Croydon Council has approved the building of Purley's first tall tower block as part of the redevelopment of the Purley Baptist Church site.
The planning approval followed a consultation process during which 4,000 residents reportedly signed a petition opposing the plan. The motion was approved in December 2016 by the planning committee by a vote of six to four.
The consultation phase and feedback from the public did lead to design changes - which were revealed in January. The sketches show how the building will look in situ.
The architects, Proctor and Matthews, said they wanted the tower to be not corporate or office-like, elegant and eco-friendly. They worked with landscaping firm Philip Cave Associates to design the building with a canopy of trees on top. The trees are set within a distinctive stone framework inspired by the stone ‘tracery’ detailing of some of the early buildings in the centre of Purley.
The images from the official project web site show how the building would look from different Purley views, once it is finished.
Purley Baptist Centre redevelopment
The Purley Baptist Centre will be a multi-use state-of-the-art building for the community, which will accommodate sporting, leisure, meeting and retail activities for the whole community, and provide facilities for Purley Baptist Church and Purley Cross Centre. The centre, which is marked as a square on the map, is comprised of 4 floors and is situated on the gyratory.
The ground floor of the Purley Baptist Centre has been designed to be as open and transparent as possible and will form both the heart of the centre and its public face. A new café is proposed alongside a new outdoor public space (on the corner of Russell Hill Road and Brighton Road), in order to form a ‘civic beacon’ at the end of the high street. The ground floor also contains the Purley Cross Centre - an information centre that is a longstanding and well used Purley institution.
A proposed multi-purpose flexible hall on the ground floor will enable the staging of exhibitions, public meetings or performances, and a new retail unit will complete the commercial frontage at the end of Russell Hill Parade.
In addition to being the new worship space for the Baptist Church, the 450-seat auditorium on the first floor of the centre would be open for use by the whole of the community. It would be the only assembly space of this size in Purley and would allow the staging of larger music concerts, events and meetings that are not currently possible in Purley.
Directly accessible from the ground floor, the Purley Baptist Centre will contain an indoor, double-height sports-court suitable for a variety of activities such as five-a-side football, badminton, trampolining and exercise classes.
To facilitate outdoor activities and summer events, the proposals incorporate outdoor space, overlooking Russell Hill Road, at a high level. The outdoor space will give the centre an additional community/civic dimension, allowing it to host a new, wider variety of community events.
The complex will also incorporate a residential apartment complex and a number of car and bicycle parking options.