Neighbours protest at Upper Norwood developer 'eyesore'
Angry neighbours in one of Upper Norwood's more expensive streets is calling on Croydon Council to force a developer to continue work on an unfinished property they say is an "eyesore" or sell up.
John Gardner who lives in Downsview Gardens, Upper Norwood, claims the wildlife-infested property is ruining the close after a developer who bought the house started to demolish it, but then stopped work completely.
Planning permission was granted for the demolition of the existing building and the erection of a detached, two storey, house in December 2010.
An application to make alterations including the erection of a porch, and a side and rear extension, was granted last August.
Neighbours say the unfinished building could affect property prices in the quiet-cul-de-sac, where the average house is estimated to be worth £324,173.
Mr Gardner, a retired architect who is leading the campaign to force action on the house, said: "Our cul-de-sac was very attractive, but not any more. We used to look out on to a lovely house and now we look across and there are very ugly hoardings, all the windows and doors have gone, it is just an ugly shell.
"It is becoming overgrown with ivy and the site is infested with pigeons in the roof and possibly rats. The council should force the developer to go ahead and implement the proposed building scheme or sell up."
Ward Councillor Pat Ryan said it was "scandalous" the property had been allowed to remain an eyesore for three years.
He said: "The planning enforcement team have failed in their responsibilities in ensuring the owners of this property carry out the work as agreed in the planning applications.
"If the owner is not prepared to complete this work, I believe the Council should compulsory purchase order this property, in order to provide a decent home for the many homeless families in Croydon."
A spokesman for Croydon Council said the matter had not been reported to them until now, but they would look into the concerns raised.
He said: "We do have certain powers under planning legislation, however a property has to be causing significant negative effects for us to be able to take action against the owner."
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