Minutes of Committee Meeting on 16 September 2019

  • Croham Valley Residents’ Association

    Minutes of the Executive Committee held on 16 September 2019

    Wendy Love
  • Jeremy Gill
  • David Rutherford
  • Angela Shaw
  • William Barnett
    Peter Knight
    Paul Sowan (via rule17e, Expert Contributor)

    Written Contribution received:

    1 Apologies
    Anna Kirton
  • Edward Glynn
  • Linda Oram
  • Sara Pevsner

    2 To agree the minutes of the previous meeting

    The minutes were agreed.
    3 Matters Arising
    There were no matters arising

    4 Treasurers Report

    Report to the Committee of Croham Valley Residents’ Association
  • 16th September 2019 
  • FinanceWe currently have £5,442.52  in the bank, which is sufficient to meet our current needs and possibly invest in some help with the development of our website. All subscriptions have now been collected except for Winchelsey as Ela is still visiting family in the USA. I expect to receive her funds this month.The Selsdon branch of our bank is now closed but we can use the Post Office in Tudor Library to pay in monies if needed. The efforts to encourage members and distributors to transfer funds by bank transfer direct the CVRA account has had some success.  I am confident it will slowly increase in popularity and some members have even set up standing orders.Members were simply asked to give their address. However, a S Neilson has now paid twice just giving their name. If anyone recognises this name please let me know. 
  • AdvertisingAll advertisers have now paid but I am concerned that we need to address the issue  of reduced Newsletters and On-line copy, especially if we wish to maintain the advertising income.   As I have said before, If we are going to continue with the Newsletter or Web-site we should, perhaps, think about having an advertising manager on the committee.   As I have said before, unless we have someone working on it we are in danger of losing advertising income. 
  • Year end Accounts 2018-19Year end accounts have now been completed reporting a cash balance as at 31st July 2019 of £5,428.52.  These have been audited by our new auditor Jaffer Kapasi from Bankside. These accounts are herewith presented for signature by the Chair, the Treasurer and the Auditor who plans to attend the first part of this meeting. As this is the first meeting with the new auditor, Mr Kapasi will be available to answer any questions from the Committee and I trust the committee will address any questions raised by Mr. Kapasi. 
  • Wendy A Love FCCAHon. Treasurer CVRA

    Wendy was thanked for for her work.

    5 Planning Matters

    New Issues
  • 86 Coombe Road.  It was thought that the wooden fence is too high and at variance to the plans.  JG to investigate.
  • Pre-Approval:
    80 Croham Road: Two rows of maisonettes replacing one building.  Poor application lots of parking stress. CVRA had objected.
    This has been withdrawn. No new application as yet.
    Approved but still under construction/ awaiting construction:
    50 Castlemaine Avenue – 3nd Application.  This is for a large block over the whole site but now without the car lift and with better internal design incorporating one front door and central bin store. This has been approved. We did not formally object as the most affected neighbour, the Wests, did not want a formal complaint.  One design concession was the frosting of the sides of the balconies up to at least 1.7m. We should use this as a precedent.
    2 Campden Road has been approved.  Work is nearing completion
    86 Coombe Lane; Castlemaine/Coombe Junction:  Work almost Completed
    23 Melville; Work has finished.  The building fits in well with the road. No sale of flats as of yet.
    OldPalace Junior School Melville Avenue: Parts of the site are now not used.  Paul Sowan is concerned that the Whitgift Foundation may look to develop some or all of the site.

    Planning Area B and C
  • Planning Area B 
  • Roselea Cottage, Ballards Farm Road
  • This new planning application is for the demolition of the existing side double garage and the construction of a large 2 storey extension which will add two rooms plus a bathroom to the ground floor and 3 bedrooms plus a bathroom to the first floor.  There were 20 objections to the proposed extension which is out of keeping with the surrounding cottages in this small picturesque development due to its width, however the Planning Sub-Committee approved this application but with the requirement for a detailed construction plan in order that there’s no blocking of Ballards Farm Road which is also part of the Vanguard Way long distance footpath. 
  • 11 Ballards Way
  • This planning application is for the demolition of the existing house and the erection of a building of 9 flats adding 19 bedrooms and potentially 30 persons.  Some two months after the consultation period for this application had closed the developer submitted totally new plans which were not advised to any of the interested parties forcing the CVRA to lodge a formal complaint.  We’ve had a positive response to the complaint and have be assured that these new plans will be formally notified to the residents but not yet, as the Planning Department are considering these, particularly as the site is located close to an Area of importance for Nature Conservation.  This applicant is the very active Aventier who have had 23 very similar planning applications for flats approved since the beginning of 2018, with another 4 currently pending decision.  Also the developer has already paid for Planning Pre-Application advice from the Planning Department.  We’re currently waiting for the application to go back out formally to residents and other interested parties for a further consultation period, currently there are 75 resident objections and a Councillor referral. 
  • 17 Ballards Way
  • This planning application is 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.  There have been four previous applications from the owner of this property since 2011 to build in the rear garden, all apart from the last one in 2014 were refused and this latter one was conditional that the building was not for habitation.  This back garden proposal is an over development of the site by virtue of its mass, height and will have an overbearing affect to the surrounding houses in Ballards Way due to its elevated position well above those houses.  Also it’s impossible to see how construction could take place without construction trucks totally blocking Ballards Farm Road.  This will prevent emergency vehicles and other vehicles that require access to other properties in Ballards Farm Road plus the daily use by walkers, runners, rambling groups, cyclists and horse riders, as Ballards Farm Road is also part of the Vanguard Way long distance footpath.  There have been 27 resident objections and a Councillor referral to this application. 
  • 55 Crest Road
  • This new planning application follows the withdrawal of a previously submitted application earlier in the year.  Like the earlier application it’s 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 and is similar to the earlier one, albeit slightly smaller in size.  This application went before the Planning Sub-Committee on the 12th September 2019 and unfortunately was approved in spite of the 18 resident objections, although not wholly unexpected.   
  • 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 adding 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 spaces, the other block will front on to Ballards Farm Road being 3 floor 3 bedroom houses with 3 parking spaces.  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.  There have been 30 resident objections including our local MP Chris Philp plus a Councillor referral.  Again the developer has already paid for Planning Pre-Application advice from the Planning Department.  David Rutherford and the resident living at the next door property at 7 Croham Valley Road had a meeting on site with the planning officer responsible for this application which we believe may have helped our case for getting this application refused. 
  • 10 Croham Valley Road
  • Progress on the construction of this block of 8 flats is now nearing completion with only internal works and landscaping required. 
  • Land R/O 31/33 Croham Valley Road – Fronting on to Ballards Rise
  • This planning application for the development of the now enlarged site on 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 9 flats (adding 16 bedrooms and potentially 28 persons).  This application went before the Planning Committee on the 30th May 2019 where both Maria Gatland and I spoke as objectors, much to our surprise the application for refused by a committee vote of 9:0 in spite of it being recommended for approval by the Planning Department.  The main reason for refusal was the lack of on site parking (only 4 bays) with all committee members agreeing that Ballards Rise was too narrow to have parking plus the size of the development.  As this site had an approval 3 years ago for a single storey flat roof house with basement level accommodation, this has already established a presumption of development on the site and it was generally agreed by the Committee that the site should be developed but with a smaller proposal and adequate parking provision.  There will no doubt be the submission of a revised planning application. Roselea Cottage, Ballards Farm Road – Planning Enforcement IssueThe planning enforcement issue over the height of the new porch has resulted in the owner now submitting a planning application for retrospective approval.   
  • 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 development of the site has now commenced with the bungalow having been demolished and ground works are well underway. 
  • 155 Croham Valley Road – Planning Enforcement Issue
  • The owner of this property has erected decking at the rear which is 5 foot high and when anyone stands on the decking they overlook the surrounding properties, planning enforcement are looking into the matter. 
  • Planning Other 
  • Croydon Planning – Some Changes Detected·         
  • Since the start of 2019 across the South of the Borough 7 planning applications for the demolition of houses to be replaced with up to 9 flats have been refused planning approval under the Council’s delegated authority that would have otherwise been decided at Planning Committee meetings and another 9 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, although none to our knowledge have been in the CVRA area. Brick by Brick Proposed Pipeline Developments·         Only site within our area is the green space between 126 and 130 Croham Valley Road which has been earmarked for 7 housing units.  Cllr Helen Pollard setup an online petition covering this site and the seven others in her Ward which over 1,500 residents signed.  As a result of this and also the issue being raised at one of the Council meetings, three of the sites including our one for the green space between 126 and 130 Croham Valley Road are not now going ahead.
  •  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. 

  • General Planning Points

    Unauthorised back garden developments in Castlemaine and Croham Park avenue.  Two “games rooms” were being used as residences.  JG reported Castlemaine residence. Croham Park Avenue residence to be reviewed.

    148 Ballards Way
    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: • Overdevelopment  • 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 Place1 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.  Jeremy GillOn behalf of the Croham Valley Residents Association.””
  • Covenants
  • New: No new issues
  • Old: Tony Redshaw states that there are covenants on 86 Croham Road that states it has to be an educational establishment.
    Old: There was further discussion on 1 Winchelsea Rise and the implications of whether a building scheme needs to be proven.  It was thought that for post-1925 covenants, the immediate neighbours could object to a breach in the covenant but that a building scheme needs to be shown for all the  neighbours to act in concert.  
    The CVRA felt were pleased that, at our initiative, the residents if Winchelsea were using the same solicitors as the Whitgift Foundation RA were using in their plans to enforce the covenant in their area.
    It was suggested that Paul Sowan might have details of the original scheme covering Winchelsea Rise – and possibly any other scheme in our area
    In his written representation Paul had indicated that the scheme was called the Croham Park Estate and was sold by the foundation in 1935.
    Jeremy stated that he had spoken to Martin Corney, CEO of the Whitgift Foundation who indicated they would not try to enforce the covenants and the immediate neighbours were in the best position to enforce. 

    Coombe Wood School:
    No sign of progress on work to allow crossing of Coombe Road above Melville Av as of date of meeting.
    The windows overlooking residents are being tinted to restrict the view into the residents’ houses.


    The temporary planning permission was extended by the Planning Committee for a second year with a caveat that the access arrangements be reviewed if the Coomble Lane pelican crossing is not available by the start of the Autumn Term.
    We are looking for progress on the two concessions given at the planning committee for the main 

    – The request by Paul Scott for noise deadening panels in the goods yard – now in.
  • – The capability for on-site overspill parking to be evaluated.

    6 Newsletter/ Website

    Wendy gave the login details to  JG and DR.  These were for “Comments Access” only rather than to be able to amend the structure of the site.
    We should look at Sanderstead RA’s Website for guidance on how to proceed for ours. 

    7 Any other business
    JG advised that he had made representations about the potential additional noise disruption of the potential new Heathrow Runway using the consultation process online.

    JG would write to Nila Shah at 32 Hollingwood who had complained.

    It was agreed to make a donation of £250 to DEMOC.  The organisation campaigning for a referendum for an elected mayor. The details are; Sort  30 90 89  Account 47799760
  • Old:

    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


    11th November 2019

    AGM Wed 23rd October

    Jeremy Gill September 2019