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.

Secretary

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.

Current planning status

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.

Kenley Community Plan update

The next and last update on the Kenley Community Plan will be held at the Kenley Memorial Hall on September 11th at 3:00pm until 7:00pm.

A meeting was held on 30th July by the Council team with an update on the initial results of the transport survey. This survey was carried out by WSP, commissioned by the Council to assess transport and highways infrastructure in the Kenley area. The work included a baseline survey of parking demand, pedestrian movements and traffic flows to assess the capacity of highway and transport networks to accommodate growth and understand what additional infrastructure and interventions will be required.

Although significant work still needs to be done, including modelling the impact of cumulative development, there are some early suggestions on the ways road layouts and markings could be improved and the roads made safer for pedestrians.

The online survey and map can be found at https://kenleycommunitymap.commonplace.is/ although submissions are now closed.

For contact details and to find out more please visit: www.croydon.gov.uk/kenleycommunity