THOUSANDS of new homes are coming to Purley and Coulsdon following the approval of a council blueprint stating the two towns must play a "substantial role" in borough-wide housing expansion.
A report by the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate has approved Croydon Council's Core Strategy for a minimum of 13,300 homes to be built by 2022 – 1,663 a year – to meet the borough'shousing demands.
The development edict, which dictates Purley and Coulsdon – along with Waddon, Broad Green and Selhurst – must bear the brunt of development outside Croydon town centre, also states an extra minimum 6,900 homes are to be built by 2031.
The Core Strategy will now officially come into effect in April.
Jason Perry, Croydon Council's cabinet member for planning, said the approval is good news for those "substantial role" areas because it means development can be "controlled".
He said: "At the moment we have growth whether you like it or not and we are acting on that growth and coming up with a measure to control it.
"At the moment development is happening and we're only being able to react to it. This is giving us control."
Mr Perry insisted developments would be in keeping with surrounding areas because of "character appraisals" built into the council's blueprint.
Around 60 per cent of the homes outside of Croydon town centre must be at least three or more bedrooms, sparking fears the increase would lead to sprawling developments.
However, the plan states the Green Belt will be protected – with no need to review its boundaries – and that growth will remain concentrated in town centres.
But more sites such as the Cane Hill plot in Coulsdon will need to be found to meet the demand. Mr Perry said he is hopeful of seeing building at the Purley Baptist Church-owned site on Purley Cross as part of the housing expansion.
Delays are expected in Purley for a number of years where flooding issues will have to "be dealt with" more conclusively before significant developments can take place.
Tarsem Flora, chairman of Purley and Woodcote Residents' Association, said: "There are mixed feelings about the scale and type of development being proposed. Above all we want to ensure that developments are in keeping and that we do not see sprawling developments all over the place."
Estate agent Rob Albery, owner of Croydon-based Albery Estates, said: "I think it's a good thing personally.
"You're going to see a lot more people settling in the borough, which means more money and potentially a rise in house prices if it is becoming a more desirable place to live.
"Purley is right next to the train line, is not far from Croydon and is a very desirable place to live. If we can get more people here spending money then that can only be good."