Croydon Council’s latest planning shocker

Croydon’s Labour-run Council has recently published its proposals for consultation on the next version of the “Local Plan” which sets planning policy for our Borough, including housing targets. It is an important document. They propose three options. These include building 5,000 homes on the green belt, turning Purley into a version of Croydon town centre, building more homes than required even by Sadiq Khan’s London Plan and continuing to destroy family homes and replace them with blocs of flats. These are all terrible ideas in my view.
Here are the details (there is one good idea in amongst all the bad ones….):

  • Option 3 suggests building around 5,000 homes on the green belt, including next to Mitchley Hill and Rectory Park in Sanderstead. Our green spaces are precious and are what make our neighbourhood special. The Labour council should not be thinking about building on the precious green belt
  • All options set a total Croydon house building target 2019-2039 of 46,000 houses. This is approaching 20% higher than the amount required even by Sadiq Khan’s London Plan (which is approx. 2,000 per year). The council should not be setting targets that are higher than required
  • All options propose 12,400-14,000 new homes in Croydon town centre over 20 years. Given that building high in Croydon town centre is reasonable and there are many existing sites with unattractive 1960s/70s buildings to redevelop into nicer buildings, this target is not ambitious enough and should be higher. This will take the pressure off greener areas
  • The options suggest that Purley should have 5,500 to 9,000 new homes. It is ridiculous that Purley should be loaded with nearly as many new homes as central Croydon. This is totally wrong and would destroy Purley as we know it
  • The one sensible idea in there is to transform the Purley Way industrial area and build homes on underused industrial and brownfield land. They target 9,400 to 12,000 homes in option 2 and less in options 1 and 3. Option 2 is the best of these, but the target should be even higher. This will take pressure off greener spaces and Purley town centre
  • The plans all contemplate continuing to knock down family homes and replace them with flats. Family housing is needed and flats should go in town centre and brownfield locations. Destroying family homes is totally wrong
  • They should develop brownfield sites first (like the large one between South Croydon Rec and Brighton Road which still contains nothing but a gigantic pile of rubble) and not target the green belt, Purley or destroy family homes

So in summary, the council should build more in Croydon town centre and the Purley Way, should not adopt higher targets than needed, should protect the green belt, should protect family houses and should not seek to destroy Purley as we know it.

The full details are here, but they extremely long, jargon-laden and somewhat impenetrable (probably intentionally):

If you agree with my points above, please email the council with your views before the consultation closing deadline of 13th January at:

Please also fill in my petition on this here:

And forward this email to your friends and neighbours so that they can too.

The council has been handing out planning consents indiscriminately in the past few years. We do need more homes, but new flats should be built particularly on brownfield and town centre sites with good transport links. They should not destroy family homes, which are needed as people have children and destroying them will change the character of our neighbourhood. There is nothing in national planning policy that requires the council to do this – next door Boroughs like Sutton and Bromley protect their local areas.

Besides responding as above, the coming election is also a chance to show that you disapprove of Labour’s planning polices for our neighbourhood. The Labour MP candidate here supports what the council is doing to us and will not stand up for our area.