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Kenley is under threat from developers and owners who wish to profit from the over development of the area. Houses should be extended, and it is often practical to build additional housing. However, this must be done so that the area is not overdeveloped making Kenley “urban”. Planning controls are used to arbitrate in these situations. The London Borough of Croydon (LBC) is governed by planning laws and they take advice from their professional planners. Deciding to grant or refuse a paticular application requires various competing needs to be weighed against each other.

LBC is “strongly influenced” by the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) which plans for the development of Croydon on a longer term. The UDP is publically available in hard copy and on line. It was adopted in 1997 but has been further reviewed in line with additional Government requirements. The current UDP was adopted in July 2006 and is now known as the London Borough of Croydon Replacement Unitary Development Plan, and also more simply as “the Croydon Plan”. To view the Croydon plan, see:


If you want to alter or improve your home:
If you want to alter or improve your home, put up a building in the garden or build an extension, what is allowed is summarised in “Planning – A Guide for Householders”. This is available from the LBC One Stop Planning Counter or from the website:

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Improvements/developments by others

LBC will write to you if they consider your property will be influenced by a nearby development. All planning applications submitted to the LBC are listed under the relevant ward and date of receipt. So to find applications lodged in your local ward check here:

This page provides links to “Quick Search” detailing the last month’s applications/decisions/appeals, plus “Advanced Search” enabling residents to browse the current planning database (some 27,000+ applications). There is also access to general information about planning and the government’s central “Planning Portal”.

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If you like the proposed improvement/development:
If the proposed development is acceptable then either support it by writing to the LBC Planning Department or do nothing.


If you don’t like the proposed improvement/development:
If you disagree with the improvement/development, write to the Planning Department expressing your reasons (see below for valid reasons). There is a time limit for comments, usually three or four weeks after publication. If it is a significant development don’t wait for others to organise a group to resist the development.

  • Contact the surrounding neighbours personally or by flyer/letter to gauge their feeling and/or galvanise support.
  • If the general attitude is to resist, then start to form a group and share the work that is involved.
  • Quickly contact the Kendra planning team and ask for advice.

The more individual letters the Planning Department receives, the more notice will be taken of local opinion before the Planning Department expresses their recommendation to the LBC Planning Committee.

  • To get an application to committee, residents should note that:
    1. It requires 12 objection letters from residents, or
    2. A “recognised” Residents’ Association objection letter. Kendra is a recognised Residents’ Association, or
    3. A petition must be submitted with at least 20 signatures.
  • Members’ referrals: Must be on the correct form and be five days before the meeting.
  • At the meeting:
    1. All material for the committee must reach the planning officer at least 24 hours before the meeting and not handed round at the meeting.
    2. Committee members can now question any residents who speak at the meeting on any of the facts.

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Reasons for objecting to a planning application:
You should include as many of the following as appropriate to the planning application.

1. Bulk and massing:
The proposed development is out of character with the immediate environment. Usually because it is “large” or wide across the site so demonstrably “out of character”.

2. Density:
The proposals are in excess of the densities reflected in the adjoining properties or effectively cramming across the site with a loss of spacing. The density is out of character with the area.

3. Parking facilities on site or on public roads or through traffic:
The development may have insufficient consideration for the number of cars that will be parked at the site or on public highways. There are detailed rules for calculating the minimum number of parking places and access onto public roads.

4. Overlooked (from windows/balconies etc) and loss of privacy:
If the development is large or inappropriate windows/balconies/patios may overlook adjacent property owners, with a subsequent significant loss of privacy.

5. Trees:
Trees are liked and loss of trees, especially mature ones, is viewed dimly. This includes the consideration of earthworks during the construction. This is usually unacceptable in an area such as Kenley where trees are a major feature in the landscape and should be retained where possible.

6. Drainage:
The extra volume generated for foul water disposal would put an unacceptable load on an already overloaded system. Drainage within Kenley is particularly bad at present.

7. Wildlife:
Kenley has many bird, fox, deer, bat and badger populations and it is crucial to retain this invaluable habitat that is essential to the survival of wildlife.

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Involvement of KENDRA:
Kendra regularly reviews the planning application list, together with comments solicited from Road Stewards and residents.

If it is a major development, Kendra will consider it and write to the council on behalf of residents, particularly if the occupiers of surrounding properties have contacted us.

We will NOT give advice to third parties about house purchases and/or associated planning applications. It is our mandate to maintain a watching brief and to ensure that any development merges with, or is complementary to, existing housing or surrounding areas.

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Some Major Planning Applications and Issues Commented on by KENDRA:
1. Kenley Pastures: 37 acres of green belt land at the top of Kenley Lane and Hawkhirst Road was purchased by a company called Property Spy in 2003 for £249,000 and marked out in ¼ acre plots. These were then marketed, mainly via the Internet, at prices around £30,000 per plot.

The land has not been sold as a consequence of the endeavour of the Kenley Green Belt Action Group (KGBAG), Kendra, Croydon Council and Richard Ottaway MP.

For a good overview see . There is pressure on the government to bring in legislation to stop the exploitation of the green belt and to protect investors’ money. There are many organisations that have been formed to protect the countryside, one of them being the London Green Belt Council on which Kendra is represented. Kendra will remain vigilant and stay in contact with KGBAG to protect the green belt in Kenley.

2. Kenley House, Kenley lane: Kendra worked tirelessly to resist the building of 29 two, three and four bedroom dwellings, including the restoration of Kenley House. The developer withdrew the application. A lesser development ( 07/03120/P ) from a new developer of 2 new five bedroom houses and some alterations to the main house has now been accepted. Kendra believes this to be the best available option for what is now a derelict building.

3. Broad Oak, 1 Cullesden ( 05/04334/P ): Approval has been given by the Bristol Inspectorate to demolish this Georgian style residence and erect a two/three storey building comprising 9 two bedroom flats with basement parking and the formation of vehicular access and provision of associated parking. Our Association is most upset by this approval but nothing more can be done. The Georgian style residence is now demolished and the new building is well under way.

4. Kenley Aerodrome ( 06/05232/LP  &  07/00385/P ): The applicant has requested a 1.2 metre high palisade style green fence 3 metres inside the outer boundary of the existing perimeter track. In some places it will be at the outer perimeter and, with the fence behind the hangers, it will not be possible to walk all the way around the perimeter without passing through the housing estate, very narrow strips at the end of the main runway and at the emergency service crash gates. For more information visit the Croydon planning website . The fence has been refused by Croydon but it has gone to appeal not least because all the fencing has been purchased. we are monitoring the situation very closely as we are concerned from a conservation aspect.

5. 20-24 Abbots Lane ( 07/01775/P  &  08/00811/P ): The applicant requested to replace 3 two-storey detached houses with 12 town houses sitting on 4 storeys. This represented sizing and massing that would both be an overdevelopment and detrimental to the character of Abbots Lane. The appplication went to appeal and it was dismissed by the inspector.

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Latest Planning Applications within Kenley – updated weekly:
For current planning applications in Kenley, see KENLEY PLANNING TABLE  .

Useful Planning Links:


Residents’ Association Planning Workshop – Q & A 3rd April ’08:

Further to the Planning Workshop held in April, a complete set of questions and answers that were submitted by Residents’ Associations Members can be viewed by clicking on the following icon:   Planning Workshop PDF

To view pdf files you will need to have Adobe® Reader® installed on your computer. Download available here.

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