17 August Planning Committee papers illustrate inconsistencies in application of planning rules
Watch out for the behind the scenes operation of the party whipping system, in contravention of the semi-judicial nature of the Planning Committee and its Sub-committee when they meet on Thursday 17 August. All the applications are being considered by Councillors because of the level of objections and /or referral to Committee by Ward Councillors or Residents Associations. The officers reports recommend the granting of permission. Yet again the reports show:
- failure of officers to resist housing schemes that do not contribute to the Council’s policy of 60% 3 bed+ family homes outside the Opportunity Area.
- inconsistency in the application of conditions, for example in the failure to specify in some of them permeable hard standings, and in all of them failure to provide water butts. Such measures are especially important in areas of risk of flooding, in reducing the amount of water going into the Thames drainage system.
- derisory treatment of objectors by not making full objections publicly available and only summarising. This means that there is no way of telling whether the officers have fairly summarised them and adequately answered them. Despite the fact that it is becoming a standard condition on extension applications elsewhere in the Borough, the conditions list does not include the requirement for a water butt.
The Planning Sub-Committee meets at 5.30pm and will discuss:
- 17/01823/HSE 29 The Ruffetts, South Croydon. Erection of single/two storey front/side/rear extension. This has been referred to Committee by Croham Valley Residents Association
- 17/02967/FUL 168 Addington Road, South Croydon. Use as mixed A3/A5 use (restaurant and hot food takeaway) incorporating alterations to existing shop front, plant and extract duct to rear. This was referred to Committee by Ward Cllr Sara Bashford and there were 8 objections.
The Planning Committee will meet at 6.30pm or end of Sub-Committee meeting. It will discuss:
17/00484/FUL 1 Duppas Hill Terrace. Demolition of existing dwelling: erection of two/three storey building with accommodation in roof space comprising 1 one bedroom, 7 two bedroom and 1 three bedroom flat: provision of access drive and associated parking. This has been referred by Councillor Canning.
17/00650/FUL Rear of 1-9 Birchanger Road, South Norwood. Erection of 4 two-storey houses (3 x 3 bedroom, 1 x 4 bedroom) with accommodation in the roof space; formation of vehicle access and provision of 5 parking spaces, refuse storage and cycle stores. This is a reconsideration following deferral at previous meeting. Original plans received 20 objections plus three petitions with 141, 60 and 212 signatures each. The new revised plans have had 5 objections.
17/02544/FUL 97 Woodcote Valley Road, Purley. Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of a two storey building with accommodation in the roof space comprising 4 x two bedroom flats. Formation of new vehicular access and provision of associated parking and refuse storage. 18 objections and referred by Cllr Mario Creatura.
17/02724/FUL 122 Riddlesdown Road, Purley. Demolition of one existing building: erection of a two storey building including basement and with additional accommodation in roofspace comprising of 2 x one bedroom flats, 4 x three bedroom flats and 2 x two bedroom flats: formation of associated access, and provision of 8 parking spaces, cycle storage and refuse store. 155 individual, M)P and Riddlesdown and Purley & Woodcote Residents’ Associations objections.
Riddlesdown’s objection has been summarised as: Poor quality of information supporting the application. Misleading number of storeys. Incorrect PTAL rating. Over intensification within the existing residential area. Unacceptable bulk size and massing. Detrimental impact on amenity. Lack of disabled facilities. Insufficient on site parking arrangements. Impacts on the Local Distributor Road. Loss of family home. Refuse arrangements. Cumulative impact of applications for flats. Purley & Woodcote’s has been summarised as: Over development of the site. Out of keeping with the area. Little altered from the previously withdrawn scheme .
17/02545/FUL 76 and Land R/O 76-80 Keston Avenue, Coulsdon. Demolition of no 76: erection of 3 x two storey three bedroom detached houses at rear and 1 x two storey four bedroom detached house at the front with accommodation in roof space: formation of access road and provision of associated parking
30 objections, plus Cllr Bird who referred it.
17/02135/FUL 26 Hilltop Road, Whyteleafe. Demolition of existing building: erection of a pair of two storey four bedroom semi detached houses with accommodation in roofspace fronting Hilltop Road and a pair of two/three storey semi detached houses with accommodation in roofspace at rear fronting Marlings Close, formation of vehicular accesses and provision of associated parking, cycle and refuse storage. 37 objections, plus MP and Cllr Steve O’Connell who referred it.
17/02467/OUT 57 Welcomes Road, Kenley. Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of two storey building with accommodation in roofspace comprising 7 two bedroom units with associated access, 7 car parking spaces, cycle storage and refuse store. 107 objections, plus Cllr Steve O’Connell.
The officers’ reports can be accessed at https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/users/public/admin/kabmenu.pl
Croydon’s presses Government for fire sprinkler funding
Council saves n£5m in new deal on the London Rd temporary housing blocks
The Council will save around £5m in comparison to the previous lease by paying 30% less each year under the new deal struck with the buildings’ landlord Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund, which bought Concord House, Sycamore House and Windsor House the sites in December from the previous freeholder.
Why 1-5 Landsdowne Rd and Voyager House should be rejected
The owner of the 1-5 Lansdowne Rd and Voyaer House on 30-32 Wellesey Rd has submitted a new planning application to replace the approved scheme it already has. This one involves the demolition of the existing builings and the erection of a part 11, part 41 and part 68 story development comprising 794 residential units, 35,000 sq m. offices, retailing/restaurant/bar uses, public viewing gallery, swimming pool, with associated access and servicing, car/cycle parking, landscaped pedestrian walkways and public plaza.
I have submitted an objection calling for it to be refused on the grounds that it fails to comply with in three key London and Local Plan policies on areas of density, bedroom size mix and affordable housing.
(1) With 1,654 dwellings per hectare the proposal appears to be nearly 4 times higher than the London Plan range for central areas with excellent public transport (435 dwellings per hectare).
(2) The scheme appears to claim 44% family units . The London Mayor counts 3 bedrooms+ as family units not 2 bed. The family unit proportion therefore appears to be 72/794 = 9%.
(3) It appears that the Affordable Housing proportion is 20%. consisting solely of rented units at 80% of market rent. This is much lower than the Council’s current policy requirement. It may also not comply with London Plan requirements as to the % of affordable homes that should be for social rent.
While the application contributes to the Council’s aspirations for n.11,000 new homes in the Opportunity Area it does not help meet the needs of current Croydonians for housing which is of the right size and is affordable. The sale prices and market rental values that will apply may add to the upward pressure on prices and rents which are becoming unsustainable for many existing Croydonians. This will add to the outward migration of those who can no longer afford to live in the Borough, resulting in a change in demographics of the Borough which will be contrary to the Council’s planning vision for a mixed and balance community that benefits existing residents as well as new residents.
There is no detail on the mix of ‘ affordable ‘ units, Will they be all or mainly 1 and 2 beds all in one tower above the 12th floor?
Finally the application should be rejected on the grounds that tower blocks:
(1) are not suitable for families and will not provide a quality of life and well being which are goals of other of the Council’s planning policies.
(2) of such heights are potentially a major fire risk in terms of the ability of residents to get out of the building if it catches fire like the Grenfell Tower or examples in Dubai and other countries.
(3) of such heights are impossible for the Fire Brigade to tackle above the height of the longest ladders currently available to them.
(4) generate a highly concentrated demand for water because of the high density of dwellings and population will strain water infrastructure and supply serving the Opportunity Area and may contribute to shortages that affect other parts of the Borough, thereby running in the face of Croydon sustainability planning goals.
(5) require the additional use of water to keep their exteriors clean.
(6 ) generate a high demand for energy over and about household needs due to the energy requirements for lifts and water risers.