Apart from the Webb Estate in West Purley, there are now very few local streets which consist solely of large detached family houses sitting in their own grounds. Woodland Way is one such street, which benefits in addition from being a private road and being a cul-de-sac, so it's very peaceful, and an attractive place to live and bring up a family.
Sadly such sylvan tranquillity has attracted the developers who now want to demolish the bungalow at #3 and replace it with - yes inevitably more flats.. 19 of them this time. Understandably the local residents are up in arms about this, and there's still time to lodge your comments if you wish: the details are here: ref 21/00924/FUL
The photos show the garden of #3, the immediate neighbour #5, and an artist's impression of what the new development will look like.
My objections can be summarised as follows:
- Overdevelopment: This plan comes in at about 250hr/ha which is grossly excessive for this area of low PTAL and in particular by comparison with the other houses in this private road.
- Out of character: this application for 19 flats around a courtyard is totally out of character with the local street scene which consists entirely of large detached houses in their own grounds with extensive soft landscaping around.
- Parking: Woodland Way is a private road, and one of the conditions of living there is that residents shall not park their vehicles on the roadway. With 19 bays for 19 apartments, this leaves no provision for visitor parking or ownership per flat of two or more car/vans.
- Dominant Parking Bays. The parking bays are all at the front of the building and totally dominate the frontage of the development, thus looking completely out of character.
- Disabled Access. The disabled bays do not meet current standards, so there will have to be fewer parking spaces overall, which in turn suggests that there will also have to be fewer flats in the whole development.
- Daylight for the residential units. Every habitable room looks out onto a car park or the underside of a tree canopy, and it’s admitted that many of the rooms will not comply with daylight standards during the summer months. This will provide an utterly depressing environment for future residents.
- Sunlight. There is an unacceptable lack of sunlight in the amenity areas.
- Play area. There is no play area or facilities for any of the 15-20 children who may be expected to live there in future.
- Trees. Every area on the site except the built area is under the tree canopy, so there will be strong pressure from residents to have the trees removed. There is also the possibility of damage to trees’ RPA during construction, and this damage may extend into the Foxley Wood protected space.
- Biodiversity –Slow worms are a protected species; it’s well known that they inhabit the immediate area, and they’re even more likely to inhabit Foxley Wood. It’s essential that a full biodiversity study is undertaken before proceeding any further.
- Road Safety. The large protected trees at the right-angled corner of Woodland Way will affect visibility when leaving the site as they are very close to the proposed entry & exit roads. Visibility splays needs to be very carefully considered.
- Cumulative impact in the immediate area: breach of DM10: Permission has already been granted for about 100 flats to be built within 100m of this site; each has wrongly been permitted on the grounds that it’s “only” another XX flats, but in aggregate these have a significant cumulative impact on the immediate area, both in terms of population density and increased traffic. This particularly true when as in this case, they are NOT accompanied by any commensurate increase in infrastructure in surgeries, schools etc.
- Cumulative impact on Purley: Breach of DM10: Given that Purley is currently supplying nearly 50% of the total new homes required for the whole of Croydon, (proof available in request), this application could be the (large) last straw that breaks the camel’s back. This applies in relation to Purley’s population, Purley’s infrastructure and the capacity of Higher Drive to absorb any more vehicles during the morning rush hour.