Betts Mead

WURA members may not be aware that there has been a Commons Land Application made on the land around the Betts Mead recreation area, bordering Hayes Lane at the top of Welcomes Road and also at the back along Old Lodge Lane (ref 19/05499/CLA, viewable on the Croydon Planning Register)

KENDRA have put together the information below and we encourage anyone who has used the land for dog walking and recreation to submit a response, especially those who have used the land for 20 years or more. Critical to the response is the fact that the wider land has been used, not just the paths for direct access through it. This includes access directly off the road when jumping out of the way of passing vehicles on Hayes Lane!

What does this Notice mean?

Local residents have used, unhindered, the blue, pink and green land to stroll, walk dogs, throw snowballs and other miscellaneous pastimes for many years. This Notice would, in essence, bring to an end the period of ‘use by right’ of this land by local residents. The Notice effectively ‘stops the clock’ on residents reaching the ’20-year use rule’ which enables communities to register such land as a Village or Town Green and/or establish new official footpaths. The Notice does not prevent future Rights being established by way of the ‘20-year use rule’ – but it ‘resets the clock’, and the ability to accrue time restarts from 2020 and accrues until such time as a further Notice/Deposit is made. If land has already been subject to ‘use by right’ for over 20 years before the date of the Notice then residents have the opportunity to make representations to the Council to that affect and may, if successful, retain the option to make an application to have footpaths officially recorded and/or land registered as a Town or Village Green.

What action can individuals take?

If you are concerned about this issue and the potential loss of paths/amenity, then please comment on the Notice to Croydon Council (Deadline 17th Feb).

Options are:

1) Preferred by KENDRA – Write your comments in an email or letter attached to an email. Ensure that you clearly refer to application 19/05499/CLA. Email to

2) Write a letter (again clearly refer to Ref 19/05499/CLA) and post it to Development Management, Place Department, 6th Floor, Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA.

3) Go online to Enter 19/05499/CLA into the search box and press enter Select the “Comments” tab and make your comments

You should explain how you have used the land and for what period of time – possible uses could be hiking, dog walking, den building, sledging, snowballing, collecting timber, maintaining fallen trees/paths, blackberrying, litter picking, enjoying/photographing wildlife, walking to School/station/buses, BMXing, mountain biking etc.

You do not have to have personally used the land for 20 years, it is the chain of community use that is important, but if you have used it for more than 20 years or you grew up in Kenley and played there as a child in the 70’s/80’s/90’s please make that clear. As a community we undoubtedly know more about the historic use of this land than the current owners and this is our opportunity to make our enjoyment of this land known to the Local Authority.

For full information please read the full Information Note produced by KENDRA.

Chairman’s Christmas message

As 2019 draws to a close on what has been a difficult time planning application-wise we can only hope that the present nightmare will eventually subside, especially for you residents affected at the lower end of Welcomes Road, although realistically the current situation will have to be endured for some while.

Sections of Welcomes Road were surface dressed during the year where the road had become very smooth. If the new dressing performs well over the winter we will consider surface dressing the entire length of Welcomes Road with the same materials.

The patient and continuing financial support of members living in Uplands Road and its offshoots, while we deal with Welcomes Road problems, is much appreciated.  

I must thank my fellow committee members and the many residents who have given us feedback, for their advice, support and input during the year.  Without diminishing the work of others I feel I must also mention the Herculean efforts of the Secretary who has tirelessly badgered the Council to reduce the pace flat building in Welcomes Road and to his ever patient wife… thank you.

Thank you one and all for supporting the Committee during the year.

I hope that your Christmas is peaceful and enjoyable and that 2020 brings everything you wish for. 


New developments and road condition

New planning applications continue to appear for the WURA area.  The WURA committee continue to object to the Council asking for a moratorium on building more flats in Welcomes Road so that a full assessment can be made of the impact on the infrastructure from the current projects.  A slowing of the rate of build would also reduce the stress on the existing population.  The roads, kerbing and verges are already being damaged by HGV traffic because the roads are too narrow to sustain such traffic.

Some members have suggested that WURA should let the condition of Welcomes Road deteriorate significantly in the hope that it will then become less desirable for developers and the Council.  Although at first sight this may seem a possible (if long term) approach, it is important to note the following:

  1. Should the road surface deteriorate significantly, the first problem likely to be raised would be from the recycling and waste collection company, Veolia.  They can refuse to drive up a poorly maintained road and, in fact, have already done so for Zigzag Road before it was resurfaced.  This would mean no more collections from the kerbside for all properties on the road.
  2. Taxi drivers are also within their rights to refuse to drive along a poorly maintained road.  Again this has occurred for Zigzag Road residents before the road was resurfaced.
  3. More seriously, access for ambulances, fire engines and the police could be seriously impaired.
  4. The road is a public highway despite being privately maintained and is subject to the Highways Acts.  For this reason, the Council is empowered to carry out emergency repair work on the road to make it safe and then seek reimbursement from the frontagers.
  5. The road would become uninsurable and your public liability as a frontager for damage to persons and property would be unlimited.

For these reasons any notion that allowing the road to fall apart should be dismissed and would not be supported by any responsible Road Committee.


Building works

Please note that demolition of the bungalow at 32 Welcomes Road is scheduled for late this week or the week commencing 9th December 2019.

Under current arrangements, HGV traffic is to enter Welcomes Road at the Station end and exit the same way having reversed up Welcomes Road to reach the site. This approach is currently being reviewed to try to remove the need for reversing and also to ensure that trucks do not need to turn round. An update will be posted once agreement with the developers has been reached.

The code of practice requires that site traffic must not use the road at peak times (i.e after 10.00 hrs and before 15.00hrs) and hard copies of the site management arrangements will be provided to the immediate neighbours so they know what to expect from the builders, Goldstone Homes (contact details provided in email to members). The positioning of HGVs when at the site should be such that traffic can get past.

I hope all goes well for the builders and the neighbours. Unfortunately some disruption is inevitable with these jobs so please be patient.

Over the winter our contractors Allfreys may also be installing some kerbing in the same area.

It is possible that work will also be commencing soon on 42 Welcomes Road but the builders/developers have yet to contact the Association to complete formalities.

Upcoming road closures in the area…

WURA have been informed that there will be road closures/restrictions blocking parking bays outside 9 and 28 Whytecliffe Road as follows:

1. Date: 27th October, Purley High Street and Whytecliffe Road South Purley

2. Period: approx 3 days closures/restrictions. Follow diversion signs.

3. Reason: Crane operations

More directly affecting us: closure of Hayes Lane between Cadogen Place and Golf Road

1. Date: 11th December 

2. Period: approx 3 days

3. Reason: Telecomms

Diversions via Buxton Lane, Godstone Road, Hayes Lane, Whyteleafe Road, Whyteleafe Hill, and Salmons Lane and will be sign posted.


I have lived in Welcomes Road for over 30 years and was drawn here by its serenity and sylvan appearance with its detached houses of varying sized plots, all still en situ today although as with everywhere a few things have changed. Sometime after moving in, I was asked to join the road committee whose remit is the upkeep of the road surfaces in Welcomes and Uplands (these are unadopted roads subject to the Highways act thus useable by all) collecting a levy from each residency according to the applied Council Tax rate plus dealing with associated matters.

WURA is not a Residents’ association as we are under the umbrella of KENDRA a very capable organisation the ‘mouthpiece’ for all in the Kenley area. Geoff James at KENDRA keeps a watchful eye on Planning matters and is always available for advice. His work has increased in recent years with multiple applications to demolish family homes and build two storey ‘flats’ of maximum 9 units of varying sizes all currently concentrated in the lower end of Welcomes, all are within walking distance of Kenley railway station and bus routes. Hopefully when all developments are completed the new properties (most look like large family houses) will blend in with the local landscape although lack of parking bays may be an issue.

To those of you seeking to buy a property in our area you will appreciate the ease of access to wooded open spaces especially for families with children and dogs and the many amenities (M25/Gatwick/mainline trains etc.) all within easy reach. Hopefully I have painted an appealing picture of our unique area and if you do decide to buy into our area I look forward to welcoming you.

CB 10th October 2019

Simone Drive road closure – 9th October

Croydon Council will be carrying out long-awaited resurfacing work on Simone Drive on Wednesday 9th October. The road will be closed for the duration with extremely limited access.

The fact that this work is finally happening is partly due to the persistence of the WURA secretary in raising awareness of the poor state of the road surface with the council over the last few months.

The 1862 plan in the modern era

Our previous history post showed the individual lots from the Wellcomes and Garston Farm, sold at auction in 1862.

The same plots are shown below, superimposed on a modern map to show their location.

Lot 1, the original farm house with surrounding yard and buildings, can still be seen in Hayes Lane, between the junction with Welcomes Road and before Frosbisher Close. The Kitchen Meadow, lot 2, extended back towards Welcomes Road from there, covering the land now occupied by Kearton Close.

Lot 4, Wyse Wood, would have been near where ZigZag road is now, with the Shaw and Pit of Lot 6 being near Uplands Road.

Lot 8, the two cottages and gardens, can still be seen on Hayes Lane at the junction with Welcomes Road.

Lots 11 to 13 are located between Hayes Lane and Old Lodge Lane.

Lots 9 and 10 are now covered by Kenley Aerodrome, together with the plots further south and east, lots 18 to 21.

The name of Garston Farm, of course, has remained with Garston Lane and Garston Gardens, just off the Godstone Road.

Gabriel Lovelock, who farmed 300 acres from 1841, is commemorated in the name of Lovelock Close, off Hayes Lane near the top of Welcomes Road before the Welcomes Farm properties.

The name of Welcomes Road itself is derived from the word ‘combe’, originally meaning a hollow but then used to mean a deep wooded valley.

The WURA website is indebted to local history expert John Carr for making his map and auction schedule available.

The WURA area and the land auction of 1862

Much of the land now occupied by Welcomes and Uploads Roads was part of the Wellcomes Farm and Garston Farm estate.

The very early ownership of Wellcomes Farm is documented as being with the Gresham family from 1545. Michael Thornton and his son John are listed as the owners from 1682 to 1718, followed by Thomas Clemonts and his son Thomas between 1718 and 1780. James Roberts was the owner from 1780 to 1792, during which time it was actually farmed by Capt Coombs.

The Bourne Society list the owners of Kenley Farm during this early period as Henry Polsted, from 1547, through Sir Francis Carew in 1553 and Joseph Hodgkins in 1750. Hodgkins was also the owner of Garston Hall at this point. The Bourne Society’s Kenley Village History book includes a plan of Kenley Farm from 1762 in their Village History book of Kenley.

In 1817 ownership of Wellcomes and Garston Farms passed to John Keen and subsequently to his son Thomas. It is during this time that the land begins to be divided. In 1841, 300 acres go to Gabriel Lovelock and in 1861 a further 300 acres go to John Sallows.

Click on the image above to see a larger, zoom-able version. Welcomes Road is labelled ‘New Road To Kenley and Welcomes’. This is the road built by both Thomas Keen and Mr Marson, his neighbour in Kenley House. It is believed that the new road was constructed because Kenley Lane was proving too steep for horses drawing carriages.

At the time of the documented auction of the property in 1862, the Wellcomes and Garston Farm land comprised over 318 acres, spread over two main areas. The first area is the land between Old Lodge Lane and Welcomes Road, extending into part of what is now Kenley Common. The second area was distinct, to the south and east of what was recognised as Kenley Common then, extending towards Whyteleafe.

The land was bordered to the south and west by land owned by Thomas Byron of Coulsdon Manor, with the southern-most border being with W Chrystal. To the east and north it was land owned by G H Drew. Interestingly, Kenley House is shown as such, rather than as Kenley Farm.

The auction of the land was held on Tuesday, 13th May 1862 on the death of the owner, Thomas Keen. The land was parcelled into a total of 27 lots, itemised in the auction brochure of the time, produced by Messrs Blake, the auctioneers. It’s interesting to note that the auction itself was held in a coffee house, at Cornhill in London (click on the image below to see a larger, zoom-able version).

Land at that time was measured in acres, roods and perches. One acre was originally the area which could be ploughed by a team of 8 oxen in 1 day, but then this needed to be more standardised and it came to be defined as 40 poles long (1 furlong – in other words 1 ‘farrow long’ – 600ft ) by 4 poles (66ft) wide. There were 4 roods in 1 acre, and 40 perches in a rood. A perch is the equivalent of 25.3 sq m. The grand total covers 318 acres, 2 roods and 14 perches.

no.description cultivationa    r    p
1Farm house, buildings, yards and garden 2    0    2
2Kitchen meadow Meadow6    0    29
3King’s Close, Barn Field, Great and Little Lieu, Slade Wood, The Slade and Heath Field Arable2    1    27
4Wyse Wood Wood2    1    27
5Kitchen Meadow Shaw  Wood 0    2    39
6Shaw and Pit  Wood 0    1    19
7Shaw in Heath Field  Wood 0    2    21
8 Two cottages and garden  0    1    5
9Garston Meadow (including Pond) and Garston and Slade Meadows Meadow & pasture14    2    3
10Two cottages and garden 0    1    26
11North Hide, Gill’s Croft (including Pond) and Sibretts Pasture28    1    31
12Shaw and Pit  Wood 0    3    38
13New Hill and part of Long Common Arable14    1    7
14Part of Lower Common Pasture1    0    38
15Friland’s and Border Arable11    2    17
16Friland’s Shaw  Wood 2    2    8
17King’s Field Shaw and Pit  Wood 0    2    36
18Harrow Garden Shaw  Wood 2    3    8
19King’s Field and Borders Arable15    1    26
20Mesne Field and Border Arable12    0    5
21Smith’s Field, including 2 cottages, buildings and yard, Great and Little Size Ties, Stamp Wood and borders Arable72    1    8
21aHog Trough Field, Upper and Lower Baydowns and Borders Arable26    1    4
22Stamp Wood Shaw, Pit and Kiln Wood0    2    37
23Addery Hill Arable23    2    27
24Baydown Shaw Wood2    3    16
25Upper Baydown (part of) Arable3    0    37
26Goss Field and Border Rough pasture6    3    30

The descriptions of the lots include terms no longer in common use. A shaw is a small wood or copse. The pits were quite likely for flint or chalk and the kiln would have been for limestone.

The sequence below shows each of the parcels of land from the schedule – the map has been re-oriented to show north at the top, the direction more familiar with users of online maps.

The next post will show how this land fits in to the current landscape.

The WURA website is indebted to local history expert John Carr for making his map and auction schedule available.

Roadworks update – work completed

Allfreys began work on schedule on Tuesday 24th and progressed well, with the road re-opened for Saturday.

They have found two old cast iron pipes near the surface which are broken, so although their purpose is unclear these could be the source of the unexplained water.

There is no evidence of a spring but the general pressure from ground water has tended to force water to the surface through fault lines in the road surface. These will be sealed in by the contractors.