I’m writing with an update with good news about how planning is working in Croydon now. Following the ejection of Labour from control of Croydon in May 2022, we now have a new approach to planning. Labour used to just wave through nearly every application with barely a moment’s consideration, often destroying family homes and changing the green character of many neighbourhoods. Croydon Council’s new Planning Committee is taking a different approach under the chairmanship of Cllr Michael Neal (a Conservative) and the much better planning polices introduced by Mayor Jason Perry, all of which I have been strongly supporting.
Under Croydon’s new character and design focused approach to planning, applications to destroy family homes are now almost always rejected, following proper consideration of planning policy. A few examples of refusals in just the last few weeks include:
- 13A Russell Hill, Purley, CR8 2JB – Proposal to demolish an existing family home and construct a block of eight flats. Refused using delegated powers, October 2023.
- 62 The Ridge Way, South Croydon, CR2 0LF – Proposal to destroy a family home and construct eight cramped new houses. Refused using delegated powers, October 2023.
- 31 Beech Avenue, South Croydon, CR2 0NN – Proposal to destroy a family home and construct a block containing six flats and three detached two-storey houses. Refused using delegated powers, October 2023.
- 3 South Drive, Coulsdon, CR5 2BJ – Proposal to destroy a bungalow and construct either a block of eight flats or four terraced houses. Refused using delegated powers, October 2023 (developer has appealed).
- 4 More Close, Purley, CR8 2JN – Proposal to destroy a family home and erect a three/ four storey block of nine flats. Refused by officers using delegated powers, October 2023.
- 10A The Drive, Coulsdon, CR5 2BL – Proposal to construct a three-storey block containing nine flats. Developer withdrew the application in light of Croydon’s new approach to planning, September 2023 (developer has submitted a new application).
- 41 Kingswood Lane, Sanderstead, CR6 9AB – Proposal to destroy a family home to construct a three-storey block containing seven flats. Refused using delegated powers, September 2023.
- 444 Selsdon Road, South Croydon, CR2 0DF – Proposal to destroy an existing family home to construct a large development of flats. Planning permission previously granted by Labour expired and is unlikely to be granted again, July 2023.
- 2 and 4 Kenley Lane, Kenley, CR8 5DE – Proposal to destroy two family homes to erect a large block – potentially six storeys high – containing 25 flats. Application was dismissed at appeal by the Planning Inspectorate, July 2023.
- 105A Woodcote Grove Road, Coulsdon, CR5 2AN – Proposal to destroy a family home and construct a four-storey block of eight flats. Refused using delegated powers, June 2023 (developer has appealed and submitted a new application.
Of course, we do need more housing and flats, especially for younger people – but we should not be destroying much-needed family homes and changing the character or green suburbs like ours as Labour previously did. Flats, including in very high blocks, are better suited to Croydon town centre and more central London areas, which is where many blocks of flats are being built at the moment.
Previously, my objections to over-development as our local MP and the objections of local Residents’ Associations and individual residents were contemptuously ignored by Labour – but now we are being listened to. I am glad that all the campaigning has paid off – many thanks to everyone who supported it over many years.