Croydon fly-tipping spot: mini-mall to replace rubbish 

Fly tipping spot in Purley Way before 100 tonnes of rubbish was cleared from the area. Pic: Alice Chapman

The notorious fly-tipping spot in Purley Way, south Croydon, has a bright future ahead of itself as 100 tonnes of rubbish has been cleared from the area.  

A project to build a 40-shop mini-mall filled with independent vendors, including butchers and greengrocers began earlier this month after the rubbish was cleared.  

The plan is to support local and independent vendors who are being driven out of the high street due to increased rent and bills.  

The sight has been a notorious spot for fly-tipping for years. This has had a negative effect on businesses nearby and created an eyesore for passers-by in the Purley Way playing fields. 

The project will take an estimated 18 months until it is fully functioning, with vendors setting up shop inside the building. 

Koby Yogaretnam, business consultant and co-founder of the project, told Eastlondonlines: “This is not for the Starbucks and Costas of the world, but more the local clothing store, butcher or greengrocer, or young entrepreneur who wants to sell homemade jewellery. 

“I’ve worked in lots of different businesses. I see and understand how nowadays small businesses are finding it very difficult to be on the high street due to such rising prices in rent and bills. 

“These retailers are looking to stay in business but find more cost-effective ways to operate. So that’s where this concept comes in. Take over an abandoned building and turn it into a mini-mall for local businesses.” 

A local business owner previously told Eastlondonlines that the fly-tipping spot was affecting their number of customers. 

Yogaretnam said: “We understand that, at the end of the day, the fly-tipping was not the landowner’s fault. They’ve secured the sight, and people are breaking in.  

“It’s like if someone comes and dumps rubbish on your driveway, once it’s done it’s done, they’re gone in seconds. 

“Some of the neighbours have passed videos of the fly-tippers to the police and no prosecution has been done. Unfortunately, the landlord is sitting there thinking if I pay £70,000 to clear this, I’m not going to get support from the police, I’m going to get another bill for £60-70,000.” 

Yogaretnam and his business partner are local residents to the area, and after passing by the shocking fly-tipping scene on multiple occasions, decided that something far more innovative than an abandoned waste site could be done with the area. They first proposed their idea to the landlord six months ago.  

Yogaretnam added: “The landlord understands the project that is taking place and was selective in choosing us. He also understands the local retail dilemma, so when we proposed our plan, he was very welcoming and thought that it would benefit the local area.  

“There are a lot of abandoned buildings up and down the country and there’s also a lot of empty high streets. There are people who know how to run businesses, but they just can’t afford to do so.  

“I would love for this project to be a catalyst, up and down the country for other people to follow our formula, so other high streets and other small companies can resume businesses in more cost-affordable ways, whilst still providing a service to the community.” 

There are 140 parking spots on the sight and an offer of 90 minutes free parking will be available to customers who wish to shop at the upcoming mini-mall. 

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