Mayor Jason Perry’s pledge to revoke the Croydon Suburban Design Guide will be considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on Wednesday 22 June.
The officers’ report sets out the following grounds for revocation:
- The National Planning Policy Framework 2021 includes a chapter dedicated to ‘Achieving well-designed places’, supplemented by the publication in 2021 of the National Design Guide and National Model Design Code that provide the framework for how to produce design guides and codes. ‘This guidance states this is to provide and create beautiful and distinctive places with a consistent and high quality standard of design.’
- In May 2022 the Government published the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which includes a number of proposed legislative changes to the plan making process, which will need to be given regard as part of the continued work on the Local Plan Review.
- The London Plan proposed housing target for Croydon of 2,949 per annum (2019 -2029) ‘with a clear expectation that a large proportion of this development would be accommodated through small site development’ has been reduced 2,079 per annum inclusive of a 641 per annum small sites target.
- The London Plan 2021 is to be supplemented by a series of design guidance including Optimising Site Capacity: A Design Led Approach and Small Sites Design Codes which will be material to the production of the borough’s Local Plan Review.
Review Of Local Plan Review
The Local Plan review is therefore being revisited, ‘particularly regarding the proposed policy context for achieving (H2), the annual small sites housing target conformity with the London Plan 2021 small sites policy and the policy approach to design and character. It is recommended to produce the residential extensions and alterations part of SPD2, with revisions, as a stand alone supplementary planning document’ which will be consulted on.
The Cabinet may want to recommend to the Mayor that the early 2022 consultation comments and the officers’ comments be published to enable organisations and individuals the opportunity to submit views on any officer rejections of their proposals.
Mayor Perry’s Planning Priorities
The Cabinet report on the Mayor’s priorities includes a section on planning.
‘New development must take account of the views of local people, enhance residential areas and recognise the need for quality amenity space.’
In addition to the withdrawal of the design guide (SPD2) the Local Plan will;
- be revised to ‘ensure that the priorities of residents are paramount in local decision-making and restore a design-led approach rather than the current density-led model.’
- will have the intensification zones removed.
- develop ‘policies that encourage a good mix of homes both in type and tenure to ensure development is more sustainable, while delivering the number of homes stipulated by the London Plan.’
‘The emphasis will be on protecting local character and ensuring new developments are in keeping with it. To this end, conservation areas and heritage areas will be revisited, development on brownfield and central sites will be prioritised and green spaces will be protected.’
Planning Management Changes
- taking planning enforcement action where possible and publicising successes.
- the use CIL and s.106 monies to enhance areas being developed and improve infrastructure.
- reviewing CIL and responding to the legislative changes recently announced.