Another bad planning night for Sanderstead
31/05/2019 08:06:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Last night I attended planning committee to speak on three applications for the building of blocks of flats in back gardens or replacing a single detached house, which had been referred to committee for decision by myself or Cllr Lynne Hale.
The first was in the rear of 59 Rectory Park, where a neglected tennis court in a back garden was proposed to be replaced by a block of six flats. The document linked to below contains my speeches for all three applications, but in essence my objection to this one was the significant reduction in privacy to the neighbours on all sides and the road safety issues raised by greatly increasing traffic on this accident-prone road. As per usual this application was approved with all six Labour councillors voting in favour but all the Conservatives (four) voting against.
My second application was referred by Cllr Hale but I took on the speaking as she was unable to be here tonight. This was 119 Purley Oaks Road, which has a very long history of planning applications, some approved and some not, but nothing yet built. Here the applicant wishes to replace one house with four semi-detached houses and a block of five flats, whose design can best be described as modernist. It presents a monolithic, over-bulky front and has some significant access issues. In spite of Inspectors’ comments on previous versions of the scheme suggesting that a bulky back garden development was not appropriate, it was again approved. To provide a little variety, one Labour councillor (to his credit) broke ranks and voted against, but it was still approved using the chair’s casting vote.
Finally I spoke on 43 Kingswood Lane. Here a bungalow is to be demolished to be replaced by a large block of nine flats. The issue here is not so much the design, which is traditional and therefore does not look totally out of keeping, but the bulk. Compared to anything else in the road, it is huge. As it backs on to green belt, in the form of Kings Wood, this excess bulk is particularly unwelcome. Parking is also an issue, with Kingswood Lane being very narrow. Finally the area is subject to flooding, and we are concerned that concreting over more natural drainage will recreate the surface flooding issues we had up until additional drainage was installed a few years ago. It seems rather unwise to encourage development in an area where we have only just restored the delicate drainage balance which previous development had adversely affected.
To nobody’s surprise, the Labour committee members cheerfully waved this one through. The voting was 6-4 in favour, again.
However one small bit of good news was the refusal of one back garden development in South Croydon, whose parking arrangements were so poor that even our Labour-dominated committee couldn't approve it. Perhaps this was aided by the pre-meeting demo outside where a number of residents' associations picketed the front of the town hall to make their feelings over the indiscriminate granting of planning permisions known. thank you to them for coming out.
My speeches in full are here.