Croydon Planning Committee And Infrastructure Funding Gap Up-dates

Planning Committee Thursday 29 July 6pm

116 Reddown Road,  Coulsdon

Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of two 3 storey terraced blocks comprising 8 3 bedroom dwelling houses. 289 objections, including East Coulsdon Residents Association. It has raised concerns about access to emergency services, the design and scale being out of character within the surrounding area, traffic generation and cars parking, overlooking of neighbouring properties, surface water and lack of social infrastructure particularly in the southern geographic regions of Croydon. The image of the frontages shows an a large area of hardstanding instead  green landscaping.

158 Purley Downs Road

Demolition of existing dwelling and garage and erection of two 3-storey buildings, comprising of 7 residential units. 117 objections, including Sanderstead Residents Association. The latter arguments include that it is overdevelopment, the cycle and refuse enclosures to the front of Block B will be dominant and untidy features detracting from the overall appearance, rear gardens to Block B are small and out of character with locality, front amenity areas to Block B are not acceptable, whilst rear gardens to Block B exceed minimum size standards, overlooking and loss of privacy for No.160. It recommends that Block B be reduced to 2 houses allow redesign and overcoming overlooking concerns, increase garden areas and successfully integrate cycle parking and refuse storage to create an acceptable and harmonious scheme. Block A is substantially higher than current house and would appear dominant and obtrusive within the streetscene given its location on the hill it will be highly visible from long views. Additional parking would result in worsening highway safety given the already dangerous junction with North Down with its lack of visibility due to topography of the land. If the site is developed it is recommended for a proposal for a house or pair of semi detached houses at the rear of the garden. The applicant is increasing units without consideration for the well being of future occupants and the current pandemic has shown that people want space in their homes with reasonable outside space.

22 Hartley Down, Purley

Demolition of the existing dwelling and erection of a three storey building containing 7 flats. This site has a long history of applications. There have been 22 objections, including the Hartley and District Residents Association. It has raised the following (summarised) concerns: issues with the details of the Construction Logistics Plan and the lift viability study, the quality of accommodation proposed including bathrooms with no windows, the quality of the proposed child play space, lack of meaningful amenity space and impact on the character of the surrounding area.

1-3 South Drive, Coulsdon

Demolition of existing buildings, and erection of a part 5, part 6 storey (plus lower ground floor) block of flats. 489 objections. Coulsdon West Residents Association argues that inaccurate documentation was submitted, the scheme is overdevelopment, the proposed height and massing will overbearing, there will be adverse impact on parking in local area and operation of the highway, adverse impact on biodiversity, inappropriate mix of units, insufficient amenity space proposed, daylight levels for proposed flats does not meet BRE criteria. The scheme will create an unacceptable precedent for the area.

East Coulsdon Residents Association also argues that it is overdevelopment, an incompatible use of the site, and the design is out of keeping with locality. It argues that the topography of site will mean that its height will be exacerbated rising above the buildings on the High Street. There will be adverse amenity impacts for adjoining properties. Inadequate car parking will adversely impact on parking in local area and operation of the highway. Coulsdon does not need the further provision of 1 and 2 bedroom flats. Insufficient private amenity space is proposed. (In my view the block is just another unimaginative design eyesore and is not be set within a green context.)

Planning Committee Thursday 29 July 8pm

82 Pollards Hill North

The Loss of Bungalows

The worst aspect of the South Drive scheme is the loss of two bungalows. Developers across the Borough are buying up them up. Such housing is needed by people with physical frailties and disabilities who need to live on one level. They are ideal for residents with those needs who need to move from their larger homes while staying in their local area, and releasing their current homes for new family use. The future of bungalows needs to be considered in the Local Plan Review. Those Associations with bungalows in their area could usefully set up a joint working party to examine the issue and prepare a report with recommendations for lobbying before the Cabinet approves the Local Plan Review in the autumn and at the Inspector’s Examination.

Failure To Require Significant Carbon Reduction

To Help Meet Climate Change Crisis Challenge

The Planners are proposing that there be a condition on the four schemes above to require the official national 19% reduction in carbon emissions. This means they have failed to persuade the applicants to outline measures to increase it. If approved these schemes will therefore not be contributing to meeting the climate change crisis challenge. Given the requirements of the Government’s National Planning Framework rules and the London Plan, there may be no planning grounds to reject the schemes. If the Planning Committee Councillors reluctantly approve the applications, they should minute their concerns. They may wish to explore additional conditions about the kind of energy equipment to be installed and an increase in trees and shrubs, and ask the applicants to agree to this.

In the light of the RIBA highlighting the carbon emission problems involved in demolition the Committee members should question the applicant about  the carbon emissions from the demolition and the new builds will be. I suggested this recently when they were considering the pre-application on 121 Canterbury Rd. Needless to say I received no email back from any of them saying whether or not they did discuss the issue. If schemes emissions are high then the proposed 19% carbon reduction condition is farcical especially with respect to South Drive.

Tory Contradictions

he Tory members of the Committee are likely to find themselves in the position where they argue against the schemes despite the fact that its their Government that underpins the Planners’ recommended approval. Their MP in Croydon South Chris Philp does not appear to be publicly lobbying for a change in Government planning rules that will protect the character of his constituency and require any developments that are agreed must contribute to the climate change crisis. Its time the residents of South Croydon campaigned to pressure him to publicly oppose the Government’s existing and future  planning rules.

Croydon’s £1,651m Shortfall

For Infrastructure Plans

Croydon has a shortfall of just over £1,651m in funding for its projected  infrastructure plans, most of it on what is classifies as critical projects: at just over £1,282m.

The first figure below shows total identified costs and the second total funding available.

Education: £10,340,000; £20,550,000

Transport: £1,908,759; £406,795,000

Technology & arts: £53,205,000;  £10,488,000

Green grid: £3,862,000; £2,892,000

Sports & leisure: £19,039,000; £19,084,000

Utilities : £1,180,000; £1,127,000

Health: £146,650,000; £39,700,000

Emergency services – –

Public realm & Masterplans: £118,835,000; £109,986,000

Total: £2,261,879,000; £610,622,000

Critical: £1,678,580,000; £396,379,000

Essential: £315,011,000; £190.677,000

Important: £317,793,000; £74,433,000

The Infrastructure Delivery Plan

In response to a Freedom of Information request I submitted the Council explains:

‘As part of the statutory plan making function of the Council, the Council is required to produce an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP), which sets out the infrastructure required to support the development growth for the borough as outlined in the Local Plan.  The current Local Plan 2018 is supported by the updated IDP 2019.  This can be viewed via the link below and includes the information requested regarding funding and wider context by infrastructure type. Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 theefore applies, ‘Information reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means’.

Because the Delivery Plan is on the Council website, the Council is not required to provide me with the specifics of the shortfall between housing and other developments, nor what is the estimated shortfall in infrastructure funding required to meet the target for new homes under the Local Plan.

Up-date Plan Needed

The Plan also does not contain the finances on projects which have not been costed. With so much that has been happening the figures contained in it will altered. There appear to be changes relating to transport in the Cabinet papers on 26 July. It also includes finances related to Brick by Brick which are now out-of-date.

I have emailed Councillors Stuart King and Callton Young saying ‘Given that this will be a document in the forthcoming Inspector’s review of the Local Plan, it is important that this is up-dated for submission to the Inspector. If it is not it may require time to be spent trying to have up-to-date figures. This would be an unnecessary waste of time.

It would be helpful if you would consider the need for an-up-date.’

Ideally an updated Delivery Plan should be published before the official approval of documents by the Cabinet in the autumn for submission to the Local Plan Review.This will make it publicly clear what the challenges are and enable those planning to give evidence at rhe Inspector’s Inquiry a chance to question the detail in the hope that the final Delivery Plan for submission is improved.

Housing Target

Contrary to what several of us thought the housing target for Croydon has been not been reduced under the new London Plan Mayor’s Plan for London, but increased by 434 from 1,645 per to 2,079 per annum. That is an increase from 16,450 to 20,790 over ten years.

In response to my Freedom of Information question the Council tells me:

‘The current Local Plan Review will plan to accommodate this revised housing target as conformity is a requirement of planning legislation.  The Local Plan Review will be supported by a new IDP taking account of this increased housing target and will be examined by a Secretary of State appointed Planning Inspector when the Local Plan Review is submitted to the Secretary of State.’ 

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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1 Response to Croydon Planning Committee And Infrastructure Funding Gap Up-dates

  1. A significant amount of the target for housing (now 2079 pa or 20790 over 10 years) could be achieved by ensuring developers did in fact build and complete developments they have planning permission for ( the St George’s Walk and Whitgift centre are obvious candidates) . Let’s hope the government give councils the power and funds to force this to happen and that Croydon council take action. Without this more pressure is put on our green spaces and leafy suburbs all to the detriment of Croydon

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