioned to respect neighbouring buildings and reinforce views. It has a deeply revealed cladding profile, taking its cue from adjacent window mullion detailing and hints at historic church window tracery. The lattice of mullions and transoms expands as the tower rises, eventually forming a triple height ‘crown’ at the top where the upper storeys are set back and ringed by a series of deep planters containing Scots pines – bringing additional texture and colour to the composition and looking out to the verdant hillsides surrounding Purley.




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