Planning Update 25 September 2023

Croydon Planning – Major Changes Detected

Since the local elections on the 5th May 2022 across the South of the Borough there have been 134 planning applications up for decision that have been submitted by developers where the proposal was for the demolition of detached properties to be replaced with up to 9 flats or a mixture of up to 9 units of both flats and houses. Of these 134 applications 104 applications have been refused planning approval under either the Council’s Delegated Authority or at Planning Committee meetings, with another 11 applications having been withdrawn and only 19 applications being approved.

Further since the 5th May 2022 local elections across the South of the Borough there are currently 29 new planning applications submitted by developers for the demolition of detached properties across the South of the Borough which have not yet been determined with 17 applications for houses, 2 applications for a mixture of both flats and houses and only 10 applications for flats.

Suburban Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document SPD2

Following Labour’s removal from power in Croydon in May, the new Conservative administration has been delivering on their planning promises. The hated Suburban Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document SPD2, a developers’ charter, has now been scrapped. Planning decisions are now being properly made after careful examination, instead of simply being waved through by Labour Councillors with no proper thought.

Brick x Brick

October 2021 now understand from Cllr Jason Perry that the Council will not be selling Brick x Brick.
Over 25 pending Brick x Brick planning applications to build on Council owned land have since the May 2022 local elections now been withdrawn.

Planning Area A

The Croft, 3 Binfield Road
This planning application is for the demolition of the existing bungalow and replacing it with a pair of semi detached houses, one a 5 bedroom the other a 3 bedroom, which was Approved under Planning Dept delegated authority on the 10th July 2020. In September 2021 a Section 73 notice was submitted to change the approved plans by removing the inset balconies and amending the forecourt layout and other minor changes, this was approved on the 6th July 2022

The Croft, 3 Binfield Road
This new planning application is an alternative to the above-mentioned application which is already approved but no work has commenced and is for a full width rear extension (19.2 Metres) by 5.3 metres in depth. The proposal has been approved on the 28th February 2023 under General Permitted Development.

15A Campden Road
This 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 has now lapsed but did established a presumption of development on the site. The new proposal is also for 5 flats with 2 parking spaces and as expected this Planning Application was Approved under Planning Dept delegated authority on the 7th August 2020. As a number of discharge notices have now been approved it’s expected that construction will commence shortly.

Land R/O 14, 16, & 18 Castlemaine Avenue
This new planning application is for the demolition of the existing garage and swimming pool adjacent to 18 Castlemaine Avenue and formation of vehicular access to rear, and erection of two pairs of semi-detached, 3-bed houses, together with associated access, parking, amenity space and landscaping on the land to the rear of 14 to 18 Castlemaine Avenue.Read More

 

80 Croham Road
This 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. Read More

 

Melville Avenue, Old Palace of John Whitgift School
It has just been announced that the school will close permanently in August 2025 as the school has been struggling financially for many years, and the Foundation has supported the school from its general reserves in the expectation that the financial situation would improve at some point. There will be concern over the potential development of this large site.

21 Melville Avenue
The approved planning application is for the demolition of the existing property replacing it with a building of 7 flats with 6 parking bays. The existing bungalow has been demolished and the site cleared ready for construction.
However, the planning approval has now lapsed.

Land the Rear of 7 – 9 Spencer Road
This new planning application has been submitted by Edgewater Group for the erection of a two storey building comprising 2 three bedroom semi-detached houses on the land to the rear which is currently car parking for the residents of 7 and 9 Spencer Road, this will result in the loss of the existing 10 off road parking spaces, having the effect of forcing up to 10 more vehicles to park on limited controlled parking spaces on Spencer Road. One of our local Councillors has already raised a referral.
The good news is this application was refused under the Planning Dept delegated authority on the 30th June 2023.

Planning Area B

Land the Rear of Roselea Cottage, Ballards Farm Road
This new planning application has been submitted by the owners of this house for the construction of a granny annexe in the rear garden with the main house having had considerable extensions.

This so called granny annexe will in all probability not be for the reasons stated in the application but will be to establish further rental accommodation for students (one can only guess how many students might be in this proposed outbuilding) and the house may potentially become a HMO. This is based upon that at least two double rooms, in the existing house were recently being advertised for rent for students, advert as follows:Read More

 

Land the Rear of Underwood, Ballards Farm RoadThis new planning application has been submitted by Sterling Rose Homes which is back garden development for the erection of a terrace of 3 three storey 4 bedroom houses with 4 off road parking spaces. There will be the loss of 11 mature trees to enable this development to take place. Read More

 

Underwood, Ballards Farm Road
This new planning application has been submitted by Sterling Rose Homes which is in addition to the afore-mentioned development on the Underwood site. This is for the erection of a single storey side and rear extension, two storey front extension and then conversion into 4 flats with 4 off road parking spaces. There have been 46 resident objections plus your Residents Association and a local Councillor referral. Read More

 

Land the Rear of Underwood, Ballards Farm Road
This new planning application has been submitted by Sterling Rose Homes which is in addition to the two afore-mentioned planning applications that are currently pending. This latest application is a back garden development for the Erection of a Terrace of 3 Three Storey 4 Bedroom Houses and an adjoining building of four storeys with 6 two bedroom flats with an overall total of 9 parking spaces. [read more]
The earlier pending back garden development on this site had a loss of 11 mature trees, as this latest proposal is much larger the loss of mature trees will be even greater. To date there have been 34 resident objections plus your Residents Association and a local Councillor referral. Like the two other applications on the same site, the developer has lodged an Appeal on the 12th January 2023 on the basis of Non-Determination within time allowed. This is what some of the developers are doing when the Council has not complied with its own deadlines, which in many cases is the situation in Croydon, as they are still dealing with some applications from early 2021. This will now potentially mean that the application will be referred direct to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol who will now make the decision without Croydon having the ability to make its own decision under either their delegated authority powers or at the planning committee meeting. The Appeal is now in progress[/read]

Coombe Lane, Royal Russell School
This new planning application is for the demolition of existing Junior School with the erection of replacement Junior School including Multi-Use Games Area, sports pitch, play and landscaped areas, access and plant, and other associated works.

This proposed development has again raised the issue of the rear gate from the school in Hollingsworth Road, particularly as both the pre application and the resultant full planning application misrepresent the fact that there’s an access route into this road. The situation is that school numbers will increase where at both around 8am and 4pm daily during school days parents are charging up the road causing total gridlock with around 50 additional cars in this cul-de-sac with parents competing for space nearest the gate, blocking residents driveways etc. There are very serious safety concerns that this is a bad accident waiting to happen, as there was a recent situation of a pupil running out of the gate and into the side of a moving car and not to mention the number of prangs to residents cars due to the inconsiderate behavior of parents dropping off and picking up their children and having to turn around. Residents would either like the gate totally closed off or some form of strong restriction on the road that would prevent parent’s cars entering Hollingsworth Road.

Land the Rear of 128 Coombe Lane
This new planning application has been submitted by the owner of 128 Coombe Lane which is back garden development for the erection of a pair of 2 storey 3 bedroom semi-detached houses with 3 off road parking spaces; demolition of existing garage to provide access to the rear. A number of local residents are objecting plus your Residents Association. To date there have been 18 resident objections plus your Residents Association and a local Councillor referral. The good news is that the Planning Dept has under its delegated authority refused the application on the 9th February 2023.
An appeal has been lodged against the refusal decision on the 26th June 2023 which will now be decided upon by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.

Land R/O 55 Crest Road Fronting on to Croham Valley Road
This planning application was submitted by the developer Red Banksia is for the erection of a terrace of 4 two storey 3 bedroom houses with accommodation in the roof space in the rear garden of this property fronting on to Croham Valley Road. This is a massive overdevelopment of the site which will add 12 bedrooms and potentially 20 persons without providing any off road parking. Prior to this latest application going before the Committee for decision the owners of 55 Crest Road sold the bottom part of their back garden to Blue Banksia Ltd. Read More

 

Land R/O 35 and 37 Croham Valley Road – Fronting on to Ballards Rise
The above-mentioned outline planning application that’s currently pending approval, however the developer Silverleaf has also submitted another new outline planning application on the very same site for the erection of 2 two storey buildings with accommodation in the roof spaces comprising of a total of 4 large semi-detached houses with the provision of 6 parking spaces. The alternative proposal is almost the same size as the one for 8 flats and will add 15 bedrooms and potentially 24 persons, the same objection reasons apply equally to this alternative new application. Read More

 

Croham Valley Road – Lower Part Where There’s All the Construction
Numerous residents have complained about blocking of the road with all the construction workers vehicles being parked on both sides of the road – some residents want double yellow line along the whole road, other have complained to our Councillors.

24 Ruffetts Close
This new planning application is for the demolition of an outbuilding with the erection of a large part single storey, part two storey side/rear extensions. The CVRA has decided to not object to this application; however some of the residents in Ruffetts Close have objected. The Planning Dept has under its delegated authority refused the application on the following basis:Read More

 

46 The Gallop
This new planning application has been submitted by the developer Red Banksia for the partial demolition and extensions to the side and rear of the existing single storey bungalow to become a two storey building with also accommodation in the roof space to create 1 two bedroom dwelling and 1 three bedroom dwelling with a total of two parking spaces, effectively changing the bungalow to a 3 storey pair of semi-detached houses. A number of local residents will be objecting plus your Residents Association and hopefully one of the local Councillors will raise a referral. This is the same developer that’s constructing the terrace of 4 houses in the rear garden of 55 Crest Road fronting on to Croham Valley Road and in this case is hedging his bets by submitting two similar applications at the same time. There have been 24 resident objections to this application. This application went before the Planning Sub Committee meeting on the 6th April 2023 and was approved.
5 Discharge notices have now been approved.

46 The Gallop
I’m advising you of yet another new planning application on this site by the same developer for the partial demolition and extensions to the existing bungalow upwards and to the side and rear to create one 3 bedroom dwelling and one 5 bedroom dwelling, effectively a pair of semi-detached houses in a two storey building with also accommodation in the roof space with one parking spaces for each house. The developer already has obtained planning approval on this same site for a pair of semi-detached houses of one 3 Bedroom and one 2 bedroom as detailed below. There’s concern that both proposed semi-detached houses have studies, in the 3 bedroom property it’s on the 2nd floor which could easily be a bedroom potentially making this a 4 bedroom property, in the 5 bedroom property the study is on the ground floor but unusually there’s a full bathroom next to this study which could easily be a bedroom potentially making this a 6 bedroom property. There have been 28 objections and the CVRA has asked for this application to be referred to the Planning Committee for decision. At the Planning Sub-Committee meeting on the 14th September 2023 the application was approved in spite of David Rutherford speaking on behalf of the CVRA and the local residents as an objector as did our local Councillor Robert Ward.

1 The Ruffetts
This new planning application is for the erection of a pair of two storey 3 bedroom semi-detached houses plus accommodation in the roof space to the rear of the existing property 1 The Ruffetts. Strangely part of the roof space has a room allocated as being a writing area but could easily be another bedroom meaning in reality it’s a pair of 4 bedroom houses. Of further concern is that this proposed development borders directly on to the approved development in the rear garden of 55 Crest Road for a terrace of 4 houses. There have been 46 resident objections to this application plus the CVRA and a Councillor referral. This planning application was heard at the Planning Sub Committee on the 1st December 2022 where David Rutherford spoke as an objector on behalf of the Croham Valley Residents Association (CVRA) and the local resident objectors as did our local Councillor Robert Ward, unfortunately the Sub Committee approved the application by a vote of 3 to 2 with one abstention. Subsequently the site with the planning approval for the pair of semi-detached houses in the rear garden plus the original host property has been put up for sale at £1050K this month.
Discharge notices were submitted on the 10th March 2023 which were refused permission. Three amended discharge notices were submitted on the 4th July 2023 which have subsequently been approved.

29 The Ruffetts
The owner of this property continues to be a problem in that the approval obtained for the erection of a single / two storey front /side / rear extensions in December 2020, however it has not been built in accordance with the approved plans hence there has been the need for a new retrospective planning application, which many local residents are against, there have been 39 resident objections to this retrospective application, as they would like it built in accordance with the original approval.
The owner of this property has now amended the plans in the proposed retrospective planning application which is all about the owner of this property building what he wants and not what was approved and expecting to get approval after the event which is totally unacceptable and as a result of this having to go out for further comments there are now 78 objections. The bad news is that at the Planning Sub-Committee on the 3rd August 2023 that the Committee approved the retrospective planning application in spite of David Rutherford speaking on behalf of the CVRA and the local residents as an objector as did our local Councillor Robert Ward.

Planning Other

Restrictive Covenants
The following properties have either planning approval but not yet developed or have pending planning applications that are awaiting decision or are being prepared for the submission of planning applications. All of these properties have Restrictive Covenants that restrict the sites to either only having one dwelling either detached or semi-detached and if enforced could potentially stop the sites being developed. Read More

 

    • Underwood,Ballards Farm Road  Whitgift Educational Foundation
    • 14, 16 & 18 Castlemaine Avenue   Whitgift Educational Foundation
    • 55 Crest Road                                        The Walton Heath Land Company Ltd
    • 80 Croham Road                                  Whitgift Educational Foundation
    • 35 Croham Valley Road                     The Walton Heath Land Company Ltd
    • 37 Croham Valley Road                     The Walton Heath Land Company Ltd

Croydon Alliance of Residents’ Associations (CARA)
This recently set up Croydon Alliance of Residents’ Associations have held a number of Zoom Meetings which has been very useful with sharing information with a number of interesting things coming out these meetings and subsequent email exchanges across the Group, particularly as follows:

Following a local resident taking Croydon Council to Court under a Judicial Review process, a High Court judge has ruled against Croydon’s Panning Department, quashing the decision of a senior council official to grant permission for a block of flats in Sanderstead at 54 Arkwright Road.

This makes very interesting reading, particularly as we’ve a potentially similar situation with 5 Croham Valley Road.

The following is the web link to the story in Inside Croydon:

Unspent Infrastructure Levies
It has come to light that Croydon Council is sitting on £22500K on unspent infrastructure levies. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 Contributions are the monies paid by developers in return for being allowed planning permission for their proposed schemes. This was featured in Inside Croydon following an investigation by Property Week covering London boroughs, as Councils now have to publish an annual infrastructure funding statements, or IFS.

  • The link to the article is:
    https://insidecroydon.com/2021/03/15/council-is-sitting-on-22-5m-in-unspent-infrastructure-levies/
  • Another concern is that Planning Enforcement has become an issue due to lack of staff, particularly where flats are being built.
    There are currently a number of sites where contractors / developers are working and breaching decision / conditions and planning law. emails to Planning Enforcement are coming back – we have few staff now for the south.
    Ward Councillors and the Tory Opposition leader to take it up with the Chief Executive and the Executive Director Place – to recruit more staff. Approved Inspectors are just as bad in not complying with the Building Regulations.

Croydon Local Plan Review
Due to be adopted in 2022, the review will update the vision and strategy for Croydon’s growth up to 2039 and set out how the council will continue to deliver much-needed new homes, jobs and community facilities.
The first stage of the review was to gain feedback from the community with a period of consultation referred to as the Issues and Options consultation. This took place between November 2019 and January 2020 and is now closed.
All representations made during the consultation period are now being reviewed and will be used by the Spatial Plan to shape the Local Plan Review Preferred Option.
The Preferred Option will be published during a second period of consultation late 2020. At this time a summary of what we heard during the Issues and Options consultation and the subsequent decisions that have been actioned will also be published.
The Local Plan Review was to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination early in 2021 and adopted in early 2022 but there’s slippage on the dates.
However, as a result of now having a hung Council and a newly elected Conservative Democratically Elected Mayor, the local plan review will I’m sure be revisited.
Further information on the status of the review will be uploaded on to the Council site as the programme continues.

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.

The following article has been issued by the Croydon Conservatives (Major Jason Perry and Deputy Major & Chair Croydon Conservative Federation Lynne Hale) which makes very concerning reading for all residents of Croydon.

REVEALED: The true scale of Croydon Labour’s toxic financial mismanagement
Croydon Council has today had to issue a new Section 114 notice which states that the Council cannot set a balanced budget next year with the resources it has. This is a direct result of legacy issues from the previous Labour Administration bankrupting the Borough.

When Croydon Labour were in power they bankrupted the Council. Whilst we all knew the situation was bad, Labour were hiding just how bad it was.

Upon entering office in May, Mayor Jason Perry ordered the Council to “open the books” – which has revealed the true scale of Labour’s mismanagement. Official reports detail shocking “mistakes” made in the previous Administration’s budgets – which Labour claimed were “balanced” at the time.

These mistakes include:

Parking
Labour set estimates for parking income that they knew were totally unrealistic. The Council actual parking income is over £10 million less than the amount Labour budgeted for.

Housing
Croydon Labour sold Council-owned properties for £73 million. They spent all the money but got the accounting wrong and at least £9 million now needs to be paid back.

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (‘LTNs’)
Croydon Labour’s budget forecast that the Council would make millions of pounds by implementing many new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. However they didn’t work out which roads these new LTNs would be implemented on. It later turned out that this would be impossible to deliver.

These mistakes will cost Council taxpayers ten of millions of pounds.

Croydon Council’s Debt
When Labour were voted out of power in May they also left £1.6 BILLION of debt. This costs £47 million to service every single year – roughly one sixth of the Council’s entire expenditure, or about four times what it costs to empty the bins.

Labour’s toxic legacy issues mean that next year we would have to cut Council spending by 40% – nearly half – which is not safe or sustainable.

We have already met with the Government’s Cabinet Minister in charge of local Councils. Together Croydon Council will work with the Government to work out a viable plan that will bring our Borough back to financial sustainability.

Fixing Labour’s Mess
The previous Labour Administration has left a legacy of unprecedented financial mismanagement toxic bad debt and a lack of governance and transparency that shames Croydon and continues to have a long-lasting impact on the sustainability of our Council.

Despite the hard work of Council staff the toxic level of Labour’s debt means that Croydon is trapped in a vicious cycle. Even with Government support the years ahead will be incredibly financially challenging for Croydon Council. Ultimately this will mean the Council needs to do and spend less with significant spending reductions in the coming years.

We are determined to fix what the previous failed Labour Administration broke and to protect our residents our staff and the Borough as much as possible but getting the Council back on track to recovery and long-term financial and operational sustainability will take a long time and need radical solutions.