CROYDON Council has dropped its Coulsdon Masterplan following a legal challenge from residents in neighbouring Chipstead.
The shock withdrawal of the document, which set out a framework for major redevelopment of the town, follows a request by residents of the nearby Surrey village for a judicial review.
The council confirmed on Wednesday it had agreed to "set aside" the masterplan following a "detailed review of the overall nature of the plan, the methodology used in drafting it and recent case law."
The document was formally adopted as planning guidance in September and took more than two years to produce, amid heavy consultation with residents across the area.
But its many critics said it failed to plan properly for the traffic produced by a planned development of nearly 700 homes in Cane Hill, bordering Chipstead, among other concerns.
Croydon Council says it will now "re-evaluate proposals around the [Cane Hill] site", for which the planning application was published last week.
Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, insisted the doomed masterplan had been useful, as a means of seeking people's opinions over planned and possible developments and getting landowners to work together.
He added much of the plan had met with "general consent" but "we acknowledge that there are some elements which caused significant concern for some individuals and this is what has led to the current situation."
Charles King, chairman of the East Coulsdon Residents' Association, said he hoped dropping the plan would trigger the changes they wanted.
He said: "It is a shame, but the real shame is the council stopped talking to us in July. Because they did that they found themselves in this stupid position.
"We did not personally support [the judicial review] because I think we felt a judicial review was more about protecting Chipstead than benefiting Coulsdon.
"But at the end of the day it might have the correct result by default; that they will review access to Cane Hill and the parking in the town centre."
Peter Appleford, a committee member of the Coulsdon West Residents' Association said: "It is a great waste of hours of work, and I also feel for the council officers who put in their time.
"But I am just going to say good for Chipstead – they are challenging it, they are unhappy with it for the same reasons we are."
But he added: "What is the concept for Coulsdon now? There is a lack of any kind of central concept for the town as a whole and the surroundings."
The masterplan included proposals for key town centre sites including the park in Lion Green Road, the CALAT centre and Lion Green car park.
Chipstead Residents' Association would not comment at this stage.
More on the Cane Hill application page 19