Croydon Development Plan Revisions – What do you think?

The Local Plan provides an overall strategy, guides decisions on future development proposals and addresses the needs and opportunities of the borough over a 20 year time horizon. The Current plan was drawn up in 2018 by the Labour administration. The Plan must be consistent with the London wide plan and UK government planning guidelines.

Changes to the plan are being made to reflect Mayor Perry’s views on development which is called his “Business Plan 2022-2026”.  Final consultation on these revisions will be taking place during Jan and Feb of 2024 and adopted later in the year. The main changes from the current plan – the 2018 plan are as follows.

In terms of Urban Design, the Mayor has already revoked SPD2 which the previous regime used to justify many inappropriate infill developments. The new recommendations are for the removal of all suburban intensification areas and the removal of 3 storey blanket policy.  The Mayor will also promote design over density, respecting Croydon’s unique character and identity and allocate larger brownfield sites and sustainable locations to meet housing targets.

All this is much appreciated and a confirmation of what we have seen recently in Planning Committee decisions over the last 18 months.

However is Croydon building sufficient new homes – and the right mix of housing for these policies to continue and Mayor Perry not to be reeled in by either Mayor Khan or the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The current target per annum agreed with Mayor Khan is 2,079 units up to 2029 and Croydon Council are proposing around 1,200 per annum from 2029 until December 2040.  The Council is currently meeting these targets and had a pipeline of 11,893 as of March 2022 – the last time figures were published.

I suspect Croydon is well in excess of its targets given the number of block completed around East Croydon in the last year. As I have said before, to me all this high rise development around East Croydon is on balance good.

However how is Croydon doing in meeting its targets on affordable homes and family homes. The answer is badly.   For affordable homes the target is 50% and the current run rate is 17%. For family homes – homes with three bedrooms or more – the target is 30% and the current run rate is 16%.

Whilst Croydon is not alone in not meeting its targets I think these targets are worth trying to achieve. For example what is going to happen to all those 20 somethings living in the new 1 and 2 bed flats in the towers all around East Croydon.  Are they all going to have to leave us when they turn into new families. And what about those people who cannot afford these new flats and there is insufficient affordable housing.

We at the CVRA will be raising these affordability and size issues in the January consultation.  If there is anything else you would like us to raise, please get in touch.

The Council’s update document can be found below:

Plan Revision Document

Jeremy Gill

Author: Jeremy Gill

Chair, CVRA