Planning Report – August 2019

Applications

New
Awaiting Decision
Amended Drawings

Planning Complaints

Additional Matters

Land R/O The Shirley Inn Public House 158 Wickham Road Croydon: 19/03279/FUL
Erection of a residential development of two detached three storey buildings comprising a total of 6 flats (2×1 bed, 2×2 bed, 2×3 bed), provision of refuse and cycle storage, hard and soft landscaping and provision of two parking spaces.

The proposed development is outside the MORA area but in the Shirley North Ward. The application is in the Spring Park Residents’ Association (SPRA) Area, but we are in support in objecting to this development.

The proposed development fails to meet the objectives of London Plan Policy 3.4 – Optimising Housing Potential Table 3.2 in relation to an Excessive Residential Density of 459.77 hr/ha requiring a local PTAL of 5.031 when the local PTAL is actually only 3 and forecast to remain at PTAL 3 until 2031.

There is no allocated play space for children of the future occupants of this proposed development.

The development has inadequate parking provision in an Urban Shopping Locality of PTAL 3 of only two Parking Bays when the current London Plan Policy 6.13 requires up to 1.5 space at PTAL 3 and Residential Density of 459.77hr/ha & Housing Density of 114.94 units/ha which equates to 9 Parking Bays for 6 dwellings.

This proposed development also does not meet the Croydon Local Plan Policy DM10.1 in that development in the grounds of an existing building which is retained shall be subservient to that building, and this proposed development is clearly NOT subservient to that building which is the Shirley Inn Public House as shown above.

We object to this proposed development on grounds that it fails to meet the objectives of PolicyDM10.9 a) & b) in that the proposed development does NOT respect or enhance the local character specifically the architecture of the host Shirley Inn and Public House or the key features of heritage of the host building and character of surrounding dwellings all which have pitched roofs which clearly clashes with the flat roofs of the proposed two blocks of flats.

We object to this proposed development on grounds of direct overlooking into gardens and properties of Barmouth Road as the rear windows of the proposed development are overlooking the gardens and properties of Barmouth Road at a distance of approximately 19m which is less than the minimum 18 to 21m between facing windows of habitable rooms.

MORA Objection Sent: 2nd Aug 2019
Consultation Close: 11th Aug 2019
Target Decision: 6th Sep 2019
• Total Consulted: 45
• Objections: 26
• Supporting: 0

37 Woodmere Avenue – Ref: 19/03064/FUL
Demolition of existing dwelling. Erection of two storey building (with roofspace accommodation) comprising 8 flats (1 x 3 bed, 5 x 2 bed and 2 x 1 bed) with associated car parking, amenity space and cycle and waste stores.

Flyer for download and distribution.

Suggested Reasons for refusal:

• Over Development Housing Density @ 91.43u/ha; should be between 40 to 65u/ha
• Over Development Residential Density @ 342.86hr/ha; should be between 150 to 200hr/ha
• Densities would require a PTAL of 5.91 for Residential Density and 4.71 for Housing Density when the locality has PTAL of 1a (numerically = 0.66)
• Inadequate Car Parking spaces 8 for the 26 occupants should be 12 spaces.
Over Development with regard massing and bulk as compared to existing surrounding properties.

MORA Objection Sent: 24th Jul 2019
Consultation Close: 4th Aug 2019
Target Decision: 5th Sep 2019
• Total Consulted: 13
• Objections: 18
• Supporting: 0

36 Lorne Avenue – Ref: 19/02839/FUL
Alterations/part demolition of host dwelling. Erection of two bedroom bungalow at rear with associated refuse/cycle storage and provision of associated off-street parking (AMENDED DESCRIPTION).

On 6th August amended drawings were uploaded to the online register.

The Applicant’s Design & Access Statement states:

• New Dwellings Policy promotes the provision of new residential accommodation, but only where it respects the character and amenity of adjoining residential areas and provides an acceptable standard of accommodation for future occupiers.

We object to this proposed development on grounds of causing undue “harm” to the local area’s character and architectural historical style of dwellings inappropriate for the locality as defined by the NPPF The London Plan and The Croydon Local Plan and would set a precedent for the destruction of the character of the area and we recommend that this application be refused.

The proposed amended plans DO NOT provide the required information to assess whether the proposal meets the accommodation standards as defined in Policy 3.5 Table 3.3. Minimum Space Standards for New Dwellings and, therefore, it is not possible to prove it respects the Minimum requirements for the lifetime of the development.

We therefore object to this proposed development on grounds of non-compliance with London Plan Policy 3.5 with regard to provision of appropriate minimum space standards and built-in storage space and therefore this application should be refused.

The proposed development does NOT respect the development pattern, layout or siting of surrounding properties and therefore is Non- Compliant to Policy DM10.1 a).

The proposed development does NOT respect the scale, height massing nor density of the surrounding properties and therefore is Non-Compliant with Policy DM10.1 b).

The proposed development does NOT reflect the appearance, existing material and built form of surrounding properties and therefore is Non-Compliant with Policy DM10.1 c).

We object to this proposed development on grounds of overlooking and invasion of privacy into the adjacent garden amenity space of adjacent occupiers as defined in Policy DM10.6 b) and c). and there recommend that this application be refused

We object to this proposed development on grounds that there are no architectural or other screening to prevent overlooking into neighbouring dwellings as defined in SPD2 Section 2.9 and therefore this application should be refused.

We object to this proposed development on grounds of allocated Refuse and Recycling facilities for the new dwelling which is at an unacceptable location below a kitchen window of the host dwelling and is non-compliant to Waste and Recycling in Planning Policy Document at Para 2.4 External Storage – Design Features and Policy DM13.

We object to this proposed development on the grounds that the built form does NOT meet the SPD2 Design Guide 2.17 with regard to the observation of the building boundaries with adjacent properties which would result in eves and rainwater collection plumbing encroaching into adjacent properties curtilage area and recommend a refusal.

The access required by SPD2 is 3.6m and this access is only 3.1m

We object to this development proposal on grounds that the parking provision is totally unsuitable and could be a significant problem during any emergency requiring medical or fire service personnel gaining access to occupants on the site. The access drive is too narrow at 3.1m and does not meet the requirement of SPD2 of 3.6m minimum width and therefore this proposed development should be refused.

MORA Objection Sent: 11th Aug 2019
Consultation Close: 19th Jul 2019 extended to 20th Aug 2019
Target Decision: 21st Aug 2019
• Total Consulted: 53
• Objections: 40
• Supporting: 0
Councillor referral: Councillor Richard Chatterjee (25th Jul 2019)

14-16 Woodmere Close – Ref: 19/01484/FUL
Erection of 1 two storey dwelling located to rear of No’s 14 and 16 Woodmere Close New application in the rear gardens of 14 & 16 Woodmere Close adding to the new estate at the back gardens of Woodmere Close. This would be the last one in this series. It is likely to meet all planning policies as all previous applications for this site has met planning policies.

On 12th June amended drawings were uploaded to the online register.

Consultation closes: 31st May 2019 extended to 2nd Aug 2019
Target Decision: 2nd Jul 2019
• Total Consulted: 28
• Objections: 7
• Supporting: 0

17 Orchard Avenue – Ref: 19/00131/FUL
Demolition of existing detached house, erection of 2- storey building with further floor of accommodation in roof-space comprising 1 x 1 bedroom flat, 3 x 2-bedroom flats and 1 x 3 bedroom flat, formation of vehicular access and provision of 4 associated parking spaces and refuse storage.

We object to this proposed development on grounds of:

The proposal does not fully meet London Plan Policy 3.5 minimum space standards for new dwellings and should therefore be refused as these deficiencies would be detrimental to the living conditions for occupants for the life of the development.

From the foregoing D6, D2 & D1 Draft Policies we have assessed the increased Housing Density for this Post Code Area of ≈1.50ha (Google Earth) from existing 15.33u/ha to 20.67u/ha after this proposed development which is an unacceptable increase of 34.83% in Housing Density which at a location of high parking stress at PTAL 2 and forecast to remain at PTAL 2 until 2031 we consider is NOT an optimum use of land for this location.

The proposal is non-compliant to Policy DM10.4 Private Amenity Space

• Unit 3 should also have 7m2 Private Amenity Space but has only 5.5m2 Private Amenity Space.

• Unit 4 should also have 7m2 Private Amenity Space but has only 5.5m2 Private Amenity Space.

• Unit 5 should have 7m2 Private Amenity Space but has only 2.5m2 Private Amenity Space.

Thus, the proposal does not fully meet Policy DM10.4 c) in respect of Private Amenity Space and therefore should be refused as these deficiencies would be detrimental to the living conditions for occupants for the life of the development.

As the location of this proposal is on a RED ROUTE parking restricted area, we believe that off-street parking availability is paramount and that the guidance in the London Plan Residential Parking Policy should be adopted to prevent any requirement for on-street parking. The proposed parking availability of 4 spaces and zero disabled bays is unacceptable at this location.

The London Plan Policy 6.13 Table 6.2 Residential Parking Standards at Residential Density in the range 159 hr/ha to 250 hr/ha and Housing Density in the range 50 u/ha to 95 u/ha requires up to 1.5 car parking spaces per dwelling which equates to 7.5 spaces. However, there are only 4 car parking spaces provided and none are for disabled which is unacceptable in an area of high parking stress.

SPD2 Para 2.29 requires Height of projection of neighbouring properties should be no greater than 45° as measured from the Centre of the closest habitable room on the rear of the neighbouring property. We have used the adjacent rear elevations to estimate the 45° Rule to the proposal and established that the projected 45° line is not clear of the proposed structure and thus fails the Policy SPD2 45° Rule.

The Council Refuse & Recycling guidance gives requirements for new developments at Section 4 – Flats with 5 or more units.

• We therefore object to this proposed development on grounds that it does NOT meet the requirements of Policy DM13 or Council Guidance on Refuse & Recycling for New Developments as published by Croydon Council with regard to Storage Area Capacity, Access and location within the building envelope.

• There is no specified allocation of recycling storage for any kitchen of the 5 Units shown on the supplied plans.

The additional cumulative local development requires reassessment of local bus service provision as residents are converting to other modes of transport to avoid this passenger congestion which is a preference for car usage which should be avoided.

The Croydon Local Plan for Residential Parking is more stringent than the London Plan Policies in that the Policy is as per London Plan Table 6.2 however, with no provision for higher levels of car parking in areas with low Public Transport Accessibility Levels, which ignores the reasoning for additional parking provision to alleviate overspill on-street parking. Perhaps this is why Croydon is suffering increased traffic congestion in residential areas as previously stated there is no legislation preventing car ownership or the ownership of light vans for business or commercial activities.

The proposed development is an overdevelopment for the locality and does NOT respect the existing residential and housing densities. and is non-compliant to Policy: Shirley Place Homes para 11.200 & Character, Heritage and Design para 11.202.

There has been “absolutely no improved access or transport links” in Shirley with proposed increases residential occupancy of 409 persons resulting from in-fill and redevelopment and therefore the policy Shirley Place Transport para 11.205 has NOT been fulfilled.

On 31st July amended drawings were uploaded to the online register.

Revised planning application involving demolition of existing detached house, erection of 3-storey building with further floor of accommodation in roofspace comprising 3 x 1 bedroom flat, 4 x 2-bedroom flats and 1 x 3 bedroom flat, formation of vehicular access and provision of 4 associated parking spaces and refuse storage.

The new plans have increased the height of the development by an additional storey.

MORA Objection sent: 3rd Apr 2019
MORA Objection (Amended Drawings) sent: 5th Aug 2019
Consultation closed: 10th Apr 2019 extended to 23rd Aug 2019
Target Decision: 5th May 2019
• Total Consulted: 42
• Objections: 8
• Supporting: 1
Councillor referral: Councillor Richard Chatterjee (16th Apr 2019)
Case Officer Report recommends: Grant Approval
Planning Committee Slot: TBC

56 Woodmere Avenue – Ref: 19/01352/FUL
Demolition of a single-family dwelling and erection of a 3- storey block containing 2 x 3-bedroom, 6 x 2-bedroom and 1 x 1-bedroom apartments with associated access, 7 parking spaces, cycle storage and refuse store.



Although the proposed development presented is architecturally acceptable, the proposal fails on a number of design requirement Planning Policies which results in an overdevelopment of the proposal for the locality and would not provide acceptable living conditions for future occupants. We therefore object to this proposed development on grounds of over-development and non-compliant to the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.4 Optimising Housing Potential due to excessive Residential Density of 350hr/ha and excessive Housing Density 116.67 u/ha at a locality of PTAL 1a. without any Justification. The current adopted London Plan Policy indicates that developments which compromise this policy should be refused.

We object to this proposed development on the grounds that the proposed dwelling does NOT fully meet the required minimum space standards as required by the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.5 as defined at Table 3.3 with respect to no Private Amenity Space for Unit 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9. Also, the proposal has inadequate provision of storage space for all of the Units which is a requirement of London Plan Policy 3.5. minimum space standards.

We object to this proposed development on grounds of inadequate parking provision and non-compliance to the London Plan Policy 6.13 for Outer London Boroughs which would result in overspill on-street parking reducing traffic Flow and contribute to traffic congestion and is therefore non-compliant to London Plan Policy 6.11.

We object to the proposed development on grounds of non-compliance to Croydon Plan Policy DM10.1 and Para 6.37 which although recognises a need for providing detailed guidance on SCALE, HEIGHT, MASSING, and DENSITY; the Croydon Local Plan Does NOT provide any guidance whatsoever or any greater clarity for applicants on either “SCALE, HEIGHT, MASSING, and DENSITY” as required by the New NPPF para 16 and para 122.

Thus, MORA comments on Croydon Plan Policy DM10.1 and para 6.37 are covered by our response to the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.4 Optimising Housing Potential.

We object to the proposed development on grounds that it does NOT meet the 45° Rule on height as measured from the adjacent dwelling ground floor window as required by the emerging Supplementary Planning Document SPD2, Chapter 2 Suburban Residential Developments at Para 2.11 Heights & Depths Projecting beyond Building Lines at pages 36 & 37. The proposed development is to be sunk into a 0.6m hole in the ground in order to meet the adjacent properties height restriction. If the built form is NOT actually sunk into the ground, the built form would be 0.6m higher and the projected 45° Rule would show much more of the proposed development would be above the 45° projection and significantly greater non-compliance to the policy. The built height is therefore extremely critical.

We object to this proposed development on grounds that it does NOT meet the requirements of Policy DM13 or Council Guidance on Refuse & Recycling for New Developments as published by Croydon Council with regard to Refuse Storage Area Capacity, Access to Storage, width of passageway and pull distance from storage area to refuse vehicle and thus the location within the building envelope.

We conclude that the proposed development is an overdevelopment for the locality and does NOT respect the existing residential and housing densities and therefore is non-compliant to Policy: Shirley Place Homes para 11.200 & Character, Heritage and Design para 11.202. There has been “absolutely no improved access or transport links” in Shirley with increased residential occupancy of 328 persons resulting from in-fill and redevelopment and therefore the policy Shirley Place Transport para 11.205 has NOT been fulfilled.

On 28th May amended drawings were uploaded to the online register.

  • All Proposed Plans
  • Landscape Maintenance Plan Report
  • Planting Schedule Report
  • Tree Specifications Report
  • Soft Landscaping Plans
  • Hard Landscaping Plans

The main changes are the internal layouts to meet the London Plan Table 3.3 minimum space standards and the addition of two car parking spaces fronting Woodmere Ave.

Planning Committee Agenda Item 6.1 – Thursday 1st August.
Local Resident Richard Chambers spoke on behalf of affected residents.
Decision Deferred on the grounds of architectural design.

Paul Scott didn’t like the roof form – thought it was ugly so deferred to allow applicant to change to design of the roof and perhaps other aspects. Footprint likely to stay the same.

MORA Objection sent: 8th Apr 2019
MORA Objection (Amended Drawings) sent: 2nd Jun 2019
Consultation Closes: 18th Apr 2019 – Extended to 20th Jun 2019
Target Decision: 15th May 2019
• Total Consulted: 33
• Objections: 29
• Supporting: 0
Councillor referral: Councillor Richard Chatterjee (23rd Apr 2019)
Case Officer Report recommends: Grant Approval
Planning Committee Slot: 1st Aug 2019
Decision Deferred: 1st Aug 2019

Pegasus (18a) Fairhaven Avenue – Ref: 19/01761/FUL
Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of a 3-storey block, containing 2 x 3 bedroom, 6 x 2 bedroom and 1 x 1-bedroom apartments with associated access, 9 parking spaces, cycle storage and refuse store.
Although the proposed development presented is architecturally acceptable, the proposal fails on a number of design requirement Planning Policies which are unacceptable for future occupants for the life of the development.

  • We object to this proposed development on grounds of over-development and non-compliance to the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.4 Optimising Housing Potential due to excessive Residential Density of 280.11hr/ha and excessive Housing Density 84.03u/ha at a locality of PTAL 1a. without any justification. The current adopted London Plan Policy indicates that developments which compromise this policy should be refused.
  • A Residential Density of 280.11hr/ha is totally inappropriate for the locality which has a PTAL of 1a (≈0.66) but would actually require a PTAL of 5.07 in the broad ranges 4 to 6 shown at Table 3.2. The appropriate value for Residential Density at this Suburban setting and at PTAL 1a with an average of 3.33 hr/u should be ≈ 183hr/ha. Similarly, a Housing Density of 84.03u/ha is totally inappropriate for a locality of PTAL 1a but would actually require a PTAL of 4.97 in the highest range 4 to 6, but the locality has a PTAL in the lowest range at a suburban setting. The appropriate value for Housing Density at this setting and PTAL of 1a with an average of 3.33 hr/u should be ≈ 56.5u/ha.
  • We object to this proposed development on the grounds that the proposed dwelling does NOT fully meet the required minimum space standards as required by the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.5 as defined at Table 3.3 with respect to no minimum Storage Space for Apartment Units 1 to 6. Also, the proposal has inadequate provision of Private Amenity Space for Apartment Units 5 &6 as required of London Plan Policy 3.5. minimum space standards and should therefore be refused.
  • We object on the grounds that the width of the access drive is totally unacceptable for access to a development accommodating 33 occupants and 9 cars and would not allow access for various delivery vehicles to the 9 dwellings, lorries for building construction and materials or removal Pantechnicons for furniture and white goods delivery when new occupants move in to the new proposed dwellings. The access fails to meet the requirements of SPD2 guidance.
  • Taking into consideration London Plan Policy 6.13 C and E e) at PTAL 1a in a suburban setting at the appropriate Residential Density of ≈183hr/ha and appropriate Housing Density of ≈56.5u/ha at an average of 3.33 hr/u, the parking requirement as given in Table 6.2 indicate up to 2 spaces per unit, which would require 18 parking spaces for this proposal. Policy 6.13 E e) states that “Outer London Boroughs SHOULD DEMONSTRATE they are actively considering MORE GENEROUS Standards in areas of low Public Transport Accessibility (PTAL’s 0-1) taking due account of the pressures of overspill onto on-street parking which applies to this proposal.
  • We object to this proposed development on grounds of inadequate parking provision and non-compliance to the London Plan Policy 6.13 for Outer London Boroughs which would result in overspill on-street parking reducing traffic Flow and contribute to traffic congestion and is therefore non-compliant to London Plan Policy 6.11.
  • We object to the proposed development on grounds that it does NOT meet the 45° Rule on height as measured from the adjacent dwelling ground floor window as required by the recently adopted Supplementary Planning Document SPD2, Chapter 2 Suburban Residential Developments at Para 2.11 Heights & Depths Projecting beyond Building Lines at pages 36 & 37 and as such is a high mass development which is overbearing to the adjacent property at 18 Fairhaven Avenue. The proposed development is to be sunk into a ≈0.5m hole in the ground in order to meet the surrounding property’s height restriction. If the built form is NOT sunk into the ground, the built form would be ≈0.5m higher and the projected 45° Rule would show much more of the proposed development and would be further above the 45° projection and significantly greater non-compliance to the policy. The built height is therefore extremely critical.
  • We object to this proposed development on significant issues relating to Refuse Storage facilities on grounds that it does NOT fully meet the requirements of Policy DM13.1, DM13.2 on Refuse and Recycling or requirement of BS 5906:2005 and that the PULL route passageway is too narrow for manoeuvring the 1280L Refuse Bins over an uneven pathway to the refuse vehicle.
    • The proposed development is in a low risk flood area which has a possible 300mm to 900mm flood depth as indicated in the above Environment Agency Flood Map exacerbated by the proposed development being sunk into a ≈0.5 metre hole in the ground. This proposed development will increase the volume of surface water, waste water and sewage into the Chaffinch Brook Culvert and in times of high precipitation could significantly increase the probability of high surface water flooding due to the increased number of households.
    • This proposed development is approximately 1km from the nearest Tram stop and 530m from the nearest 367 Bus Stop. As previously stated, recent piecemeal development in the Shirley North Ward is a typical reason why it is appropriate to meet the London Plan higher provision due to this locality’s amount of local on-street parking and the fact that the local road is a cul-de-sac of only 5metres wide and cannot cope with additional on-street parking which reduces the available road width to other road users.
    • The Disabled person accommodation does not have adequate wheelchair accessibility to enter the dwelling, or to negotiate the internal residential areas and rooms with adequate turning facilities and is therefore unacceptable for disabled person occupation.

We conclude that the proposed development is an overdevelopment for the locality and does NOT respect the existing local surrounding residential and housing densities and therefore is non-compliant to Policy: Shirley Place Homes para 11.200 & Character, Heritage and Design para 11.202. There has been “absolutely no improved access or transport links” in Shirley with increased residential occupancy of 442 persons resulting from in-fill and redevelopment and therefore the policy Shirley Place Transport para 11.205 has NOT been fulfilled.

Planning Committee Agenda Item 6.8 – Thursday 20th June.
MORA Chairman Sony Nair spoke on behalf of MORA and Local Residents.
Councillor Sue Bennett spoke on behalf of Local Residents.
Voted 6 : 4 to Grant Permission

The Decision Note at Condition 13 States:
13 The development hereby approved shall be undertaken in strict accordance with the Surface Water and SuDS Assessment.
Reason: To ensure that the principles of sustainable drainage are incorporated into the development and to reduce the impact of flooding.

However, there is no mention of the Chaffinch Brook issues or advice from the Chaffinch Brook Flood Alleviation Study (FAS) or the suggested need to raised the development by a few bricks to overcome any surface water issues as the locality suffers 300mm to 900mm probability of surface water flooding. This proposed development will increase the volume of surface water and soil waste and sewage into local drains and thence into the Chaffinch Brook and in times of high precipitation could significantly increase the probability of higher surface water flooding due to the increased number of households.

MORA Objection sent: 8th May 2019
Consultation closes: 17th May 2019
Target Decision: 7th Jun 2019
• Total Consulted: 29
• Objections: 21
• Supporting: 0
Councillor Referral: Councillor Richard Chatterjee (23rd May 2019)
Case Officer Report recommends: Grant Approval
Planning Committee Slot: 20th Jun 2019
Permission Granted: 20th Jun 2019

MORA Stage 1 Complaint (21st Jul 2019) Our complaint is threefold:
1. The failure of interpretation of the current adopted planning policies to ensure cumulative development proposals fully meet the requirements for the localities’ existing and planned public transport infrastructure.
2. The failure to fully consider the implications of ‘Access’ limitations which are noncompliant to SPD2 section 29 and the resulting local parking stress.
3. The lack of consideration of contribution to Flood Risk into the Chaffinch Brook or to obtain advice from the Chaffinch Brook “Flood Alleviation Study” (FAS) to verify whether the proposal would contribute to increased risk of local flooding and contribute to the Chaffinch Brook culvert and flood risk toward Bywood Avenue (Case Number: CAS-73997-G6H8D7).
Stage 1 Response (12th Aug 2019) from Pete Smith, Head of Development Management.
MORA Stage 2 Complaint (19th Aug 2019)

32 Woodmere Avenue – Ref: 19/00783/FUL
Demolition of the existing property and the erection of a replacement detached two storey building with accommodation in the roof-space, comprising 7 self-contained flats (2 x 1 bedroom, 3 x 2 bedroom and 2 x 3 bedroom) with 5 off street car parking spaces, bike store, integrated refuse store and site access.

Although the proposed development presented is architecturally acceptable the proposal fails on a number of design requirement Planning Policies which results in an overdevelopment of the proposal for the locality and would not provide acceptable living conditions for future occupants. We therefore objected to this proposed development on grounds of over-development and non-compliant to the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.4 Optimising Housing Potential due to excessive Residential Density of 350hr/ha and excessive Housing Density 116.67 u/ha at a locality of PTAL 1a. without justification. The current adopted London Plan Policy indicates that developments which compromise this policy should be refused. Requires a PTAL of 6 that is the max of highest range when in fact the PTAL for this locality is just 1.

The proposed dwelling does NOT fully meet the required minimum space standards as required by the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.5 as defined at Table 3.3 with respect to no Private Amenity Space for Unit 3 and that Units 6 and Unit 7 are deficient by 1m2 each of Private Amenity space. Also, the proposal has NO provision of storage space for any of the Units 1 to 7 which is a requirement of London Plan Policy 3.5. minimum space standards.

On grounds of inadequate parking provision and non-compliance to the London Plan Policy 6.13 for Outer London Boroughs which would result in overspill on-street parking reducing traffic Flow and contribute to traffic congestion and is therefore non-compliant to London Plan Policy 6.11.

The parking provision is all on the forecourt of the proposed development which is contrary to Policy DM10.2; that the configuration does not allow adequate sunlight for Balconies of units 3 to 7 and the deficiencies in the allocation of private amenity space as required of Policy DM10.4 c) and as of the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.5 minimum space standards are equally non-compliant to Policy DM10.4 c).

Does NOT meet the 45° Rule on height as measured from the adjacent dwelling ground floor window as required by the Supplementary Planning Document SPD2, Chapter 2 Suburban Residential Developments at Para 2.11 Heights & Depths Projecting beyond Building Lines at pages 36 & 37.
Does NOT meet the requirements of Policy DM13 or Council Guidance on Refuse & Recycling for New Developments as published by Croydon Council with regard to Storage Area Capacity, Access to Storage and pull distance from storage to vehicle and thus the location within the building envelope.

On 9th May amended drawings were uploaded to the online register.

  • Amended Street Scene Elevations
  • Proposed Floor Plans
  • OS plans & Existing and proposed Block Plan
  • Existing and Proposed Elevations

The changes provide new internal arrangements to meet the London Plan Policy 3.5 Table 3.3 minimum space standards.

In addition, the Refuse Store has been moved nearer the front (previously where Unit 2 En-suite bathroom and Bedroom was located) and now has sliding doors so overcoming the non-compliance to Policy DM13 Refuse & Recycling, but Access passageway is still only 1.1m width (should be 2m).

Residential & Housing Densities remain excessive and the 45° Rule for adjacent property still remains.

Planning Committee Agenda Item 6.7 – Thursday 20th June.
MORA Chairman Sony Nair spoke on behalf of MORA and Local Residents.
Councillor Sue Bennet spoke on behalf of Local Residents.
Voted 6 : 4 to Grant Permission.
Conditions: TBC

MORA Objection sent: 14th Mar 2019
MORA Objection (Amended Drawings) sent: 28th May 2019
Consultation Close: 24th Mar 2019 – Extended to 30th May 2019
Target Decision: 16th Apr 2019
• Total Consulted: 42
• Objections: 25
• Supporting: 0
Councillor referral: Councillor Richard Chatterjee (29th Mar 2019)
Case Officer Report recommends: Grant Approval
Planning Committee Slot: 20th Jun 2019
Permission Granted: 20th Jun 2019

MORA Stage 1 Complaint (4th Jul 2019) relevant Planning Policies were NOT adequately considered in the determination of this planning application (Case Number: 5039127).
Stage 1 Response (26th Jul 2019) from Pete Smith, Head of Development Management.
MORA Stage 2 Complaint (4th Aug 2019) Case Reference: CAS-79367-X3T0W3.

Questions to The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (16th May 2019)
I requested Steve O’Connell (GLA Member Croydon & Sutton) to raise the following questions to the London Mayor at the London Mayor’s Question Time (16th May).

Questions 2 to 7 have been answered (reproduced below) and I have raised supplementary questions on all answered questions and posed one additional question which have been tabled for the next Mayor’s Question Time on 20th June. These were lodged on 4th June.

Removal of density matrix in the new London Plan (1)
Question No: 2019/8973
As Policy D6 of your new draft London Plan does not give clear guidance what densities are acceptable and what densities are not acceptable, Policy D6 does not give any guidance on the actual appropriate densities of proposed developments in relation to the setting or the local PTAL (public transport accessibility level). The policy requires planning officers to assess local development proposals on subjective evaluation of local characteristics and devise their own evaluation criteria. Applicants would not have any guidance on the appropriate densities for a proposed development and therefore the Policy D6 does not reflect para 122 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Therefore, what will planning policy be on managing residential densities of future development proposals, to reflect public transport capacity, if the density matrix is removed from the London Plan?

Answered by The Mayor (17th May 2019)

The current London Plan states that the matrix should not be applied mechanistically, and it is a misconception that the current Plan provides clear guidance on suitable densities. It is a rudimentary tool and the density ranges are very wide. Fifteen years of evidence indicates that the density matrix has provided a poor benchmark or indicator of appropriate densities. Over that period, only 35 per cent of development has been within the density matrix range, whereas 50 per cent of development has exceeded the matrix range for its location and 25 per cent has been double the top end of the range.

Considering London’s housing need, optimising the density of all new development is a strategic matter for London. My draft London Plan explicitly recognises that the appropriate density of a site is an output of a process of assessment, rather than an input. The appropriate density of a site should be arrived at through a design-led approach, taking account of the site context and infrastructure capacity. Paragraph 122 of the NPPF (2019) requires planning policies and planning decisions to support development that makes efficient use of land, taking into account a range of contextual factors. My draft London Plan is consistent with this requirement.

Supplementary to Question 2019/8973 for MQT 12th September 2019

Q1 – London Plan Density (1)
Further to your response to question 2019/8973, the first paragraph of your answer related to the current Policy 3.4 which includes a density matrix but did not answer the question on Policy D6 which requested why Policy D6 does not give guidance to applicants for the appropriate densities for development proposals at given localities and therefore does not meet the requirements of NPPF para 16 and 122.

16. Plans should:
d) contain policies that are clearly written and unambiguous, so it is evident how a decision maker should react to development proposals;

122. Planning policies and decisions should support development that makes efficient use of land, taking into account:
c) the availability and capacity of infrastructure and services – both existing and proposed – as well as their potential for further improvement and the scope to promote sustainable travel modes that limit future car use;
d) the desirability of maintaining an area’s prevailing character and setting (including residential gardens), or of promoting regeneration and change; and

The second part of the first paragraph provided a history of planning officers’ failure to implement the provisions of the density matrix. This suggests that planning officers were ignoring the policy to meet housing targets, not that the Policy 3.4 was flawed. The result of officers ignoring the policy is the visible increase in local congestion due to over-development, overcrowding and inadequate public transport to support the approved high densities of which supporting evidence is available.

With the replacement Policy D6, if there is no defined relationship, or methodology, what way is there of preventing public transport under or over capacity or traffic congestion as residents in high density developments (localities) revert to cars due to unavailable public transport capacities?

Q2 – London Plan Density (2)
Further to your response to question 2019/8973, the second paragraph of your response states: “My draft London Plan explicitly recognises that the appropriate density of a site is an output of a process of assessment, rather than an input.”

Policy D6 at D States:
The following measurements of density should be provided for all planning applications that include new residential units:

1) number of units per hectare
2) number of habitable rooms per hectare
3) number or bedrooms per hectare
4) number of bedspaces per hectare.

Policy D6 does not define the process by which to analyse these parameters to define an acceptable Housing or Residential Density.

If the assessment of a proposal to define the appropriate density of a development site is an output of a process, how exactly should those input parameters, listed above at 1 through 4 of that process, be analysed and by what methodology to provide an output figure to define the appropriate density and what are the individual weighting factors?


Removal of density matrix in the new London Plan (2)
Question No: 2019/8974

How will applicants or planning officers assess whether proposed developments meet the new NPPF guidance in paragraph 122 part c if and when the London Plan density matrix has been removed?

Answered by The Mayor (17th May 2019)

My draft London Plan explicitly recognises that the appropriate density of a site should be arrived at through a design-led approach, taking account of site context and the capacity of supporting infrastructure, including its existing and planned connectivity by walking, cycling and public transport to jobs and services. In preparing Development Plans, boroughs should plan to meet borough-wide growth requirements, including their overall housing targets, by assessing the capacity of existing and planned physical, environmental and social infrastructure to support the required level of growth and, where necessary, planning improvements to infrastructure capacity through infrastructure delivery plans or programmes to support growth in a timely manner.

Paragraph 122 Part C of the NPPF (2019) specifies that planning policies and planning decisions should take the availability and capacity of infrastructure and services into account. My draft Plan is clearly consistent with this requirement.

Supplementary to Question 2019/8974 for MQT 20th June 2019
Your answer to Question 2019/8974 relating to the Policy D6 using a “design-led-approach” does NOT provide a detailed methodology to evaluate “Site Context” or a methodology to evaluate the “Capacity of Supporting Infrastructure” or a methodology to evaluate the “Planned Connectivity by Walking, Cycling and Public Transport Availability”. These contributing factors are vague and subjective parameter descriptions which would be extremely difficult to define whether a proposal was acceptable or unacceptable as there are no conclusive definitions of the parameters contributing to this “Design-led-approach” criterion or for the analysis of these factors which could indicate whether a proposal was acceptable or otherwise for a specific development proposal at a specific location.
The NPPF para 122 requires Development Plans to take account of the availability and capacity of infrastructure and services and at para 16 d) requires Development Plans should contain policies that are clearly written and unambiguous, so it is evident how a decision maker should react to development proposals.

Policy D6 does NOT meet these requirements.

If it is necessary to produce a detailed supplementary planning guidance to accompany the Plan to provide additional detail on how to effectively optimise the capacity of sites by following the design-led approach, then this is proof that the Policy D6 as stated is inadequate for applicants to establish a suitable proposal of appropriate housing and residential densities for a locality:

  • How does an applicant establish an appropriate suitable density for a proposed development at a given locality? and
  • How can community groups assess the acceptability of such proposals?

Answered by The Mayor (25th June 2019)

As with the previous Mayor’s Plan, my policy requires development proposals to take account of a range of contextual factors to arrive at an appropriate density. I consider the policy to be clear and comprehensible for both professionals and community groups. However, it is inevitable that there will be an element of subjectivity for decision-makers when balancing a range of relevant strategic and local policy considerations. Given the vast diversity of built form, accessibility and infrastructure capacities across London it is impractical for a regional strategic policy to establish the appropriate density of any given development site using a precise set of metrics. My draft Plan provides more opportunities for community groups to shape the development process as it advocates for boroughs to establish the optimum development capacity of allocated development sites in their local plans.


Removal of density matrix in the new London Plan (3) Question No: 2019/8975
If the London Plan density matrix is removed, what policies will be put in place to mitigate against and over development of a locality which results on local congestion of public transport capacity?

Answered by The Mayor (17th May 2019)

The design-led approach in my draft London Plan requires an assessment of each development site’s context to identify opportunities and constraints that can determine the appropriate built form. My draft Plan is explicit that the density of individual development proposals should be reduced to respond to existing and planned levels of supporting infrastructure, including public transport capacity, where the capacity cannot be sufficiently expanded through the development or through a strategic approach to enhance area-wide infrastructure capacity.

It should be noted that the density matrix in the current London Plan does not mitigate against over-development of a site or locality and that there is nothing inherently sustainable about the numbers in the density matrix. The numbers provide no indication of whether there is enough infrastructure capacity to support the development or not, and they provide no information on the building’s form and whether it will relate well to the surrounding area. The ‘setting’ areas in the matrix cover such large and diverse areas they can’t be used to genuinely ensure the development responds to its context at the site level.

Supplementary Question No: 2019/8975
In response to Question 2019/8975, you state that Policy D6 provides a requirement for an assessment of each development site’s context to identify opportunities and constraints that can determine the appropriate built form and the Plan is explicit that the density of individual development proposals should be reduced to respond to existing and planned levels of supporting infrastructure, including public transport capacity, where the capacity cannot be sufficiently expanded through the development or through a strategic approach to enhance area-wide infrastructure capacity. However, the Policy does not specify any methodology to determine the acceptability or otherwise of these parameters.

How does a Developer or an Applicant assess the appropriateness of these requirements if there is no guidance or methodology to determine these requirements?


New Questions for Mayor’s Question Time on 20th June 2019

  • If the Density Matrix is removed from the Policy and Policy D6 is adopted – how will applicants be able to provide development proposals to meet the Policy if the Supplementary Planning Guidance to accompany the Plan that will provide additional detail on how to effectively optimise the capacity of sites by following the design-led approach, is not published at the same time as the new London Plan is adopted?
  • Will this Supplementary Planning Guidance be included in the Evaluation in Public (EiP) procedures by the Planning Inspectorate?

Answered by The Mayor (25th June 2019)

My policy approach to density in my draft London Plan is clearly drafted and unambiguous. As such, the policy can be implemented immediately. This notwithstanding, I intend to publish supplementary guidance alongside my London Plan to assist those involved in planning and development to apply the density policy, alongside other relevant policies, in a consistent and robust manner.

Supplementary planning guidance is not subject to public examination because it is not a policy document. The role of supplementary planning guidance is to assist in the implementation of policy, which must, of course, be subject to public examination.

 


Removal of density matrix in the new London Plan (4) Question No: 2019/8976
As the draft new London Plan removes the density matrix guidance on setting and PTAL, what guarantees can be given that the replacement Policies for optimising housing densities contained in Policy D6, D2 and D1 will be observed, as the compliance to these policies are very subjective and vague and require local planning authorities (LPAs) to define their own evaluation criteria based on the guidance of these new policies for every planning application that comes before them?

Answered by The Mayor (17th May 2019)

The policies in my draft London Plan set out a clear and systematic approach to assessing development proposals that reflects site specific circumstances. These policies will help boroughs in assessing the optimum density for sites to be allocated in their Local Plans, as well as assessing individual applications. My draft Plan also requires boroughs to proactively establish appropriate site capacity parameters, following the design-led approach, for strategic development sites in their Local Plans. I am currently preparing detailed supplementary planning guidance to accompany the Plan that will provide additional detail on how to effectively optimise the capacity of sites by following the design-led approach.

Supplementary to Question No: 2019/8976
The policies in your draft London Plan do NOT set out a clear and systematic approach to assess development proposals that reflect site specific circumstances. Your answer to Question 2019/8976 indicated that you are preparing detailed Supplementary Planning Guidance to accompany the Plan that will provide additional detail on how to effectively optimise the capacity of sites by following the design-led-approach.

If that is the case doesn’t it prove that Policy D6:

  • Does not meet the requirements of NPPF para 16 d);
  • If the Supplementary Planning Guidance is not published at the same time as the New London Plan, how will applicants provide proposals that meet the policy if there is no available guidance between publication of the New London Plan and publication of the Supplementary Planning Guidance;
  • For London Boroughs to incorporate these requirements in their local plans assumes that they are reviewing their local plans in step with the review of the London Plan and that is not necessarily the case.

Answered by The Mayor (25th June 2019)

Effective planning for growth requires continuous assessment and reassessment of existing and planned infrastructure capacity. Undertaking infrastructure assessments and developing infrastructure delivery plans are core work for borough planning departments and the Planning Advisory Service long ago published detailed guidance on the production of infrastructure delivery plans. Applicants should work closely with boroughs to ascertain whether emerging proposals can be supported by the current or planned infrastructure capacity or whether there is a need to either deliver the necessary enabling infrastructure through the development or to reduce the density of a proposal to a sustainable level.


Removal of density matrix in the new London Plan (5) Question No: 2019/8977
What monitoring procedures will be put in place to ensure that LPAs do not ignore the requirements of Policy D6, D2 and D1 to maintain appropriate residential and housing densities once the density matrix has been removed from the policy to ensure that appropriate public transport accessibility is maintained?

Answered by The Mayor (17th May 2019)

My draft London Plan is clear that the optimal density of a site should be determined through a design-led approach on a site-by-site basis. The draft Plan requires development proposals to provide a range of measures of density that are more useful than the current single density measure monitored. These include density measures that reflect the number of people or households per hectare, as well as density measures that demonstrate the physical space used (i.e. floor to area ratio, site coverage, and heights). The data I collect through the London Development Database will enable the continued monitoring of development density over the lifespan of the Plan.

Supplementary to Question No: 2019/8977
Your answer to Question 2019/8977 indicated “The draft Plan requires development proposals to provide a range of measures of density that are more useful than the current single density measure monitored. …”

These consist of Policy D6:

Policy D6 paragraph D states:

The following measurements of density should be provided for all planning applications that include new residential units:

1) number of units per hectare
2) number of habitable rooms per hectare
3) number of bedrooms per hectare
4) number of beds-paces per hectare.

What is the methodology to analyse the acceptability or otherwise of these parameters for a specific development proposal once provided!?

These figures are irrelevant if not judged against a methodology to determine acceptability or otherwise with respect to the local context and available public transport infrastructure or if there is no methodology to determine acceptability or unacceptability against each individual proposal?

Answered by The Mayor (25th June 2019)

My London Plan requires development proposals to provide a range of density measures in order to help assess, monitor and compare development proposals. The density measures related to the residential population will be relevant for infrastructure provision, while measures of density related to the built form and massing will inform its integration with the surrounding context. These measures will also inform future reviews of the London Plan.


Removal of density matrix in the new London Plan (6) Question No: 2019/8978
What would be any future use of TfL’s WebCAT in relation to density, if the London Plan density matrix is removed?

Answered by The Mayor (17th May 2019)

WebCAT contains two ways of measuring transport connectivity:
Public Transport Accessibility Levels (PTAL), which assesses the level of access to the transport network, combining walk time to the public transport network with service wait times.

Time Mapping analysis (TIM), which assesses connectivity through the transport network or, in other words, how far a traveller can go expressed as a series of travel time catchments.

It is publicly available and is used by professional planners, developers and the general public, and supports policies in the London Plan. As my Transport Strategy promotes the switch towards sustainable modes, there will be a continuing need for WebCAT, to guide decisions and embed the Healthy Streets Approach.

Policy D6 Optimising Density in the draft London Plan (currently being examined) requires particular consideration be given to a site’s connectivity and accessibility by walking, cycling, and existing and planned public transport to jobs and services. This includes both PTAL and access to local services.

Supplementary to Question No: 2019/8978
Your answer to Question 2019/8978 described the ways of measuring transport connectivity using the TfL WebCAT PTAL and TIM but the answer did not clarify how PTAL and TIM could be used to implement Policy D6 or how these parameters could be used to interpret the appropriate densities of a proposed development.

How should the WebCAT PTAL and TIM parameters be used to determine the acceptability or otherwise of an individual development proposal without some form of detailed guidance or methodology once the Density Matrix has been removed?

Answered by The Mayor (25th June 2019)

These tools are not intended to determine the acceptability of individual development proposals. The tools are a resource that provide information about certain characteristics of a site. This informs the analysis of site opportunities and constraints which, ultimately, is used to determine the acceptability of an individual development proposal. However, in all cases, this determination requires a synthesised understanding of a range of relevant contextual information.


Removal of density matrix in the new London Plan (7) Question No: 2019/8979
Would you agree that removing the density matrix is in contravention of NPPF paragraphs 16 and 122 as:
a. It is removing a useful digital tool to assist public and community involvement;
b. It is removing a clearly written and unambiguous policy which was clear evidence how a decision maker should react to development proposals?

Answered by The Mayor (17th May 2019)

No. Paragraphs 16 and 122 of the NPPF (2018) do not mention or advocate the use of a matrix as a suitable tool to determine acceptable density levels. The matrix is not a digital tool; it is a table, which requires a qualitative assessment of the site to determine its matrix setting. The matrix included a set of numbers that communicated little about the nature of a future development to the public. The density ranges in the matrix have been mistakenly assumed to be a proxy for sustainability and, also wrongly, that the ranges in the matrix generated a form of development that would sensitively respond to its surroundings.

Supplementary to Question No: 2019/8979
Your response to Question 2019/8979 related to the Density Matrix but didn’t indicate how Policy D6 would meet the requirements of NPPF Plan Making
Para 16 which states:

16.Plans should:
b) be prepared positively, in a way that is aspirational but deliverable;
c) be shaped by early, proportionate and effective engagement between plan-makers and communities, local organisations, businesses, infrastructure providers and operators and statutory consultees;
d) contain policies that are clearly written and unambiguous, so it is evident how a decision maker should react to development proposals;

Policy D6 does NOT meet NPPF Para 16 b) as without clarification the policy is NOT deliverable; also, para 16 c) as the policy is not shaped by effective engagement between Plan Makers and Communities (communities have no methodology or grounds to challenge proposals);

Also, does NOT meet para 16 d) as the policy is ambiguous in that there is NO specific quantifiable measure of acceptability and therefore it is not evident how a decision maker (or applicant) should react to a development proposal.

Answered by The Mayor (25th June 2019)

I am confident my entire Plan meets the requirements of 2018 NPPF Paragraph 16. However, my Plan has been examined against the 2012 NPPF, which expresses these requirements differently. Regarding Para 16 Part b), I consider the policy is deliverable without further clarification. I have committed to providing supplementary planning guidance to enable robust and consistent application of the policy. Furthermore, the guidance will enhance the accessibility of the policy for non-experts. In response to Part c), the policy is informed by a substantial body of evidence that I referenced in my written statement in support of the policy for the purpose of the London Plan examination. Furthermore, the policy was developed through a consultative process with a wide range of stakeholders, including community groups, in particular during the formal London Plan consultation in late 2017. Finally, in relation to Part d), the policy is unambiguous. Determining an appropriate density is a complex and sensitive process. There is no alternative strategic policy that would be effective in determining the optimum density of individual development sites with the use of quantifiable matrix-like tools. Such tools may be seductive for their apparent objectivity and simplicity.

However, these tools are ultimately meretricious and would produce undesirable planning outcomes, or simply not be followed, as is the outcome of the density matrix in the majority of cases seen by the GLA.

Letter to Sarah Jones MP – Shadow Housing Minister (4th Jun 2019)

To: Sarah Jones MP – Shadow Housing Minister

Dear Sarah
We have had a significant number of residential planning applications recently, none of which fully meet either the London Plan, the Croydon Local Plan Policies or the Supplementary Planning Guidance SPD2 Suburban Residential Developments guidance as detailed in our MORA Comment letters for each of these applications.

  • 20-22 The Glade (Shirley North) – approved – 11 Residents Objected
  • 9a Orchard Rise (Shirley North) – approved – 42 Residents Objected
  • The Sandrock Pub (Shirley South) – Awaiting Decision – 151 Residents Objected – (consultation closed)
  • 17 Orchard Avenue (Shirley North) – Awaiting Decision – 8 Residents Objected – (consultation closed)
  • 32 Woodmere Avenue (Shirley North) – Approved – 25 Residents Objected
  • 56 Woodmere Avenue (Shirley North) – Awaiting Decision – 28 Residents Objected – (consultation extended to 13 June ; amended plans)
  • Pegasus (18a Fairhaven Avenue) – Approved – 21 Residents Objected

This totals 286 local residential objections and counting, of your constituents who have expressed objections to recent development proposals and you have not given any indication whether you support your constituents, question the compliance of these proposals with the planning policies or approve any of these proposals.

We only object to proposals that are non-compliant to adopted planning policies but although we have copied all our very detailed comments letters, listing many non-compliant policies to you, you have not given any support to MORA or to your affected local constituents to request these non-compliant applications be either refused or to request that the developers reapply with proposals that fully meet the agreed planning policies. Monthly planning reports are available on our website.

We understand the need for more housing units but to have support of the affected communities and local residents, these new homes need to respect the planning policies to ensure acceptable accommodation standards for future occupants and that the dwellings meet the policies to respect local character in which they are destined. In addition, the proposals should reflect the available and forecast public transport infrastructure, local massing and densities.

We are adopting a policy of registering formal complaints against any approved proposal which are clearly non-compliant to the adopted planning policies or the process of approval is considered incongruous and we are listing these now on our website.

As shadow Housing Minister, we assumed you would have a view about these proposals not meeting the adopted planning Policies.

What is your view of the recent residential development proposals in the Shirley Wards and can you explain why you are not supporting the local residents and your constituents when the proposals do NOT fully meet the adopted Planning Policies?
Kind Regards
Derek

Derek Ritson I.Eng. M.I.E.T.
MORA Planning
Representing, supporting and working with the local residents for a better community

Response from Sarah Jones MP – Shadow Housing Minister (16th July 2019)

Dear Derek and the Monks Orchard Residents Association,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me, please accept my apologies in the delay in getting back to you.

I have been copied into a number of emails from yourself regarding planning issues and have noted all of them, and appreciate being copied in.

As you know, I want to make sure planning issues are non-political and I always adopt a bipartisan approach. Housing is an issue I feel passionately about, not only as your local MP, but as the shadow Housing Minister and someone who worked in housing for several years. Planning should not become a political football either at a local level or nationally.

I recently met with Dame Moira Gibb, who is reviewing the governance surround the planning processes for Croydon. I know a number of residents associations have taken the time to write to her. In our meeting I had the opportunity to share some of the views you have set out below. In addition, next week I will be welcoming the Labour Planning Commission to Croydon who will spend a day looking at planning issues as part of a policy review. I care passionately about making sure everyone has a home, and we face a major housing crisis, however policy and procedure should not be compromised.

There are significant limits to the power I have over small-scale developments as the local MP. I fully appreciate the concern you express about the need to preserve the quality of our neighbourhoods as highlighted in many of your objections. I am always ready to hear such points of view and act on them on a case by case basis where appropriate as I have done in other areas.

The whole of London, and indeed the whole of the country has been set challenging targets for housebuilding under the London Plan and the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). As you know, the current Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, has said that he does not believe the Mayor’s of London’s targets go far enough. It is right that we have ambitious targets. The new NPPF will mean councils like Bromley will no longer be allowed to fail in achieving their housing targets set by the Government to house the next generation.

Whether you live in Croydon, Bromley or elsewhere, we need to build more homes. Of course, that must be done in a way which takes communities with us and gives them a say in how and where we build. But when the housing crisis in London is this acute we all have a responsibility. When 1,400 of Croydon’s children wake up in emergency bed & breakfast accommodation every day; when these children go to school not knowing if they will have a roof over their head that evening; when this is happening on our doorstep, we cannot simply ignore it and expect other areas to pick up the slack.

I am clear though that we do need proper and rigorous scrutiny. I can promise you that I will take every case brought to me on its merits. If necessary I will raise concerns with senior members of the council. I was very clear in the 2017 election that I would not support developments which alter the character of a local area.

I firmly believe that delivering on our housing targets and maintaining the character of our great local areas are not mutually exclusive. Both are vitally important. But for other politicians to politicise this and act like one must come at the expense of the other is both wrong and seriously disappointing.

320,000 people are now homeless in Britain. Homeownership among our young people is at record lows. Insecurity and unacceptable standards for private renters are rife. As Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister I am working hard on proposals to solve this crisis, to build 1 million affordable new homes and pressing for stronger action from the current government. But only with cooperation and understanding at a local level, with buy-in from across our community, will be really deliver change.

I hope we can work together to build a consensus on this absolutely crucial issue. As a fellow life-long Shirley resident, I want to see our area thrive, and its character protected.

With best wishes,

Sarah Jones MP

MORA Response to Sarah Jones MP – Shadow Housing Minister (17th July 2019)

Response from Sarah Jones MP – Shadow Housing Minister (6th August 2019)

Dear Derek,

Thank you for your further letter of the 17th July 2019. I am glad you agree with me that keeping planning a-political is very important.

Firstly I wanted to let you know that I write to the Council on behalf of constituents who have raised concerns, objections or support for applications. However as with many applications, my powers are limited I have made a decision not to go throught the route of lodging a comment, but writing directly to Director of Planning. With regards to my bounce back email, I wanted to let you know that due to the high volume of emails I receive, when I get cc’d into correspondence I treat this as for information and not something my team and I need to act on directly.

I agree that the Greater London Authority targets should reflect the available land more as you have said and not just transport.

Furthermore, the developments of any significant sizes should be follwed by an improvement in infrastructure. As a local resident myself I know too well the challenges that Shirley is facing with amenities. With that in mind, I have written to the Council to ask what Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) has been spent in both Shirley North and South in the last 3 years.

In your letter you also mention stress on the 367 bus route, please be sure to note that I have written directly to TfL asking them to review this immediately.

Finally, I wanted to let you know I was unable to attend the meeting of the Labour Planning Commission as I had to be in Parliament, however I will be writing to them. Please let me know if there are any specific concerns you have that you feel would be useful to raise.

With best wishes

Sarah Jones MP

DEREK RITSON
MORA Planning

< July 2019 Planning Report September 2019 Planning Report >