Current Planning Application Status

We have suffered another tranche of planning applications recently, the majority of which the WURA committee consider to be over-development for the size of the plot and a level of intensification which will impact road safety, the environment and the amenity of the immediate surroundings. WURA will continue to submit objection letters for these types of proposals.

We still await responses to letters written to Heather Cheesbrough (July 2020) and  to Nicola Townsend (Sept 2020) the new Head of Development. Hopefully they are having some effect on  planning decisions as refusals are beginning to emerge even if they have not made a formal acknowledgement to either of them. The recent application for 37 Welcomes Road and an earlier one for 52 Welcomes Road were refused and the reasons stated included over-massing, scale and highway safety.

The current situation is as follows:

Already approved (54 dwellings):

  • No. 10 WR – 8 houses
  • No. 32 WR – 9 flats
  • No. 36 WR – initially 7, now 8 flats
  • No. 42 WR – 7 flats plus 2 houses
  • No. 56 WR – 9 flats
  • No. 57 WR – 7 flats
  • No. 35 UR – 6 houses
  • No. 2 KC – 4 units (under PIP)
  • No. 8 KC – 4 houses

Applications pending (49 dwellings):

  • No. 60 WR – 7 flats plus 2 houses
  • No. 52 WR – 9 flats (new proposal following previous refusal)
  • No. 67 WR – 8 flats
  • No. 88 WR – 9 flats (outline)
  • No. 90 WR – 3 houses
  • No. 1 KC – 15 flats + 4 houses

This represents a 10-fold increase in dwellings, the vast majority with inadequate parking capacity.

More information about each of these can be viewed on the Planning Application Archive page.

Problems with Construction Sites

There have been many problems on the road recently caused by deliveries at the various construction sites and complaints about various aspects of the developments.  It appears that some changes have been made in the last few days as a result of the representations made to the developers and hopefully this means that things will improve from now on.  If not, there is a process which people can follow to make any grievance known to the right people.

Every developer must agree with Croydon Council a plan covering logistics and management of the construction site.  If this is not part of their original application then the decision to “grant by the Council will require it as a “condition”. The report will then be submitted for approval as a “Discharge of Conditions” planning application.  The team responsible for ensuring compliance with such plans is the Enforcement Team within the Council. 

The plans for each development can be viewing on the Croydon Planning Application portal. The plans for the current developments can also be viewed here:

Emails with specific details of any non-compliant actions should be sent to planningenforcement@croydon.gov.uk and copied to the planning department at development.management@croydon.gov.uk .  Ensure you include the following information as part of the email:

  • the address of the construction site
  • the date and time of the non-compliant action (and ideally photos attached as well)
  • your own name and address
  • ideally the planning application number of the development
  • the section of CLP which is not being adhered to

Please also copy WURA so that the number of issues being raised can be collated.  Feel free to also copy other parties such as Heather Cheesborough and Nicola Townsend as well as our councillors.

Note that if an infringement is repeated you are within your rights to submit a complaint each day the non-compliance takes place.

If members feel particularly strongly, as pointed out by others, it is an offence to block a public highway. In such cases, if appropriate road closure signage has not been provided for a planned blockage, the Council should be informed.  If a parked vehicle is causing the blockage the police can issue a parking ticket or remove and impound the car (in extremis).  You could notify the police of such road safety issues.

For future reference, WURA will obtain the equivalent documentation for any new developments as they prepare to start and will make it available to members.

Please send in any traffic incidents

Croydon Council require evidence-based data for any traffic infringements or damage to the WURA roads. This isn’t just for the HGVs involved in the construction work, but should cover any obstruction or blockage, except those for the short period required for a delivery.

Construction traffic is required to conform to the Council stated rules which now form part of each site’s logistics plan. Vehicles should enter at the Kenley Station end of Welcomes Road and depart via Hayes Lane by turning right.

Any HGVs travelling in the opposite direction, reversing or maneuvering to turn (except, of course, to access their site) are contravening these rules and should be reported.


Any damage caused to the road surface or kerbside should also be reported.

Please email details to the WURA secretary at welcomesanduplandsroads@gmail.com. To be a useful report, the following information MUST be included:

  • The name of the contractor on the vehicle and its registration number – ideally a photograph showing one or the other.
  • The location of the incident (outside which house number or junction, for example)
  • The date and time of the incident
  • A statement regarding the incident – whether the vehicle was moving, reversing, parked, the direction of travel, etc.
  • If the incident is associated with damage to the road or property frontage, a picture of the damage caused.

HGV movements – update

Croydon Council have over-ridden one aspect of our suggestion and have required the HGVs to go up the length of Welcomes Road to Hayes Lane, despite major safety concerns about large vehicles turning at the poorly sighted junction. Their ruling is to keep the one-way approach, but in reverse to our original proposal. The solution imposed on us is as follows:

1. All HGV traffic to enter the WURA zone at the Railway Station/Kenley Lane end of Welcomes Road.

2. All HGV traffic to exit at the Hayes Lane end .

3. No HGV traffic to use Zig Zag Road in any circumstances including for turning round.

This approach at least still ensures that HGVs do not meet on Welcomes Road and should not try to turn round on the road or at junctions with any of the side roads.

All developers have been informed of this policy and should be adhering to it under the Construction & Logistics Plan for each site. Please notify a Committee member if you see any HGVs breaking these rules, making sure you take a note of the date and time, the company named on the HGV and ideally the site for which it was working.

HGV movements

Following a Committee meeting on January 20th it was decided that for safety reasons and to reduce the stress on the people living and walking in Welcomes Road developers/builders have been asked that site traffic (HGVs) be directed to travel in one direction only as follows:-

1. All HGV traffic to enter the WURA zone via the Abbotts Lane/Uplands Road junction turning left at the junction with Welcomes Road.

2. All HGV traffic to exit at the Railway Station/Kenley Lane end of Welcomes Road.

3. HGVs must not  enter Welcomes Road at the Hayes Lane end under any circumstances.

4. No HGV traffic to use Zig Zag Road in any circumstances including for turning round.

HGV traffic to sites in the Focused Intensification Zone (Limit of zone Nos 9 and 12 Welcomes Road) may use the Station end of Welcomes Road to enter and exit.

We appreciate that this measure will increase HGV traffic in Uplands Road and we apologise for this. However there have been  cases of HGVs meeting in Welcomes Road and being unable to pass in the road, resulting in them having to reverse long distances, a very hazardous manoeuvre for other road users and effectively blocking the road. The one-way approach should also mean that HGVs do not try to turn round on the road or at junctions with any of the side roads.

All developers have been informed of this policy and should be adhering to it under the Construction & Logistics Plan for each site. Please notify a Committee member if you see any HGVs breaking these rules, making sure you take a note of the date and time, the company named on the HGV and ideally the site for which it was working.

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 development.management@croydon.gov.uk

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 publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk. 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.

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