Planning Report – July 2019

Applications

Planning Committee Meeting (1st August)
New
Awaiting Decision
Decided

Planning Complaints

Additional Matters

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.


We objected 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 and excessive Housing Density.

The proposed dwelling does not fully meet the required minimum space standards as required by the current adopted London Plan Policy 3.5, on grounds of inadequate parking provision and non-compliance to the London Plan Policy 6.13 and London Plan Policy 6.11.

We also objected on grounds of non-compliance to Croydon Plan Policy DM10.1 and Para 6.37, and 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. It is also non-compliant to Policy: Shirley Place Homes para 11.200 & Character, Heritage and Design para 11.202.

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.

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: 28
• Supporting: 0
Councillor referral: Councillor Richard Chatterjee (23rd Apr 2019)
Case Officer Report recommends: Grant Approval
Planning Committee Slot: 1st Aug 2019

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

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 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.

Consultation Close: 11th Aug 2019
Target Decision: 6th Sep 2019
• Total Consulted: 45
• Objections: 9
• Supporting: 0

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

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: 8
• Supporting: 0

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

36 Lorne Avenue – Ref: 19/02839/FUL Erection of two-bedroom bungalow at rear with associated refuse/cycle storage and provision of associated off-street parking.


 These are all within the Density requirements of the London Plan Policy 3.4 Optimising Housing Potential Table 3.2 for a Suburban setting at PTAL 1a.

The relevant Croydon Plan Policies are Chapter 2 of SPD2 Suburban Residential Developments at Paras 2.12, 2.13 & 2.28 and the Croydon Local Plan Policy DM10 Design and Character. The location is NOT within a designated Intensification Area.

As measured from the supplied Floor Plan the GIA is ((8m x 8.3m) – (1m x 0.8m) = 65.6m2 . This is acceptable, but there is no defined Built-in Storage Space of 2m2 as required.

DM10.1 Proposals should be of high quality and, whilst seeking to achieve a minimum height of 3 storeys, should respect: (Non- Compliant but required to be subservient to host dwelling).

a. The development pattern, layout and siting;

b. The scale, height, massing, and density;

c. The appearance, existing materials and built and natural features of the surrounding area; the Place of Croydon in which it is located.

In the case of development in the grounds of an existing building which is retained, development shall be subservient to that building. The council will take into account cumulative impact. (Compliant.)

DM10.2 Proposals should create clear, well defined and designed public and private spaces. The Council will only consider parking within the forecourt of buildings in locations where the forecourt parking would not cause undue harm to the character or setting of the building and where forecourts are large enough to accommodate parking and sufficient screening without the vehicle encroaching on the public highway.

The Council will support proposals that incorporate cycle parking within the building envelope, in a safe, secure, convenient and well-lit location. Failing that, the council will require cycle parking to be located within safe, secure, well lit and conveniently located weather-proof shelters unobtrusively located within the setting of the building. Could argue that it causes undue harm to the character of the area. (No local bungalows).

DM10.4 All proposals for new residential development will need to provide private amenity space that;

a. Is of high-quality design, and enhances and respects the local character; (No as all local dwellings are two storey Semis)

b. Provides functional space (the minimum width and depth of balconies should be 1.5m); (Not Appropriate).

c. Provides a minimum amount of private amenity space of 5m2 per 1-2 person unit and an extra 1m2 per extra occupant thereafter; (Complied)

d. All flatted development and developments … (Does not apply to this proposal) 

e. In the case of development in the grounds of an existing building which is retained, a minimum length of 10m and no less than half or 200m2 (whichever is the smaller) of the existing garden area is retained for the host property, after the subdivision of the garden. (Complied)

Adherence with Supplementary Planning Document No.3: Designing for Community Safety or equivalent will be encouraged to aid compliance with the policies contained with the Local Plan. (SPD2 Suburban Residential Developments Paras 2.12, 2.13 & 2.28). (Comply)

DM10.6 The Council will support proposals for development that ensure that;

a. The amenity of the occupiers of adjoining buildings are protected; and that

b. They do not result in direct overlooking at close range or habitable rooms in main rear or private elevations; and that Direct overlooking over 18m perpendicular distance

c. They do not result in direct overlooking of private outdoor space (with the exception of communal open space) within 10m perpendicular to the rear elevation of a dwelling; (Comply > 18m separation) and that

d. Provide adequate sunlight and daylight to potential future occupants; and that (Comply)

e. They do not result in significant loss of existing sunlight or daylight levels of adjoining occupiers. (Comply)

The Mayor Of London’s Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (March 2016) British Standards BS 5906:2005 – Waste management in buildings – Code of practice These documents require maximum pull distance of refuse wheelie bins to be no greater the 20m from the stationary Refuse Vehicle (Non-compliant).

However, the Design and Access Statement States: “The proposed refuse and recycling storages will be sited to the front of the bungalow. As the storage will be sited more than the 20m maximum distance by which refuse bins can be collected by the Council’s Environmental (waste collection) Service, the future occupiers are to be advised that that refuse and recycling bins are brought to the pavement on collection day.” The details of the bin enclosure are shown on the plans.

Consultation Close: 19th Jul 2019
Target Decision: 21st Aug 2019
• Total Consulted: 13
• Objections: 39
• Supporting: 0
Councillor referral: Councillor Richard Chatterjee (25th Jul 2019)

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

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.

Consultation closes: 31st May 2019
Target Decision: 2nd Jul 2019
• Total Consulted: 28
• Objections: 5
• Supporting: 0

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

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 objected on the grounds that the proposal does not meet London Plan Policy 3.5 minimum space standards for new dwellings and is non-compliant to Policy DM10.4 Private Amenity Space.

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. The projected 45° line is not clear of the proposed structure and thus fails the Policy SPD2 45° Rule.

We also objected to this proposal on the grounds that it does NOT meet the requirements of Policy DM13 or Council Guidance on Refuse & Recycling for New Developments.

The proposal is non-compliant to Policy: Shirley Place Homes para 11.200 & Character, Heritage and Design para 11.202, and 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
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

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

Sandrock Pub – Ref: 19/01134/FUL Erection of two storey side/rear extension to The Sandrock Public House and use of first floor as 1 x two bedroom flat for staff accommodation. Erection of a three/four storey building to rear of pub comprising 19 flats (7 x one bedroom, 6 x two bedroom and 6 x three- bedroom flats) with associated car parking, cycle and refuse storage and landscaping. The proposal is an over-development for the area.

The applicant’s stated Residential Density is excessively high at 294.737hr/ha which would require a PTAL of 5.263 and the applicant’s stated Housing Density is also excessively high at 105.263 u/ha which would require a PTAL of 5.175 when the actual PTAL is just 2.

The appropriate Residential Density at a suburban setting at PTAL 2 is ≈150hr/ha but the actual Residential Density of the proposal at 294.737hr/ha which is a 96.491% increase from that recommended.

The appropriate Housing Density at a suburban setting at PTAL 2 is ≈40u/ha but the actual Housing Density of the proposal is 105.263u/ha which is an 163.157% increase from that recommended.

These densities for this location at PTAL 2 at such a high percentage increases are NOT justifiable and compromise the London Plan Policy 3.4 – Optimising Housing Potential and should therefore be resisted – that is Refused.

This is supported by the current London Plan Policy 3.4 Optimising Housing Potential which our calculation shows the calculated Residential and Housing Densities being equally high at 271.67hr/ha and 86.24u/ha respectively requiring a PTAL of either 4.956 or 5.041 respectively when the actual PTAL for the locality is just 2.

There is no justification as defined in the Housing SPG for these excessive densities which is clear evidence of excessive over-development for the locality and should therefore result in a refusal of this proposed development.

The proposed developments massing and height do not reflect the local character and roof forms of the surrounding locality.

The proposed development does not comply fully with minimum spaces standards for new dwellings or fully comply with the required amenity space standards. The is no usable communal open space for the future occupants of the proposed development and there is no provision of children’s play spaces for children of the future occupants of the development.

The percentage of three-bedroom dwellings does NOT meet the Strategic Policy DM1 for this proposal which should provide 70% of 20 dwellings = 14 three-bedroom dwellings when there are only six, three bedroomed flats proposed. Therefore, the proposed development is non-compliant to Croydon Plan Policy DM1.

The development is within the grounds of an existing building and is most definitely NOT subservient in terms of height and massing and therefore is non-compliant to the Croydon Plan Design and Character policies of DM10. In addition, the host building does not retain any garden after partitioning and is non-compliant to Policy DM10.4 e).

The proposal’s Refuse Storage facilities do not meet the required capacities for refuse bins and does not give adequate manoeuvrability space for operatives to access and remove refuse and recycling bins safely. In addition the location of the Refuse storage is too far from the furthest flats and does not meet the 30m distant guidelines.

This proposal has insufficient car parking space and will result in overspill on-street parking in the surrounding streets which will cause significant problems to adjacent existing residents.

There would be major overlooking and invasion of privacy to the occupants of number 6 Sandpits Road and 1A Sandrock Place private outdoor space and therefore does result in direct overlooking and should be refused.

For all the foregoing reasons, this proposed development is totally inappropriate for the locality in terms over-development of Residential & Housing Densities at a low PTAL of 2 in a suburban setting.

MORA Objection sent: 24th Apr 2019
Consultation closes: 10th May 2019 – Extended to 31st May 2019
Target Decision: 16th Jul 2019
• Total Consulted: 82
• Objections: 153
• Supporting: 0
Councillor Referral: Councillor Jason Cummings (15th May 2019)
Permission Refused: 16th Jul 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 objected on grounds of over-development and non-compliance to the London Plan Policy 3.4. The proposed development does not fully meet the minimum space standards as required by the London Plan Policy 3.5. The width of the access drive is unacceptable and fails to meet the requirements of SPD2 guidance.

We also objected to this proposed development on grounds of inadequate parking provision and non-compliance to the London Plan Policy 6.13 and London Plan Policy 6.11. We objected 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. We objected 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.

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).

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

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.

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.

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

9a Orchard Rise – Ref: 18/06070/FUL
Demolition of the existing house and office and erection of a two-storey apartment block comprising 4 two-bedroom apartments and 5 three-storey three- bedroom houses, together with associated access and parking.

By sinking the development into a physical hole in the ground of depth ≈0.6m throughout the development area to mitigate against meeting the height limitation of surrounding properties, (shown in the extracted plans above) this would provide a virtual pool area for surface water during heavy precipitation.

The sub-soil in this area is London Clay and NOT very permeable, so ground water will not drain away quickly.

We therefore objected on grounds of non-compliance with Policy DM25 a) as surface run-off is not adequately managed at the source as required by the policy.

We also objected on grounds of it being inappropriate for the location and Non-Compliant to London Plan Policy 3.5 which requires a presumption against back garden development. London Plan Table 3.3 Minimum Space Standards for new dwellings, storage space; London Plan Policy 7.4 Local Character; Croydon Local Plan Policy DM10 – Design and Character at Policy DM10.1, DM10.2, DM10.5 and DM10.8. Also, on non-compliant to Croydon Local Plan Policies DM13 – Refuse & Recycling at DM13.1 & DM13.2; Policy DM23 – Development and Construction; DM25 – Sustainable Drainage Systems and Reducing Flood Risk and DM27 – Protecting and enhancing our biodiversity. The proposal Lacks an Ecological and Wildlife Assessment Survey.

The SPD2 Design Guide provides common sense requirements of access to a backland development for the safety, security and acceptability of access of future occupants. The available drive access width of just 3.1m for this proposed development is unacceptable and precludes access to all emergency vehicles and removal Pantechnicons.

The proposed development properties are likely to be of timber frame construction of highly combustible materials, and taking this into account there may be instances (such as a cooking fat fire) where sprinklers may not be an appropriate or adequate solution in dousing a fire which could take hold and spread very quickly. Access for a fire tender and other emergency service vehicles need to get as close as possible to any incident to effectively deal with the incident, for both the safety and security of affected residents and the emergency services personnel.

Emergency equipment and provisions are carried in the vehicles and the time lost in transiting from vehicle to incident for appropriate equipment or other medical supplies or support requirements could be life threatening.

Resident Ken Rawlinson spoke and Richard Chatterjee spoke against the proposal. Planning Committee approved at Committee on 21st March 2019

The Planning Officer stated the Policies of SPD2 could not be considered to make an influence on determination as that Policy Document had not yet been adopted. Chair Cllr. Toni Letts and Pete Smith – Head of Development Management did NOT challenge the Planning Officer.

Drafted Complaint as that was in breach of NPPF para 48 which states:

48. Local planning authorities may give weight to relevant policies in emerging plans according to:

    • the stage of preparation of the emerging plan (the more advanced its preparation, the greater the weight that may be given);
    • the extent to which there are unresolved objections to relevant policies (the less significant the unresolved objections, the greater the weight that may be given); and
    • the degree of consistency of the relevant policies in the emerging plan to this Framework (the closer the policies in the emerging plan to the policies in the Framework, the greater the weight that may be given).

The Supplementary Planning Guidance SPD2 was to be put to Cabinet on 25th March and Full Council on 1st April, so this is most definitely an emerging policy and should have been considered.

Raised written Question PQ007-19 to clarify policies at Para 2.29 of SPD2 for answer at Council Meeting on 1st April.

Currently checking Site Activity and ensure Conditions have been presented and approved.

MORA Objection sent: 10th Jan 2019
MORA Objection Addendum sent: 25th Jan 2019
Consultation Closed: 30th Jan 2019
• Total Consulted: 59
• Objections: 42
• Supporting: 0
Councillor referrals: Councillor Sue Bennett (25th Jan 2019) & Councillor Richard Chatterjee (25th Jan 2019)
Case Officer Report recommends: Grant Approval
Planning Committee Slot: 21st Mar 2019
Permission Granted: 21st Mar 2019

MORA Stage 1 Complaint (28th Mar 2019) relevant Planning Policies contained in the emerging Supplementary Planning Guidance at Suburban Residential Development SPD2 were NOT adequately considered in the determination of this planning application (Case Number: 4939913).
Stage 1 Response (24th Apr 2019) from Pete Smith, Head of Development Management.
MORA Stage 2 Complaint (1st May 2019)
Stage 2 Response (23rd May 2019) from Shifa Mustafa, Executive Director of Place.
Escalation to the Local Government Ombudsman (4th Jun 2019) Case ID Number 19 000 3809
Local Government Ombudsman Response (16th Jul 2019) from Neil Potts, Investigator.
MORA Response to Local Government Ombudsman (22nd Jul 2019)

Further developments are in the September 2019 Planning Report.

Croydon Council Local Green Spaces Consultation


Local Green Space is a designation under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that offers additional protection against development. To be considered eligible for Local Green Space, paragraph 100 of the NPPF states that the site must be:

a) in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;
b) demonstrably special to a local community and holds a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquillity or richness of its wildlife; and
c) local in character and is not an extensive tract of land.

During the adoption of the Croydon Local Plan 2018, 79 sites were put forward by the Council for the Local Green Space designation. However, these sites were rejected and removed from the Local Plan by the Planning Inspector, who was appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to review the soundness for the Croydon Local Plan.

During the examination of the Croydon Local Plan, significant weighting was given to Local Green Spaces being ‘of particular importance’ and ‘special’ to the community beyond everyday uses. The Inspector found that sufficient local evidence had not been provided for the Local Green Space proposals to be supported.

In order to successfully gain this designation, case history shows that evidence provided by the community that demonstrates the significance of the green space must be provided.

Croydon Council are asking the public to contribute their views on their Local Green Spaces. The closing date for the survey is midnight, 22nd July 2019.

In order to ensure that your voice is heard, please provide information against one or more of the 79 sites explaining how you use the site, why you value the site, does the site form part of a wider network of open spaces and more. At the end of the 6 week period, all evidence can be collated and can then be attached the completed Evidence and Evaluation document by the Plan-making team.

Following the completion of the 6 week public engagement period, the Council will be able to review the evidence and determine the suitability of each green space to be put forward for Local Green Space designation.

As noted by the Planning Inspector previously, Local Green Space is not a designation that is going to be suitable for the majority of green spaces within a Local Authority Area, 79 was found to be an unrealistic number of designations.

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)
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)
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)
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?


Removal of density matrix in the new London Plan (4) 
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)
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) 
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) 
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.

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

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)

Further developments are in the August 2019 Planning Report.

DEREK RITSON
MORA Planning

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