Purley Planning Summary – 5th April 2020
The current volume of planning applications and decisions in the PWRA area can make it challenging to keep up with what is being proposed for our area. Consequently the PWRA Planning Officer now prepares a summary of planning activity in our area so we can more easily track this, and determine the action we will take for new planning applications.
We believe that this will also be useful for members and publish it here so YOU can quickly see what we believe to be the most significant planning matters in the PWRA area, the actions we will be taking / have taken, and enable members to take their own actions (eg objecting or supporting new planning applications).
8-10 Grovelands Road – Still showing as pending
33A Smitham Bottom Lane (Ref: 19/02997/FUL) Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of a 2 storey building with accommodation within the roof space. 9 Flats (1 x 3 bed, 6 x 2 bed, 2 x 1 bed) with 9 car parking spaces
66 Foxley Lane (Ref: 19-06038/FUL) Change of use of single dwelling to 5 residential units (3 x 2 bed, 2 x 1 bed) with 2 car parking spaces.
Comment: We had objected. Reasons for refusal – The development would provide sub-standard accommodation (No outdoor private amenity space), Lack of car parking (The 2 spaces proposed are the same as the existing property), Refuse storage not easily accessible by occupants or collectors.
Significant New Applications
54 Brighton Road (Ref: 20/01271/FUL) Conversion of 5 bed house into 4 flats (1 x 1 bed, 1 x 2 bed, 2 x 3 bed) with 2 car parking spaces.
Comment: The number of car parking spaces is the same as existing. Whilst I would have proposed a neutral stance, given the location of this property (and similar to 66 Foxley Lane above) object based primarily on inadequate car parking numbers and potential highway safety issues.
126 Foxley Lane / 1 Woodcote Drive (Ref: 20/01174/FUL) Demolition of two existing properties and erection of two buildings ranging from 2 – 5 storeys, comprising 41 flats (4 x 1 bed, 22 x 2 bed, 15 x 3 bed), with 21 car spaces (and 90, yes 90! cycle spaces).
Comment: Developer is arguing that the proposal is not viable at 50% affordable housing, and is ‘dangling the carrot’ to the council that they might proceed if the council will allow the lower provision of either 15% mixed tenure housing, or 30% shared ownership housing. Object, based on: Loss of two family homes, Detrimental impact on tree(s), Noise, Not in Keeping with the area, Obtrusive by design, Over Development of the site Overlooking, and Traffic / Highway issues.
18 Green Lane (Ref: 20/01020/FUL) Demolition of the existing lean to extension and the erection of an adjoining 3-bedroom dwelling with associated car parking and landscaping.
Comment: This proposal appears to change a detached house into a semi-detached one. The new building will be closer to the next door house (20 Green Lane) than currently, but not on the boundary. Neutral stance proposed.
2 More Close (Ref: 20/00770/FUL) Construction of 2 x 1-bedroom houses to the front of 2 More Close.
Comment: This proposal appears to be in addition to the development of 9 flats already granted planning consent on the site of 2 More Close. Space for this proposal appears to be created by the removal of the car parking spaces for the flats development, apparently with no replacement proposed. This application itself makes no reference to car parking and the drawings show that no off-street car parking is proposed. Object – this new application should surely not be considered in isolation, and the proposals for the entire site (re-)considered as one development (something for Councillors to raise with planners?). Additionally object based on Over Development and Traffic / Highway issues.
63 Whytecliffe Road South (Ref: 19/02109/FUL) Demolition of existing mosque and erection of mixed use mosque development comprising public worship spaces, function areas and one floor of residential use (3 x studio flats) with associated landscaping.
Comment: Almost 900 comments received. Whilst I can see potential highways and car parking issues (esp if the station car park is eventually developed) I propose a neutral stance.
3 Whytecliffe Road (Ref: 20/00954/FUL) Proposed change of use from (A1) Shops to (A3) Restaurants and cafes, and (A5) Hot food takeaways.
Comment: This is currently the hairdressers (ADEM Hair Design) next to BAXFOOD. Propose a neutral stance.
6-12 Woodcote Valley Road (Ref: 20/00686/FUL) Demolition of existing buildings and erection of a part single; part two; part three storey building including a Guest Suite with accommodation in roofspace comprising 29 Retirement Living Apartments with 14 car spaces.
Comment: This is a revised proposal from McCarthy & Stone. Compared to the scheme that was granted consent (I believe at appeal) a couple of years ago it increases the total number of flats by 3 and changes the mix of accommodation (was 6 x 1 bed – now 15 x 1 bed; was 20 x 2 bed – now 14 x 2 bed). The overall footprint of the scheme does not change. In their covering letter McCarthy & Stone say that if this revised proposal is not granted planning consent, or conditions are made too onerous, they will proceed with the scheme that already has consent. I believe this is a ‘warning shot’ to the council not to increase S106 payments above those for the existing scheme. I propose a neutral stance.
London Plan: The Secretary of State has not approved the revised London Plan. He responded to the Mayor on 13th March and issued Directions to the Mayor on the changes required before he would approve the plan. In particular he did not consider the Housing targets to be ambitious enough, which of course plays to the current Croydon administration’s agenda. Nevertheless, if we have read the Secretary of State’s response to the Mayor correctly, he does stress the importance of a mix of homes, including family homes, across London. That may be of benefit to us.
We do not think that the Secretary of State set out revised London Borough by London Borough housing targets, and so would be good if Councillors could find out if any expectations have been communicated, or whether developing these is part of the next stage of the Plan’s preparation before it goes back to the Secretary of State.
Since writing the above Cllr Simon Brew has investigated and pleasingly (at least at the moment!!) it does not seem that Croydon’s housing target will change from that in the version of the London Plan that we have already seen.
Local Plan Partial Review – Protection of Local Green Open Spaces
Although the deadline for submitting additional information to support local green spaces gaining additional protection from development has been extended to the beginning of May, we have submitted our (and Rotary’s) updated document for the Rotary Field. This will be separately published on our web-site / Facebook, with members invited to let us know any additional information they might have that they consider will further strengthen the case for the additional protection of the Rotary Field. We will set a timeline for receiving any additional information, so we can further update our submission and resubmit it before the extended deadline.
Effect of Covid-19 on the Housing Market and Estate Agency: Trying to get a feel for the possible short, medium, and longer term effect of Covid-19 on the housing market and estate agency generally I came across the below links in the Nextdoor ‘Fight Overdevelopment of Croydon’ news group. Some interesting articles and perspectives. The ‘market’ may yet help us…..
Restrictive Covenants: Restrictive covenants against the development of flats exist in many Title Deeds of properties in our area and more widely across the south of the Borough. We have been doing some investigation into these as they appear to be a mechanism that could be used to prevent overdevelopment of the area, especially as they are an entirely separate matter to the grant of a planning permission for development (ie the granting of a planning consent does not automatically mean that a restrictive covenant is no longer actionable (and equally the existence of a restrictive covenant is not a valid reason for objecting to a planning application)). Indeed in some instances in the borough it does appear that the existence of Restrictive Covenants has resulted in some developers withdrawing their proposals. However I have been left with the question: ‘If Restrictive Covenants appear to be the answer, why are they not being used more often to prevent inappropriate developments?’ It appears that I am not the only one who has been looking at this, for very likely the same reasons.
My conclusions (which, as none of us are lawyers, we are very happy to be challenged / corrected on by those who might know more) are that whilst this is indeed something that should be looked at in our situation, one needs to follow this route with ‘one’s eyes wide open’. It is a complex area, which should be looked into very early in the development process (ie the moment one becomes aware of a possible development) if one is to pursue it, needs to be looked at on almost a case by case basis, and with the recognition that there are grounds on which Restrictive Covenants can be held to no longer be valid. This process also has the potential to be expensive (for all involved), and with this in particular in mind, and as with many things, a lot will depend of where, and what ‘cost’ (not only in terms of money, but also in terms of things like time and effort), one puts the balance of risk
Reader: Your help and expertise appreciated
Over the next couple of weeks PWRA will try and put together some guidelines on Restrictive Covenants to publish on our web-site (and invite members input, especially if they have either practical or professional experience of Restrictive Covenants).