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Planning Report by Geoff James

The new Croydon Local Plan and the Kenley FIZ

The council has now adopted the new local plan for Croydon, and it now simply termed The Croydon Local Plan (CLP). This is the planning framework that is used to assess any new planning applications within Croydon.
CLP made a late change to the boundary of the Kenley Focused  Intensification Zone (FIZ). The FIZ area isshown in the diagram below.
The CLP applies one set of rules for properties outside the FIZ and a more relaxed (some would termaggressive) set of rules for those within the FIZ.
The council will shortly commence a formal consultation on what building should be permitted and excluded within the FIZ. Kendra will notify residents and advise on any suitable responses. I would like to believe that the council will listen to the feedback they receive during the consultation, but my expectation is that what we say during the consultation will not have any impact on the final outcome.

Housing targets for Croydon

The new CLP enables the council to meet the housing targets set out in the “London Plan.” These targets were set in in 2011 and require Croydon to deliver around 30,000 new dwelling over the next 20 years.

The Mayor of London is currently revising the London Plan. If the figures contained in the draft copies of the new London Plan are adopted, then the housing target for Croydon will be revised upward. The revised target for Croydon is likely to require around 30,000 new dwellings over the next 10 years. Hence, if the newLondon Plan is approved then Croydon Council will need to revise its newly minted CLP so that it can accelerate the already aggressive housing delivery plans that are contained within the new CLP by 100%.

Unsolicited offers from aggressive developers

We have numerous reports of at least two developers sending unsolicited letters to residents all over Kenley. They are typically offering a little over market value to buy the property, via an “option” that will complete the purchase in 12 to 18 months’ time. Given the delayed purchase, the offer is usually poor value.

Anyone thinking of taking up the offer should discuss it with their friends, family and preferably a solicitor, as it is very important that the contractual terms are fully understood before any commitment is made. The seller often becomes locked-in as a free “house sitter” until the developer is ready to buy the property, and the delay is financially equivalent to providing a loan to the developer at a very cheap rate. The headline purchase price may not be as attractive as it first appears.

Despite what the developers may suggest in promotional literature and during any meetings – their objective appears to be to replace any existing building with a large block of flats.

Some recent planning applications:

57 Welcomes Road
This application is now granted to replace this house with a block of 7 two-bed flats. The design provides just 7 parking spaces. The new occupants are very likely to create over-spill parking when guests arrive, or tradesmen visit. Some of the occupants of these very expensive flats will also own 2 cars. There is clearly no space for safe street parking on Welcomes Road, so it is difficult to understand how this will resolve itself.

15 Cullesden Road
This is a new application that proposes to remove an existing house and install a block of 15 flats (5 one-bed, 5 two-bed and 5 three-bed). There will be just 12 parking spaces within the plot. My estimate is that this site will create between 4 and 6 vehicles that will need to be parked on street. So, we can expect the level of street parking on Cullesden Road to increase.

It should be noted that the above two sites are outside of the FIZ – if they were inside the FIZ then it is likely that the council would ‘insist’ on an additional storey to each building and the on-site parking be removed or significantly reduced to allow the buildings to be made wider and deeper to pack in more dwellings.

All members are encouraged to register for our weekly planning email. Drop me an email with your address to planning@kenleyra.org.uk.

Kenley Intensification Zone FIZ