Croydon’s busy Brighton road will see the addition of another residential block after the borough’s planning committee gave the green light to build 27 new flats.

Property developers, SHW, recently appealed a Croydon council decision to reject the development on the site of the vacant Axis repairs office building.

Axis was previously the council’s main housing repair contractor before they ended their service agreement two years early in July last year. 

Many saw the contractor’s involvement in the highly publicised Regina Road council housing scandal as the reason for the termination.

Axis was initially awarded the near £150 million contract back in 2014, when the borough was under Conservative control. 

Brighton Road has seen near constant building in recent years, as developers see the road as prime real estate just outside Croydon’s metropolitan centre. Within the last month another development was approved two doors down from the former Axis building.

This will see the creation of a new five storey apartment complex, housing 28 apartments and three commercial units. 

The approval of the planning permission for 5 Brighton road will see the two developments dominate the top end of the road heading into Croydon. They will be separated only by a small restaurant owned by the Chennai Dosa group.

SHW, an active developer in the borough, made an application for full planning permission to remove an external staircase at the building’s rear as well as windows to its side and rear. This application was made initially because permitted development rights don’t permit external alterations to a building of this type.

After obtaining planning permission, a pair of prior approval applications were submitted to convert the building’s existing floorspace to provide 16 flats. They also sought to build two additional stories, which would house a further 11 flats.

The London Planning Authority initially rejected the developer’s application over concerns that future residents would receive inadequate natural lighting and questions over the waste management plan and access to local public transport.

Furthermore, the rejection letter stated that “No evidence has been provided that the building has been vacant for a continuous period of at least three months immediately prior to the date of this application for prior approval being submitted.”

However, this decision was overturned at appeal after SHW provided the planning committee with updated lighting reports and architectural drawings. They also further clarified their case to justify the proposed schemes of development.

Alongside the proposed residential units, the new development will also feature refuse storage, cycle storage and disabled parking. Building on the site is due to commence soon.

Jamil Hornsby-Odoi, SHW’s Graduate Planner on this project said: "This is probably one of my favourite projects that I have worked on to date.

"Not only was it satisfying to assist in replacing a worn-down office block with 27 flats in my local area, but the fact that we were able to successfully challenge the Council’s assessment of our project made the outcome feel even more fulfilling.

"We worked with a very understanding client who was happy with every judgement call we made, and I believe overall it has heavily contributed towards my continued professional development as a planner.”