MP STEVE REED OBJECTS TO QUEENS HOTEL REDEVELOPMENT PLANS – “Bigger than Park Lane Hilton”
Croydon North MP Steve Reed has joined the growing numbers of those objecting to the proposed redevelopment at the Queens hotel, Church Road, Crystal Palace.
Mr Reed, in whose constituency the hotel stands, says redevelopment of the hotel in principle is welcome – but that must not happen at the expense of the community.
In his letter of objection to Croydon council Mr Reed says:
- The size and massing of the proposed new buildings behind Church Road towards Fitzroy Gardens and Wakefield Gardens is far too big.
They will dominate the streetscape of these residential areas, blocking out light and overwhelming the neighbourhood. They should be reduced in size so this does not happen.
The redeveloped hotel would be far too big for the area.
- At 530 rooms it will be bigger than the Park Lane Hilton, and much bigger than any other hotel in the area. An average-sized Travelodge has 75 rooms and a Premier Inn around 85 rooms.
There is no space around the hotel for the scale of deliveries required, appropriate staff accommodation, or road capacity for the additional traffic the development will bring. For all these reasons, the scale of the hotel must be dramatically reduced.
- The hotel is in a conservation area, and the Victorian nature of the hotel buildings are part of what this is supposed to conserve.
The proposal to demolish them and replace them with a very ordinary modern building that overwhelms local streets is inappropriate and should be rejected in favour of a proposal more in keeping with the locality and its history, he adds.
The 1850s stable block at the back of the site is earmarked for demolition in order to accommodate a multi-story car park. No guarantee has been given that the stables wall, which forms the boundary of seven private gardens, will be left in place.
There are serious concerns about the level of noise and intrusion if the car park is built in this location, particularly given how close it is to residents homes as the gardens are not large. I support residents who wish to see the car park relocated elsewhere on the site.
Companies associated with the hotel are buying up houses on Fitzroy Gardens and Wakefield Gardens. It is not clear why they are doing this, but the effect is to damage the close-knit community which lives there.
I have been shown examples of building waste being dumped in the garden of one of the houses, implying they intend to convert it into a multi-occupancy property, again wholly out of keeping with the area.
Residents have made clear to me that they would welcome an appropriate redevelopment of the hotel and are disappointed that the hotel owners have not engaged with them more constructively.
The proposal, with appropriate amendments, could win the support of local residents which in its current form it does not enjoy, says Mr Reed.
“I urge the committee to reject the proposals as they currently stand on the grounds above, and issue an instruction to the developers to consult with local residents on a new proposal.”
CROYDON SOUTH MP LODGES COMPLAINT WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN
Croydon South MP Chris Philp has lodged a complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman about Cllr Paul Scott, chairman of Croydon council’s planning committee.
Mr Philp had originally lodged his complaint with Croydon council.
Mr Philp told News From Crystal Palace: “The response which I received to my complaint from the council was unsatisfactory so I have now lodged my complaint with the LGO.”
A Local Government Ombudsman spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “We investigate complaints in private – so people can complain without fear of being identified.
“For that reason, we don’t confirm or deny whether we are investigating an issue. “We do, however, publish our complaint decisions after they are complete, with anonymised names.
“The general process for making a complaint is that someone logs a new complaint and we acknowledge receipt within a day or so.
“If they’ve shown they’ve already gone through the council’s complaints process, we will assess the complaint to see if it is in jurisdiction and warrants investigation, and if so carry out a detailed investigation.
“We cannot generally look at complaints from councillors in their capacity as councillors, but our fact sheet may help http://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint/fact-sheets/other-topics/complaints-about-standards-and-member-conduct”