Croham Valley Residents’ Association
Minutes of the Executive Committee held by Videoconference on 11 May 2020
1 Apologies and distribution
Paper copy to Paul Sowan
Posted to cvra.org.uk
2 To agree the minutes of the previous meeting
There was no March meeting.
3 Matters Arising
There were no matters arising
4 Treasurers Report
Wendy presented her report;
Report to the Committee of Croham Valley Residents’
11th May 2020
We currently have £4,239.28 in the bank, which is sufficient to meet our current needs and invest in help with the development of our website. All subscriptions for 2019-20 have now been collected and we have receive £8 by BGC for 2020-21. Solopress have not yet refunded the money paid for the March Newsletters which were not delivered.
Collection of this years subscriptions is now on hold but I hope we can do this with the Summer issue.
I am still looking to identify an S Neilson, Charles Humphries and Y Butler. If anyone recognises these names please let me know.
Mahesh from Crest Road has taken overthe website. Please send any updates to him for inclusion on the site. Due tothe lack of hard copy newsletters this is now more important and your helpwould be appreciated. Can you please check out the website and send anyamendments to Mahesh.
I have yet to invoice all advertisers for this year. I now intend to post invoices with a copy of the new Summer Newsletter when ready.
Just a reminder. We urgently need to address the need for an interim and long term editor and other committee members.
Wendy A Love FCCA
Hon. Treasurer CVRA
5 Planning Matters
David presented his report:
The following was agreed:
1 Jeremy would write a polite letter to the owner of the site near to 148 Ballards Wayasking them to tidy up their building site.
2 We would not object to 38 Croham Park Avenue – which is to retain the garden room but reclassified as a 1 bedroom annex to the main house. We can see that there is the possibility to rent this out to third parties but the no objection is based on the fact that this would be difficult to enforce and also doue to our understanding that the Council is charging a separate Council Tax for these annexes.
3 We would thank Maria for referring 3 Binfield Road to the Planning Committee.
4 David would ask of CVRA member at 126 Coombe Road whether they are aware of the proposal.
5 148 Ballards Way. Jeremy would write to the neighbour asking him to put his name to the CVRA complaint regarding misleading statements at the relevant Planning Committee meeting.
David was thanked for his work.
6 General Planning Points
No new general planning points.
No new complaints.
No new issues.
9 Coombe Wood School
No new issues.
The recommendation for a school street has been rejected by the school – who needed to approve it for it to go to the Council.
The Coombe Road crossing appears to be taking the location of the current refuge – ie right next to Melville Avenue.
We are not aware of any proposals for road widening.
The windows overlooking residents are now not being tinted to restrict the view into the residents’ houses. This is based on costs involved.
There was uncertainty whether the school would after all be offering its sports facilities to local groups in the evenings.
We are looking for progress on the two concessions given at the planning committee for the main school.
– The request by Paul Scott for noise deadening panels in the goods yard – now in.
– The capability for on-site overspill parking. Still outstanding.
10 Croydon Council Plan – Revision: Consultation November 2019
No new issues
11 Newsletter/ Website
The Spring Newsletter was written and sent to the printers but not printed due the Committee not wanting to expose our deliverers to the virus. Jeremy has asked for a refund from the printers.
It was agreed the next printed letter would be the Autumn Newsletter – subject to relaxation of restrictions.
It would be delivered by the delivers as we will ask for renewals in that Newsletter. But after that is open to discussion.
Jeremy would continue to edit for the foreseeable future.
12 Any other business
The Committee unanimously agreed to make a donation of £200 towards the Selsdon Coronovirus Support Group.
PS advised that he was concerned with noise from events held at Old Whits, Lloyd Park and potentially Coombe Wood School. It was agreed that this was a matter to consider.
It was suggested that a member of the committee should take up the Green Belt issues.
The Committee unanimously agreed to make a donation of £250 towards the Campaign for an Elected Mayor.
The Committee unanimously agreed to make a donation of £50 towards the Ballards Big Lunch Community Event. It was agreed any community event would be eligible for a donation.
Parking along Croham Valley Road was discussed. JG looked at the 2 Campden Road development where there had been discussions on whether there were restrictions on owners of 2 Campden in getting permits for the road. In the Officer’s Report there is no mention of restrictions. There is however a requirement for “parking arrangements” to be agreed before the development is occupied.
8 Dates of next meetings
Committee: 13th July – provisional.
Jeremy Gill May 2020
Appendix A: CVRA Committee Meeting Planning 11th May 2020 Update
Planning Area A
The Croft, 3 Binfield Road
This new planning application is for the demolition of the existing bungalow and replacing it with a pair of semi detached houses one 5 bedroom the other 3 bedroom. It’s my opinion that the new owner of this property who has not lived in the property has bought it solely with the intension of developing the site and following the planning pre-application advice there’s a reasonable likelihood that approval will be granted. If this is the case there’s a real risk that a further planning application will be submitted for a larger development, possibly flats.
15 Campden Road
This new planning application is for the development of the land beside 15 Campden Road which has been vacant for a good number of years, although in March 2017 there was a planning approval granted for 5 flats which is still currently valid; this approval has established a presumption of development on the site. The new proposal is also for 5 flats with 2 parking spaces.
39 Castlemaine Avenue
This new planning application is for a change of use of an existing annexe at the bottom of the rear garden into a separate 2 bedroom single storey residential dwelling. This application has since been refused permission.
50 Castlemaine Avenue
Planning approval was given in June 2019 for the demolition of the existing house and replacing it with a building of 9 flats and 4 parking spaces. Construction work has not yet commenced.
Coombe Wood School
JAG to provide the write up.
38 Croham Park Avenue
This new planning application is for the retention of an existing outbuilding which is a self contained 1 bedroom single storey unit for ancillary use to the main dwelling.
80 Croham Road
This new planning application is for the demolition of the existing house and the erection of two buildings, one of 6 flats with 3 parking bays the other for a terrace of 3 houses with 3 parking bays which by virtue of its bulk, mass and poor design will create an overbearing incompatible development. This follows the withdrawal of an earlier application for 2 buildings comprising of a total of 9 flats. The owner of this property has already paid for Planning Pre-Application advice from the Planning Department. We’re currently waiting for a date for this application to go before the Planning Committee, at which time David Rutherford will speak as an objector on behalf of the CVRA and the local resident objectors, as will hopefully one of our local Councillors.
21 Melville Avenue
The approved planning application for the demolition of the existing property replacing it with a building of 7 flats with 6 parking bays. Construction work has not yet commenced.
Planning Area B
17 Ballards Way
Good news, the planning application for the erection of a three storey 4 bedroom house with accommodation in the roof space in the rear garden of this property and fronting on to Ballards Farm Road has been refused planning permission. The reasons for refusal are stated below:
- The proposed four-storey development, by reason of its proposed scale, design, bulk, form, massing and material, would not respect the established built form of the area and would insufficiently keep in with the character of Ballards Farm in this respect. The proposed development would thereby conflict with Policies SP4.1, SP4.2 and DM10 of the Croydon Local Plan 2018, Croydon’s Suburban Design Guide SPD (2019) and Policies 7.4 and 7.6 of the Local Plan (consolidated with amendments since 2011).
- The proposal fails to ensure that the movement of pedestrians, cycles, public transport and emergency services wouldn’t impeded by the provision of car parking and would thereby conflict with Policies SP4.1, SP4.2 and DM30 of the Croydon Local Plan 2018, Croydon’s Suburban Design Guide SPD (2019) and Policies 7.4 and 7.6 of the Local Plan (consolidated with amendments since 2011).
128 Coombe Lane
This new application is a planning permission in principle for the erection of 7 two bedroom mews houses in the land to the rear of 126 & 128 Coombe Lane. This type of application only provides very limited information and even if this was to obtain approval any development of the site would still be subject to either a Full or Outline Planning Application which would follow the normal planning approval process.
128 Coombe Lane
The above-mentioned application has brought to light a potential planning enforcement issue at 128 Coombe Lane although unverified at this stage that a large two storey extension at the rear of the property has been built without planning permission, this has now been notified to planning enforcement.
55 Crest Road
Planning approval was given in September 2019 for the erection of a 4 bedroom detached 2 storey house in the rear garden of 55 Crest Road fronting on to Croham Valley Road. Construction work has not yet commenced.
3 Croham Valley Road
This planning application submitted by Cobalt Construction for the demolition of the existing detached house and the erection of a five storey block of 7 flats with two storeys fronting Ballards Farm Road and with three basement levels going all the way down from Ballards Farm Road to Croham Valley Road plus 7 parking bays, this will add 14 bedrooms and potentially 24 persons. This is a massive over development of the site and a complete eyesore which is totally out of character with all the surrounding area. The developer has already paid for Planning Pre-Application advice from the Planning Department. We’re currently waiting for a date for this application to go before the Planning Committee, at which time David Rutherford will speak as an objector on behalf of the CVRA and the local resident objectors, as will one of our local Councillors.
5 Croham Valley Road
This planning application from the active developer Sterling Rose follows the refusal in April 2019 of an earlier application. The new proposal is for the demolition of the existing house and the erection two blocks of 3 houses with accommodation in the roof spaces. One block will front on to Croham Valley Road being 4 floor 4 bedroom houses with only 2 parking bays, the other block will front on to Ballards Farm Road being 3 floor 3 bedroom houses with 2 parking bays. This is a massive over development of the site which is in fact larger in terms of accommodation size than the earlier refused application with there now being in total 21 bedrooms and potentially 36 persons, in addition to there being a wholly inadequate parking provision for the houses fronting on to Croham Valley Road. A good number of local residents and the CVRA have objected to this application plus one of our local Councillors has raised a referral. Again the developer has already paid for Planning Pre-Application advice from the Planning Department. Subsequent to the initial application the applicant has submitted two separate lots of amendments to the plans, the only one of concern is that for the block of 3 terrace houses fronting on to Ballards Farm Road the number of parking bays has been reduced from 3 to 2. This application was approved at the Planning Committee meeting on the 27th February 2020.
6 Croham Valley Road
This new planning application is for the demolition of the existing house and the erection of a two storey building comprising of 9 flats with accommodation in the roof space plus 8 parking bays. This is a massive overdevelopment of the site due to its bulk, mass and poor contemporary design that will create an overbearing incompatible building that fails to integrate into the neighbourhood, causing significant harm to the appearance of the site, the surrounding area and the street scene which will add 20 bedrooms and potentially 37 persons. The proposed building will extend at the rear a totally unacceptable distance beyond that of the two neighbouring properties at 4 and 8 Croham Valley Road by 19.0 metres and 11 metres respectively. A good number of local residents and the CVRA have objected to this application plus one of our local Councillors has raised a referral. Again the developer has already paid for Planning Pre-Application advice from the Planning Department. This application was approved at the Planning Committee meeting on the 27th February 2020.
8 Croham Valley Road
The Land Registry site indicates that 8 Croham Valley Road was sold in December 2019 for £925K with the purchaser being Fernham Homes Ltd, although at this stage there has not been a planning application submitted we can expect yet another potential development in this part of Croham Valley Road. This with the currently pending planning application at number 3, plus the just approved applications at numbers 5, 6 and the land R/O 31-33 not to mention the almost completed development at number 10 Croham Valley Road.
10 Croham Valley Road
Progress on the construction of this block of 8 flats is very close to completion with only internal works and landscaping required.
Land R/O 31-33 Croham Valley Road – Fronting on to Ballards Rise
This new planning application for the development of the land to the rear of 31/33 Croham Valley Road for the erection of 2 two storey detached buildings with accommodation within the roof space comprising of in total 8 flats (adding 16 bedrooms and potentially 30 persons). This follows the refusal on the 30th May 2019 by the Planning Committee of the earlier similar application with the main reason for refusal was the lack of on site parking (only 4 bays) with Ballards Rise being too narrow to have parking. The latest application has 7 parking bays on the plans however it will be impossible for 7 vehicles to park let alone be able to enter the site and turn into a parking bay due to how close the vehicles in the two banks of bays will be to one another. Subsequent to the initial application the applicant has submitted three separate lots of amendments to the plans, the last of which improves the ability for 7 vehicles to enter and park on the site following a review and recommendations by Croydon’s Transportation Department, although there are still concerns over the parking. A good number of local residents and the CVRA have objected to this application plus one of our local Councillors has raised a referral. This application was approved at the Planning Committee meeting on the 27th February 2020.
Planning Area C
148 Ballards Way
Following the approval in December 2018 for the demolition of the bungalow and the erection of a building of 8 flats, the construction of the site is now very well underway.
Croydon Planning – Some Changes Detected
- Since the start of 2019 across the South of the Borough 21 planning applications for the demolition of detached properties to be replaced with up to 9 flats or a mixture a of both flats and houses have been refused planning approval under the Council’s delegated authority or at Planning Committee meetings and another 17 similar planning applications have been withdrawn, presumably because of advice from the Planning Department that they were not going to obtain approval.
- There continues to be many more planning applications from developers for the conversion of larger houses into flats and at the same time adding extensions to these houses, this is also happening to a much lesser extent even with semi detached houses. Also there has been a marked increase in the number of applications for the conversion of properties into Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO’S). To our knowledge none of the afore-mentioned have been in the CVRA area.
Croydon – Local Plan Partial Review – Call for Evidence on Local Green Spaces
- Only site within our area that was under this category is The Ruffet, which many residents provided information back to the Council on why this site should have some level of protection to safeguard it from potential development. We’re still waiting to hear if this has been successful.
CVRA Detached Houses Currently for Sale – Could be Vulnerable to Development:
- 1 Winchelsey Rise £1200K 6B
- 40 Croham Park Avenue £925K 3B Sold STC
Appendix B: 148 Ballards Road Complaint
We have received the stage two reply from the council: It it as follows. To my mind it does not answer the issues raised.
Dear Mr Gill RE: CASE4935940 – 148 Ballards Way (LBC Ref 18/01936/FUL)
Thank you for your email of 15 July, regarding the granting of planning permission for 148 Ballards Road. Your complaint has been registered at Stage 2 of the Council’s complaints procedure and, as Executive Director of Place, it is my role to oversee this stage of the procedure.
Your complaint relates to the Planning Committee meeting of 6 December 2018, and comments made by Councillor Scott regarding the prevalence of properties with flat roofs in the immediate area, which you feel Mr Smith did not sufficiently address in his Stage 1 response.
Having viewed the property and the surrounding area, I do feel it is an honest representation that a considerable portion of the existing bungalow at 148 Ballards Way is flat roofed; even if a portion of this is the garage roof, it is attached to the property and, as such, integral to the existing design.
While it is not within the remit of the Complaints Resolution Team to investigate Councillor’s, having read the enclosed Planning Committee notes, I am satisfied that the Committee was fully aware of the design of the development, the potential impact on the nearest immediate neighbour, and the styles of other houses in the vicinity.
Councillor Helen Pollard objected to the scheme, making representations on the following points:
- Out of character
- Harm to residential amenities of adjoining occupiers – overlooking and visual intrusion
These points were discussed at Committee before a final decision was reached. This is highlighted in point 8.4 of the attached Planning Committee agenda: “The surrounding area is mostly made up of detached dwellings of varied form and design, so there is no set style to adhere to in this respect. In this context the approach to develop the site is considered acceptable.” Therefore, I see no evidence that the Committee’s decision would have differed regardless of the proportion of properties with either a flat roof or an element of flat roof in their construction, as there is no set style of property in this vicinity. I note your suggestion for the Planning Department to include roof type in their checklists, however each case is looked at individually on its own merits and, in many areas of the Borough, there is a variety of architectural styles. As you are aware, planning permission has been granted for this development, and therefore we are not in a position to return this to the committee for review. I do appreciate that there will always be situations where views on planning merits differ between the Local Planning Authority and local residents, but disagreement with the opinions or actions of the Planning Team and the subsequent decision taken by the Planning Committee is not in itself evidence of any malpractice, and I am satisfied that the Planning Committee had access to full details of the property and surrounds, and that the Council’s Planning Department is working in accordance with the policies and proposals contained within the Croydon Local Plan 2018. Your complaint has been considered at Stage 2 of the Council’s complaints procedure. I hope I have satisfactorily addressed your concerns. However, if you remain dissatisfied you can ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to consider your complaint.
Shifa Mustafa Executive Director of Place
1 August 2019
My stage two letter:
“”I would like to thank Mr Smith of his letter of 16th April in reply to my complaint of the justification of the granting of planning permission for 148 Ballards Road.
The approved building is of contemporary design with four tiers facing the street each with a flat roof.
My original complaint and Mr Smith’s letter are enclosed.
My complaint is that Councillor Scott made an probably innocent but mathematically incorrect statement significantly overestimating the the extent of flat roofs in the area and that comment probably had a influence in the granting of planning permission.
I feel my complaint has not been investigated properly as Mr Smith has not commented on whether Councillor Scott’s comments were misleading but has justified the award on the basis that:
– the Planning Officer recommended the design.
– the Councillors debated the design.
– a design does not have to slavishly follow existing form as long as variations are appropriately detailed and executed.
On the first point, all the officer states in the report is that the existing buildings have varied form and design so there is no set style to adhere to. The officer does not mention roofs at all. Therefore the report can have no impact on the subsequent Planning Committee deliberations about the roof.
On the second point no other Councillor refutes Councillor Perry’s assertion that, because of the flat roof style, the proposed design does not respect the design of the local buildings which are of a pitched roof style. Therefore as no other Councillor objects to Councillor Perry’s comment on any other grounds, one has to assume they are voting based on Councillor Scott’s comment.
On the third point regarding Mr Smith’s comment that a design does not have to slavishly follow existing form as long as variations are appropriately detailed and executed. There was no mention of any appropriate details or executions either in the Officer’s Report or the Committee deliberations to determine whether the proposed flat roof would respect the design of the existing houses so I cannot see how this assertion can refute my original comment of an incorrect Planning Committee award.
In summary we appreciate that this decision is made. We also acknowledge that, given the housing shortage, houses need to be built and there is an need to get these houses approved and built quickly. However we feel in this case the analysis was not exhaustive and that as a result it is probable that an decision was made which did not follow the guidelines.
One possible way forward could be for the department to have a checklist of features which a design has to comply with included in each Officers Report to be deemed to respect the local area. This checklist would for example include roof type. This will hopefully enable more informed debate at the Planning Committee.
If this or a similar suitable measure proposed by the Planning Department were adopted then we would feel there would be more meaningful debate at the Planning Committee stage and we would not need to take this to a Level 3 complaint.
On behalf of the Croham Valley Residents Association.””
Appendix C: 2019 CVRA Plan Revision Submission
Our input was agreed to be as follows:
“””The target of 46,000 homes overall for the Borough over twenty years is too high. The Council should be planning for 2,079 homes per year as per the recommendation by the Government Inspectors in their 8 October 2019 report on the London Plan.
The Council should also follow the recommendation of the Government Inspectors that the small site target for the Borough should be 6,410 over ten years or 641 per annum.
This small sites target is consistent with your options B and C where the small sites target of 25% of your 46,000 over 20 years equates to a target of 575 units per annum.
We therefore disagree with option A where 40% of your target of 46,000 is allocated to small sites being 920 homes per annum – considerably above the recommendations.
Therefore we do not approve of the need to consider all areas within 800m of a train or tram stop to be areas for intensification of development – as is considered in option A.
We do not agree with use of the specific sites of the Green Belt mentioned in Option B until a full London review of the Green Belt is undertaken.
In addition we believe the that the target of one third of all new homes being within central Croydon is too low. We believe the continuing uncertainty over the Westfield development shows that the central Croydon site should contain more residential and less retail. We acknowledge that more housing is needed. We are not aware of many people within our residents association area saying that more retail is needed.
We have the following additional points:
How are targets per “Place” going to be monitored and enforced. For example part of our association’s area is within South Croydon. The proposed maximum targets for South Croydon are
1070, 810 and 810 for Options 1, 2 and 3 respectively – with 819 already under construction.
Whilst we approve of targets by “Place”, does this mean that no further applications be approved until an option is decided upon? Also if Option 1 is decided how will the priorities for the additional 251 homes over twenty years be decided upon? For example, about one third of the 251 homes could be accounted for by current proposals and soon to be proposed developments around the bottom of Croham Valley Road. Is this what we want – a first come first served basis or should be be prioritising development in the existing Focussed Intensification areas along the Brighton Road.
Lastly we have comments on parking. Any new applications for HMO do not seem to take into account nearby existing approvals – which have not been completed – when calculating on street parking availability and are therefore overstating future availability. We recommend existing but not completed approvals should be taken into account when availibility is considered.