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.
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.
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.
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.
a r p
Farm house, buildings, yards and garden
2 0 2
6 0 29
King’s Close, Barn Field, Great and Little Lieu, Slade Wood, The Slade and Heath Field
2 1 27
2 1 27
Kitchen Meadow Shaw
0 2 39
Shaw and Pit
0 1 19
Shaw in Heath Field
0 2 21
Two cottages and garden
0 1 5
Garston Meadow (including Pond) and Garston and Slade Meadows
Meadow & pasture
14 2 3
Two cottages and garden
0 1 26
North Hide, Gill’s Croft (including Pond) and Sibretts
28 1 31
Shaw and Pit
0 3 38
New Hill and part of Long Common
14 1 7
Part of Lower Common
1 0 38
Friland’s and Border
11 2 17
2 2 8
King’s Field Shaw and Pit
0 2 36
Harrow Garden Shaw
2 3 8
King’s Field and Borders
15 1 26
Mesne Field and Border
12 0 5
Smith’s Field, including 2 cottages, buildings and yard, Great and Little Size Ties, Stamp Wood and borders
72 1 8
Hog Trough Field, Upper and Lower Baydowns and Borders
26 1 4
Stamp Wood Shaw, Pit and Kiln
0 2 37
23 2 27
2 3 16
Upper Baydown (part of)
3 0 37
Goss Field and Border
6 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.
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.
Carriageway reconstruction is to take place between the Tuesday 24th and Saturday 28th of September 2019 between the speed ramp opposite 134 Welcomes Road and lamp post 24 on the verge on the first bend near 157 Welcomes Road. We hope that the road will be open again by the Saturday but please do not rely on it as it can not be guaranteed.
The contractor, J C Allfreys Co.Ltd., may need to carry out deep excavations to divert the flow of water from an underground spring which is causing subsidence to the road surface possibly resulting in the complete closure of this stretch of road.
The contractor will try to keep disruption to the minimum endeavouring if possible to allow the residents living directly opposite the works access to their property.
Through traffic MUST be prepared to use alternative routes to avoid this section of the road.
Please forewarn any visitors or deliveries that you are expecting between those dates. The contractor’s plant may be parked in Uplands Road near the Welcomes Road junction overnight.
We will issue further bulletins as the work progresses and will be writing to the residents directly affected about parking arrangements.
The Kenley Community Plan team presented an update session at the Kenley Memorial Hall on September 11th followed by another at the Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church on the 12th.
The main part of the presentation consisted of a set of boards showing a summary of their findings during the consultation throughout the Spring and Summer. This comprised an analysis of the answers to questions such as ‘what do you like about living in Kenley?’ and ‘how could Kenley be improved?’. Key areas of interest were identified, as follows:
youth and community
transport and streetscape
greening and local green space
health, sport and wellbeing
community safety and waste services
jobs and training
The issues and areas of improvement for each are presented in the full slide pack, which can be viewed here (11MB PDF file).
These key areas have been used to identify potential projects for further investment. The data collated by the Community Plan consultation will be used to support applications for funds from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund. Such applications will be in a pool from councils all across London, so they are by no means a definite, but Croydon are hopeful that the involvement of the local community during the consultation period will put those applications in a good position. Potential projects identified so far are:
community accessible transport
improving green links
improvements for the Kenley Memorial Hall
initiatives for the Godstone Road shopping parade
improvements for the public space in front of the Godstone Road shopping parade
expansion of activities at the Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church
improvements for the public space at the Old Lodge Lane shopping parade
restructuring to give access to the New Valley Primary School playing fields outside of school hours
The team will be completing a final detailed analysis of all the feedback to be included in the draft Kenley Community Plan. This draft will be published for public comment later in October and a final Plan will be published in early 2020. The Kenley Community Plan page on Croydon Council’s website will be updated regularly so you can keep in touch with progress.
You still have the opportunity to get back to the team by contacting them on their email address email@example.com to provide feedback on areas which have not been considered or even if you spot factual errors on the current material.
Recently, during a pre-planning stage for a development in the heart of the WURA area, Croydon Council indicated to a developer that up to 20 units of social housing could be created or at least that some provision should be made for affordable housing. This particular site has a PTAL rating of zero but on-site parking would be very limited as the site would be largely built over. The developer was referred to a panel of Registered Providers who manage social housing. It seems that this reaction is probably prompted by comments that most of the flatted developments so far approved in the Borough are unaffordable for many.
Any single development of 10 or more flats is required to include provision for social housing. Croydon Council have defined their approach to this within the Croydon Local Plan in Policy SP 2.4 and SP 2.5. Specifically:
seek to achieve 50% affordable housing overall with a 60:40 ratio between affordable rented homes and intermediate (including starter) homes
30% affordable housing within one development or 15% affordable housing within one development plus a review mechanism entered into for the remaining affordable housing (up to the equivalent of 50% overall provision through a commuted sum based on a review of actual sales values and build costs of completed units) provided 30% on-site provision is not viable and construction costs are not in the upper quartile.
Any proposals offered below these requirements will be refused by the Council.
This changes the financial dynamic for potential developers in the area and also explains why all the current developments are for under 10 properties.
The current developments in the WURA area are as follows:-
32 Welcomes Road – 9 flats. Recently granted in spite of a vigorous campaign against by the neighbours. Aventier Land-bank
36 Welcomes Road – 8 flat conversion. Bruce Birkett. Under construction. More on site parking promised.
42 Welcomes Road – 7 flats & 2 semi-detached houses. Land was being transferred to Turnbull Land Ltd although it now appears these developers are no longer interested.
56 Welcomes Road – 9 flats Mrs A Chadda. A particularly unpleasant looking overbearing building awaiting planning permission.
57 Welcomes Road – 7 flats. Regal Properties. Under construction.
35 Uplands Road. Withdrawn and plans under review in consultation with WURA before resubmission.
1 Kearton Close – application withdrawn.
WURA has objected to many of the above developments because of their impact on the road. The ones objected to provided insufficient parking capacity (among other problems) and therefore increased likelihood of illegal parking.
Although the opportunity to respond to all the above applications has now passed, the latest information on each can be viewed on the Croydon Council Planning Register.
Please respect the NO Parking rules on Welcomes and Uplands Road.
Our roads are privately maintained public highways with a designated footpath running along Welcomes Road. Parking on our roads for more than a few minutes is an offence and visitors should park on drives where possible. The roads must not be obstructed in terms of the Highways Act and this includes members’ frontages.
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