Residents overshadowed by "towering" Lidl development
by Jo Charlton
Fuming residents say they are being forced out of their homes by the towering new Lidl development that blocks out their sunlight.
Residents in Wolsey Crescent accepted the idea of a supermarket on the Cunningham pub site, in Parkway, New Addington.
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But they were horrified when construction got underway and the building went up – and up.
Two storeys of flats have been built on top of the store – extra levels which some residents say they were never made aware of.
Margaret Lapwood, 79, has lived in her one-storey home for 51 years, and had hoped to stay there forever, but now she feels she has no choice but to move.
She explained: "We were never overlooked by the pub. It had a garden and it was set back from the road. We had a lovely view right the way over the fields and you could see the sunset.
"But now there are these awful flats and we have lost our natural light.
"There's no way I'll sit out in my garden now. People will be able to see everything.
"I've lived here all this time. I'm very upset. I would like to move but my house won't be worth the same money now. Who would want to live here?"
To make matters worse, Mrs Lapwood thought the application had bitten the dust. Following a public consultation, the development was initially refused by Croydon Council.
However, residents' joy was short-lived as the planning application was accepted on appeal, unbeknown to a number of the store's neighbours.
Construction work for the discount supermarket site – which includes a new store, car parking and 14 new flats – began in April this year.
Mrs Lapwood said: "We knew there was going to be a Lidl but we didn't realise there were going to be flats on top.
"After the plans were rejected we never heard anymore, but the next thing we knew it was going up."
Wendy Ellis, 64, lives on the opposite side of Wolsey Crescent with her husband Michael.
She said: "All I can see now is the building. It's awful. I never, ever thought they would do that.
"It has great big windows overlooking everyone's gardens. I don't know how they could ever have approved it."
Lidl is expected to open in the New Year.