Plans to build a controversial 17 floor 'skyscraper' in Purley have been blocked by the Government.

Secretary for housing, communities and local Government, James Brokenshire, rejected the application on Monday after Croydon council's decision to approve the development in 2016 was 'called in' for review by the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid.

This triggered a public inquiry in January 2018, in which campaigners, led by seven local residents' associations, argued the building was 'out of character' with the surrounding area.

Over 11,000 people signed MP Chris Philp's petition against the development.

Mr Philp, MP for South Croydon, said: "I am delighted by this decision.

"It shows that at long last someone is listening to local people in our neighbourhood. This was a terrible planning application that would have spoiled our neighbourhood. The Labour council let us all down by ignoring our views.

"There is a right of appeal for the developer on narrow procedural grounds (they have to show due process was not followed), which I hope would prove futile if attempted.

"The site does need developing, and I would be happy to support an appropriate scheme to provide amenities and housing for local people there. But 17 floor skyscrapers do not fit with Purley – they belong in Croydon town centre and in central London."

Your Local Guardian: Resident's Associations oppose the Purley skyscraper

An artist's impression of the building

Alison Butler, Croydon Council cabinet member for homes and gateway services, labelled the Government's decision an 'absolute disgrace' on social media.

The site owner, Purley Baptist Church, published a story on its website, expressing dissapointment at the decision.

It reads: "PBC are surprised and deeply disappointed that the Secretary of State has turned down our proposed development.

"We understand that the scheme faced much opposition, principally regarding the height of the tower, but felt that the evidence presented to the enquiry held in January more than justified the proposal. This is borne out by the Inspector's recommendation to approve the scheme.

"We’ll now take time to consider where we go from here."

The developers now have six weeks to appeal the decision, which can be challenged on procedural grounds.