Croydon Council

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A Place to Belong

The content of this section is related to the vision theme of Croydon as 'A Place to Belong'. It looks at local character, community facilities and education and considers how the borough can become a place noted for its openness, safety and community spirit where all are welcome to live and work, in an attractive environment, where the past is valued and where the community is supported.

6. Urban Design and Local Character

Strategic policy

Where we are now

6.1 The key issues to be addressed to ensure Croydon's spatial vision is realised are:

  • Improving the image of Croydon is important in attracting new investment and encouraging people to want to live and work in the borough.
  • Poor public realm, due to dominance of the car, vacant sites and empty shops and street furniture and adverts accumulating over the years make it unattractive and difficult to navigate and add to perceptions of poor safety.
  • With growth, the public realm needs to be sustainable, adapting to climate change, robust and multifunctional, providing well designed, connected open spaces where people want to be, and assisting in the establishment of healthy, safe and cohesive communities.
  • Croydon needs to ensure protection of its heritage assets and their settings, to retain local distinctiveness and character.
  • New development will need to be designed to respect the local character and distinctiveness.

 

Where do we want to be

Strategic Objective 4:

Reduce social, economic and environmental deprivation, particularly where it is spatially concentrated, by taking priority measures to reduce unemployment, improve skills and education and renew housing, community and environmental conditions.

Strategic Objective 5:

Ensure that high quality new development both integrates, respects and enhances the borough's natural environment and built heritage.

Strategic Objective 7:

Conserve and create spaces and buildings that foster safe, healthy and cohesive communities.

Strategic Objective 9:

Ensure the responsible use of land and natural resources and management of waste to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

 

How we are going to get there

Policy SP4: Urban Design and Local Character

SP4.1 The Council will require development of a high quality, which respects and enhances Croydon's varied local character and contributes positively to public realm, landscape and townscape to create sustainable communities. The Council will apply a presumption in favour of development provided it meets the requirements of Policy SP4 and other applicable policies of the development plan.

SP4.2 The Council will require development to:

  1. Be informed by the distinctive qualities, identity, topography and opportunities of the relevant Places of Croydon;
  2. Protect Local Designated Views, Croydon Panoramas, the setting of Landmarks, other important vistas and skylines; and
  3. Enhance social cohesion and well-being.

 

SP4.3 Planning applications in areas identified in SP4.5 as suitable for tall buildings must be supported by an elevation plan of the roof.

Croydon Opportunity Area

SP4.4 In the Croydon Opportunity Area the Council will support high quality, high density developments that are tailored to and help to protect or establish local identity.

Tall Buildings

SP4.5 Proposals for tall buildings will be encouraged only in the Croydon Opportunity Area, areas in District Centres and locations where it is in an area around well-connected public transport interchanges and where there are direct physical connections to the Croydon Opportunity Area, Croydon Metropolitan Centre or District Centres. Detailed criteria for the assessment of tall buildings, consideration of the appropriateness of tall buildings on individual sites, and/or in District Centres, will be contained in the Croydon Local Plan's Detailed Policies and Proposals. Furthermore the Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework should be referred to when considering the location and design of tall buildings in the Croydon Opportunity Area.

SP4.6 Some locations within the areas listed in SP4.5 will be sensitive to, or inappropriate for tall buildings and applications for tall buildings will be required to:

  1. Respect and enhance local character and heritage assets;
  2. Minimise the environmental impacts and respond sensitively to topography;
  3. Make a positive contribution to the skyline and image of Croydon; and
  4. Include high quality public realm in their proposals to provide a setting appropriate to the scale and significance of the building and the context of the surrounding area.

 

Public Realm

SP4.7 The Council will work with partners (including private land owners) to improve the public realm within the borough.

SP4.8 The Council with its partners will improve Croydon's public realm to respect, enhance, create local character and distinctiveness, and integrate with the historic environment.

SP4.9 The Council will establish a hierarchy of places and key strategic roads as part of a public realm framework which will guide the delivery of public realm improvements to assist regeneration focusing on Croydon's Metropolitan, District, and Local Centres, Conservation Areas and key strategic roads.

SP4.10 The Council will establish guidelines for materials and layout for the public realm as part of the borough's public realm framework. Character, Conservation and Heritage

SP4.11 The Council and its partners will promote the use of heritage assets and local character as a catalyst for regeneration and cohesion and to strengthen the sense of place.

SP4.12 The Council and its partners will respect, and optimise opportunities to enhance, Croydon's heritage assets, their setting and the historic landscape, including through high quality new development and public realm that respects the local character and is well integrated.

SP4.13 The Council and its partners will strengthen the protection of and promote improvements to the following heritage assets and their settings1 :

  1. Statutory Listed Buildings;
  2. Conservation Areas;
  3. Registered Historic Parks and Gardens;
  4. Scheduled Monuments;
  5. Archaeological Priority Areas;
  6. Local Heritage Areas;
  7. Local List of Buildings of Historic or Architectural Importance;
  8. Local List of Historic Parks and Gardens; i) Croydon Panoramas;
  9. Local Designated Landmarks; and
  10. Local Designated Views.

 

SP4.14 The Council will maintain a regularly updated schedule of Croydon's designated heritage assets and locally listed heritage assets.

SP4.15 The Council and its partners will promote improvements to the accessibility of heritage assets to allow enjoyment of the historic environment for all.

 

Designations shown on the Policies Map

Designations set by this policy are shown on the Policies Map. The designations are summarised in Table 6.1 below. Only those designations that exist because they are in the Croydon Local Plan are shown in the table. Other designations including Conservation Areas and Statutory Listed Buildings have their own procedure for designation and can be adopted at any time:

Table 6.1 Designations set by Policy SP4 shown on the Policies Map

Name

New

Archaeological Priority Areas

Addington and Addington Park

Addington Hills

Ampere Way

Ashburton Park

Cane Hill

Central Croydon

Croham Hurst

Croham Hurst Round Barrow

Croydon 19th Century Cemeteries

Croydon Downs

Deepfield Way

Elmers End

Farthing Down

Haling Grove

Hook Hill

Lion Green Road

London to Brighton Roman Road

London to Lewes Roman Road

Mere Bank

Norwood Grove

Old Coulsdon

Pampisford Road

Park Lane Anglo-Saxon Cemetery

Pollards Hill

RAF Kenley

Riddlesdown Road

Russell Hill

Sanderstead

Waddon

Watendone

Local Heritage Areas

Addiscombe College Estate

Auckland Road

Beatrice Avenue

Bingham Road

Birdhurst Road

Bishops Walk

Brighton Road (Purley)

Campden Road and Spencer Road

Chipstead Valley Road (St Dunstan's Cottages)

Henderson Road

Ingatestone Road

Laud Street area

London Road (Broad Green)

London Road (Norbury)

Pollards Hill South

Portland Road (Market Parade)

Portland Road Terraces

St Peter's Road

South End with Ye Market

Station Approach (Coulsdon)

Stoats Nest Village

Stuart Crescent

The Dutch Village

Thornton Heath High Street

Upper Shirley Road

Local List of Historic Parks and Gardens

Addiscombe Recreation Ground

All Saints Churchyard, Sanderstead

All Saints with St Margaret's, Upper Norwood

Ashburton Park

Beaulieu Heights

Beulah Hill Pond

Bradmore Green

Chaldon Way Gardens

Coombe Wood

Coulsdon Manor (Coulsdon Court)

Coulsdon Memorial Ground

Croham Hurst

Croydon Airport, Purley Way West

Duppas Hill

Geoffrey Harris House

Grangewood Park

Haling Grove

Hall Grange

Heathfield

Kenley Airfield

Kings Wood

Lloyd Park

Millers Pond

Mitcham Road Cemetery

Norbury Hall

Park Hill Recreation Ground

Pollards Hill

Queen's Gardens

Queen's Road Cemetery

Royal Russell School

St John the Evangelist, Old Coulsdon

St John's Churchyard, Shirley

St John's Memorial Garden, Church Street

St Mary's Churchyard, Addington Village

St Peter's Churchyard, South Croydon

Sanderstead Pond (and Green)

Selsdon Park Hotel (and golf club)

South Norwood Lake & Gardens

South Norwood Recreation Ground

The Lawns

Thornton Heath Recreation Ground

Thomas Moore School- (frontage)

Upper Norwood Recreation Ground

Virgo Fidelis School inc St. Joseph's RC Infant and

Junior Schools

Waddon Ponds

Wandle Park

Wettern Tree Garden

Whitehorse Road Recreation Ground

Whitgift Almhouses

Woodcote Village Green

Woodside Green

Croydon Panoramas

From Addington Hills of Croydon Metropolitan Centre (landmarks NTL Mast, Shirley Windmill, and No.1 Croydon)

From Biggin Hill of Croydon Metropolitan Centre (landmarks No.1 Croydon and Ikea Towers)

From Croham Hurst looking south west of Purley and the Downs

From Farthing Downs of Coulsdon (landmark No.1 Croydon)

From Kenley Common of Riddlesdown (A good viewpoint to see a unique view of Riddlesdown, and the quarry on the hillside)

From land adjacent to Parkway and North Downs Crescent of Addington Palace and Shirley Hills (landmark Addington Palace)

From Norwood Grove of Croydon Metropolitan Centre (landmark No.1 Croydon)

From Pollards Hill of Croydon Metropolitan Centre (landmarks No.1 Croydon, George Street and Ikea Towers)

From Purley Way Playing Field of Croydon Metropolitan Centre (landmarks NTL mast, the Town Hall Clock Tower in Katharine Street, No.1 Croydon and the Park Hill Water Tower)

From Riddlesdown of Kenley (A good viewpoint to see a unique view of Kenley)

From Ross Road of Ikea Towers (landmark Ikea Towers)

Local Designated Landmarks

Addington Palace

All Saints Church, Sanderstead

Cane Hill Water Tower

Clock Tower, High Street, Thornton Heath

Clock Tower, Station Road, South Norwood

Croydon Minster

Ikea Towers, part of former power station

No.1 Croydon, George Street

NTL Mast, South Norwood Hill

Park Hill Water Tower

Shirley Windmill

St. Andrew's Church, Woodmansterne Road, Coulsdon

St. Peter's Church, South Croydon

The Town Hall Clock Tower, Croydon

Whitgift Almshouses, North End

Local Designated Views

From Addiscombe Road by Sandilands Tramstop of No.1 Croydon

From Church Street of Whitgift Almshouses and No.1 Croydon

From Crown Hill of Croydon Minster

From Farthing Downs of Cane Hill Water Tower

From George Street of No.1 Croydon, George Street

From Heathfield of Selsdon and New Addington (unique view of the collection of buildings of New Addington

From High Street north east, of the Clock Tower, South Norwood

From High Street of the Clock Tower, Thornton Heath

From High Street south west, of the Clock Tower, South Norwood

From Limpsfield Road, near Wentworth Way of All Saints' Church

From North End of the Town Hall Clock Tower

From Oliver Grove of the Clock Tower, South Norwood

From Park Hill of Croydon Metropolitan Centre (unique collection of buildings, no landmarks)

From Roman Way north of Croydon Minster

From Roman Way south of Croydon Minster

From Selsdon Road of St Peter's Church

From South Norwood Hill of the Shirley Windmill

From Woodcote Grove Road of Cane Hill and St. Andrews Church (St Andrews in the foreground and land mark of Cane Hill Water Tower in the distance)

 

What it will look like

Figure 6.1 Policy SP4 (Public Realm) map

Figure 6.1 Policy SP4 (Public Realm) map

 

Figure 6.2 Policy SP4 (Heritage) map

Figure 6.2 Policy SP4 (Heritage) map

 

Why we have taken this approach

6.2 The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the requirements for the protection and enhancement of the borough's heritage assets.

6.3 Croydon's vision is to be London's most enterprising borough, a city that fosters ideas, innovation and learning and provides skills, opportunity and a sense of belonging for all, and recognises the value of heritage assets and their contribution to local character.

Urban Design

6.4 Croydon has been designated in the London Plan as an Opportunity Area, therefore it is critical that the borough addresses the implications of this growth through the Strategic Policies. Robust urban design policies are necessary for Croydon to encourage significant levels of growth in a sustainable way and ensure new development respects local character and the historic and natural landscape, including established suburban residential areas and open spaces.

6.5 National policy refers to the importance of good design and that DPDs should include policies that ensure development is sustainable, responds to local context and is visually attractive.

6.6 The Equalities Analysis advises that the Strategic Policies should ensure the well-being of new communities by promoting good standards of design, and address the impacts of growth on ethnic minority communities by including policies that support diversity, equality and access for all.

Croydon Opportunity Area

6.7 The Croydon Opportunity Area will be an area of significant growth and renewal. In this context, with available land and renewal opportunity, the substantial amount of new dwellings planned will require high density development and a number of tall buildings, all of high quality in order to deliver successful places.

Tall Buildings

6.8 To manage the more intense areas of growth, the Croydon Local Plan needs policies setting out an approach to tall buildings. This is supported by CABE and Historic England's Advice Note 4 which promotes a development plan-led approach to tall buildings. In assessing the appropriateness of locations for tall buildings, Policy SP1.3 and the capacity of existing infrastructure, or the capacity to grow with further sustainable infrastructure investment, should be considered.

6.9 In the context of this policy a tall building is one that is significantly taller than most of the surrounding buildings or in excess of six storeys or 25m. The height at which buildings will be considered `tall` on individual sites, together with detailed criteria for assessing the design and impact of tall buildings and consideration of the appropriateness for tall buildings on individual sites or in District Centres will be set out in the Croydon Local Plan's Detailed Policies and Proposals. This will take account of the Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework and adopted Masterplans.

6.10 The London Plan states that tall and large buildings should be part of a strategic approach to changing or developing an area and should not have an unacceptably harmful impact on their surroundings. It also states that ideally tall buildings should form part of a cohesive group that enhances the skyline and improves legibility of the area.

6.11 The London Plan includes a policy on implementing the London View Management Framework (LVMF). Whilst the LVMF does not include any protected views in or from Croydon, Local Designated Views and Croydon Panoramas are identified in the Appendix 5. The London Plan states that “Tall buildings should not impact on local or strategic views adversely”, which justifies the requirement to sustain Local Views, Croydon Panoramas, the setting of Landmarks and other important vistas and skylines. All views are accessible and are indicated in Figure 6.2, on the Places maps and on the Policies Map.

6.12 The topography and landscape of Croydon is characterised by wooded hillsides with hillside ridges and valleys. The potential visual impact of tall and large buildings; therefore, requires careful consideration.

6.13 The Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework (COAPF) and the Croydon Local Plan's Detailed Policies and Proposals will provide detailed policies for tall buildings. The COAPF identifies areas that are appropriate for tall buildings in the Croydon Opportunity Area.

Public Realm

6.14 In order to achieve Croydon's vision to be London's most enterprising borough it is essential that Croydon's public realm reflects this aspiration and is welcoming, simple, clean, accessible, sustainable, well managed and maintained. To encourage a new residential community and business to the Croydon Opportunity Area and District Centres, the public realm needs to be improved.

6.15 The public realm policies are in conformity with local, regional and National Planning Policy.

6.16 The National Planning Policy Framework advocates attractive, inclusive and safe environments. Croydon's adopted Supplementary Planning Document No. 3: Designing for Community Safety also provides guidance which will help achieve Croydon's vision for creating safer places.

6.17 The public realm needs to be well maintained if it is to ensure civic pride, sense of belonging, encourage regeneration and reduce the perception of crime. The London Plan and SPD No. 3: Designing for Community Safety endorses this policy.

6.18 Greater London Authority's mapping identified parts of the borough as being deficient in access to nature. In areas where land availability minimises the opportunity to address this, the priority will be for public realm enhancements that improve connectivity to existing green open spaces and soft landscaped areas in locations such as the Croydon Metropolitan Centre, District and Local Centres. Additional Green Grid policies provide further support to meet this aim. By ensuring easy access for all, this will encourage the increased use of facilities within open spaces and District and Local Centres helping to regenerate areas, encourage natural surveillance, making places feel safer and improving wellbeing.

6.19 In order to ensure that the local distinctiveness is respected and enhanced, new public realm improvements will need to be in keeping with the identified character and in line with the Borough Character Appraisal.

6.20 Many of Croydon's Places experience segregation caused by the transport network. This policy focuses on improving access to places most people visit or pass through.

6.21 The public realm framework includes areas where most of the community will interact. The District and Local Centres and the main connecting roads between the District Centres i.e. the routes that people travel which inform their perception of a place.

6.22 Creating a public realm framework enables resources to be allocated in order of priority, while the use of guidance allows resources to be creatively and efficiently matched in a sustainable manner to each place. This policy will ensure resources are focussed to achieve smart growth through continued regeneration and inward investment.

Character, Conservation and Heritage

6.23 The protection and enhancement of Croydon's heritage assets in line with National Planning Policy Framework is essential to achieve the 'We are Croydon' long-term vision. Conservation of the historic environment contributes to making Croydon sustainable by ensuring that new development enhances and integrates with the local distinctiveness and character of the Places of Croydon.

6.24 In the context of the protection and enhancement of Croydon's heritage assets the Council has de-designated Local Areas of Special Character and has designated Local Heritage Areas (LHAs). LHAs are distinctive locally significant heritage assets that have been designated as a result of their heritage and architectural or townscape or landscape value. LHAs are characterised by their locally recognised distinctive and particularly high quality examples of more familiar types of local historic development. These form a more robust basis for the protection and enhancement of the borough's character and heritage. All LHAs are accessible and are indicated in Figure 6.2 and the Policies Map.

6.25 Alongside Historic England, the Council has undertaken a review of the borough's Archaeological Priority Areas (APA's) to align with Historic England's (London) methodology and categorisation, which determines the likelihood of the presence of articles of archaeological importance. The APA's are identified on the Policies Map.

6.26 The detailed policies of the Croydon Local Plan address issues in relation to the detailed application of the Strategic Policy on heritage assets in the borough.

6.27 In order to maintain Croydon's heritage assets, the borough needs to maintain lists of these to ensure regular monitoring to identify where further protection is required in line with the National Planning Policy Framework and the London Plan.

6.28 Encouraging access to heritage assets and assisting in the understanding of Croydon's heritage will help to create a sense of belonging.

Design and character

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies

  • Strategic Objective 5
  • Strategic Objective 7
  • Strategic Objective 8
  • Strategic Objective 10
  • Policy SP2.1
  • Policy SP2.2
  • Policy SP4
  • Policy SP5.2
  • Policy SP7.3
  • Policy SP7.4

 

Why we need this policy

6.29 The Council recognises that the built environment and landscape play a vital role in creating and reinforcing positive perceptions, and engendering a sense of place. Croydon Local Plan Strategic Policy SP4, 'Urban Design and Local Character' supports the creation of places that are well designed, safe, accessible, inclusive and enrich the quality of life for all those who live in, work in and visit the borough. To achieve this, the Council will encourage and continue to work with developers to ensure that all developments are of high quality. Croydon has strategic objectives to ensure that high quality new development both integrates respects and enhances the borough's natural environment and historic environment, to create spaces and buildings that foster safe, healthy communities. The borough has the largest population of any London borough. Provision of outdoor amenity space is important for health and wellbeing, particularly as the north of the borough is urban in character and has less open space compared to south, where most of the borough's Metropolitan Green Belt can be found. Private and communal outdoor amenity space can assist in mitigation of climate change with vegetation that contributes to biodiversity and space that is multi-functional; for socialising, play, and sport, food growing and gardening. The provision of space that is easily accessible and designed in the context of local character will assist in providing a sense of ownership to the local community and will contribute to the health, well-being and perception of the security of Croydon's community.

6.30 A fundamental part of achieving high quality built environments is through understanding the local character and the qualities which contribute to local distinctiveness.

6.31 In specific areas where it is unclear which predominant character should be referenced, additional place specific development management policies have been included. These can be found in Section 11 (The Places of Croydon) of this Plan.

6.32 In other areas where no Place-specific development management policy applies, the character can be managed through other policies on urban design and local character within this Plan along with the masterplans, Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans, Local Heritage Areas and the Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework.

6.33 The Place-specific policies in Section 11 (The Places of Croydon) also include all the Detailed Proposal sites in each Place. Full details of each Detailed Proposal including the reasons why particular uses are proposed can be found in Appendix 7.

6.34 The National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 58 directs local authorities to develop a set of robust and comprehensive policies which are based upon objectives for the future of the area and an understanding and evaluation of its defining characteristics.

6.35 Paragraph 56 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that 'Good design is indivisible from good planning'. It advocates good design to ensure attractive, usable, durable, adaptable and sustainable development.

6.36 The Croydon Local Plan Strategic Policy SP4.1 and London Plan Policy 7.6 set out the need to ensure that developments are of a high quality.

6.37 The Croydon Local Plan provides policy on urban design, local character and public realm. However, in line with the National Planning Policy Framework, there is a need to provide detailed guidance on scale, density massing, height, landscape, layout, materials and access. This will provide greater clarity for applicants.

6.38 Paragraph 57 of the National Planning Policy Framework advises planning authorities to 'plan positively for the achievement of high quality and inclusive design for all developments, including individual buildings, public and private spaces and wider area development schemes. Good design should contribute positively to making places better for people. Design which is inappropriate in its context, or which fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area and the way it functions, should not be accepted.'

6.39 Additionally a review of the borough's existing Unitary Development Plan, carried out by the Council's Development Management and Spatial Planning services, identified a need for policies relating to layout, form and design.

6.40 The existing policy review identified a need for a roofscape policy that acknowledges the visual contribution roof-forms make and the need to provide guidance on the way in which the transition between new and old developments are addressed. Guidance for roof-form (roofscape) has not been included within the National Planning Policy Framework or the Strategic Policy.

6.41 The National Planning Policy Framework in paragraph 50 encourages location authorities to plan for the delivery for a wide choice of high quality homes and sustainable communities. It advises that in doing so, development plans should be based on evidence of local needs and demands. The notions of balance and risk are also recognise in the National Planning Policy Framework, which states that the cumulative impact of standards and polices should not put the implementation of the plan at serious risk (paragraph 174).

6.42 The need to deliver 32,890 homes does not outweigh the need to respect the local character, and amenity and to protect biodiversity.

6.43 The Mayor of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (2016) states that, alongside new build provision and turnover within the existing housing stock, extensions to existing homes and sensitive renewal and intensification of existing residential areas is likely to play an important role in meeting demand for larger properties in the capital, helping to address overcrowding and affordability issues.

6.44 The Mayor of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance March 2016 provides guidance on private garden land development (paragraph 1.2.44) and the implementation of London Plan Policy 3.5 Quality and Design of Housing Developments. It advises Borough's and developers of the strategic and local aspects and objectives when considering development of gardens and to strike a balance between these and other objectives when seeking to optimise housing provision on a particular site.

6.45 This policy seeks to resist inappropriate development in residential gardens where it would cause harm to the local area in accordance with paragraph 53 of the Framework. The policy aligns with the Local Plan's Strategic Objective 5 ensuring new development integrates, respects and enhances the borough's natural environment and built heritage.

6.46 The London Plan, Policy 3.5, states that borough's may introduce a presumption against development on back gardens or other private residential gardens where this can be locally justified. In addition to this, the London Plan also states that new development, including that on garden land should avoid having an adverse impact on sites of European importance for nature conservation.

6.47 Poorly planned piecemeal development of garden land can have significant negative impacts on local biodiversity, amenity, and character. It can also result in noise and visual intrusion into neighbouring property, interrupt predominant building lines along streets and weaken the predominant built form and architecture. In landscape terms it can also result in weakened landscape character with loss of trees, including street trees, to make way for new access roads.

6.48 The Borough Character Appraisal and the Character Typology identify the predominant type of building form and range of plot sizes for different residential forms. The Typology shows that nine per cent of the borough area is made up of buildings and thirty five percent occupied by residential garden space. Overall, sixty percent of the borough is made up of residential garden space, recreational space and woodland.

6.49 The London Plan's Policy 3.2D introduces an additional requirement for new development to be mindful of health issues. New development should be designed, contracted and managed in ways that improve health and heathy lifestyles to help to reduce health inequalities. The provision of communal outdoor amenity will provide opportunities for outdoor activities and social interaction.

6.50 The London Plan (in Policy 3.5B) also requires that 'all new housing developments should enhance the quality of local places, taking into account physical context, local character, density; tenure and land use mix; and relationships with, and provision of public, communal and open spaces, taking account of the needs of children and old people'. This supports the need to increase the communal amenity space standards from those identified in the Mayor of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance for sites in the borough to reflect local character or where there is a deficiency in open space.

6.51 The Mayor of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance expands on the London Plan's Policy 3.5 and Chapter 7 policies on design and acknowledges the need for site layout and design to consider the provision of useable amenity space alongside the siting of the building. This is incorporated in the preferred option.

6.52 The Mayor of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance in Annex 1 'Summary of the Quality and Design Standards for private outdoor space' has a minimum standard of 5m2 of private outdoor space for 1-2 person dwellings and an extra 1m2 to be provided for each additional occupant.

6.53 Paragraph 4.10.2 of Annex 1 of the Mayor of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance applies to all the borough and states that private outdoor spaces should have level access, and in 4.10.3 that the minimum depth and width of all balconies and other private external spaces is 1.5m.

6.54 The minimum standard of 10m2 per child of children's play space, where there are 10 or more children living in the development is from the Mayor's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (2.16) and, although it applies to publicly funded housing development and that on GLA land, it is considered best practice. The Mayor's Supplementary Planning Guidance Providing for Children and Young People's Play and Informal Recreation also recommends a minimum benchmark of 10m2 of dedicated play space per child.

6.55 The Mayor's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance refers to the Baseline Standard 1.2.3 for communal open space which states that development proposals should demonstrate that the communal open space is overlooked by surrounding development, is accessible to wheelchair users and other disabled people, is designed to take advantage of direct sunlight, and has suitable management arrangements in place. It also refers to the Baseline Standard 2.2.8 which explains that this will ensure the outdoor space remains useful and welcoming to all its intended users. With the exception of management arrangements which are a matter for residents and the body managing the building, this is incorporated in the preferred option.

6.56 The London Housing Design Guide in 5.1.1 Standards – identified that 'in the past, planning guidance for privacy has been concerned with achieving visual separation between dwellings by setting a minimum distance of 18-21m between facing homes.' It says that 'these are still useful yardsticks for visual privacy, but adhering rigidly to these measures can limit the variety of urban spaces and housing types in the city, and can sometimes unnecessarily restrict density'.

Policy DM10: Design and character

The following policies DM10.1 to DM10.10 apply in circumstances other than those where intensification policies (DM10.11 ) and place-specific policies (DM34 to DM49 and Table 11.1) specify otherwise and will be interpreted with reference to the description of each of the Places of Croydon set out in the introduction to each policy DM34 to DM49 and in the Council's Borough Character Appraisal and by reference to Table 6.5.

DM10.1 Proposals should be of high quality and, whilst seeking to achieve a minimum height of 3 storeys, should respect:

  1. The development pattern, layout and siting;
  2. The scale, height, massing, and density;
  3. The appearance, existing materials and built and natural features of the surrounding area; the Place of Croydon in which it is located.

 

Where an extension or alteration is proposed, adherence to Supplementary Planning Document 2 Residential Extensions and Alterations or equivalent will be encouraged to aid compliance with the policies contained in the Local Plan.

Where a conversion or house in multiple occupation is proposed the Council will also consider the effects of noise, refuse collection and additional car parking on the character of an area. For this reason, the Council will seek proposals to incorporate parking within the rear, to the side or underneath building.

In the case of development in the grounds of an existing building which is retained, development shall be subservient to that building.

The council will take into account cumulative impact.

DM10.2 Proposals should create clear, well defined and designed public and private spaces. The Council will only consider parking within the forecourt of buildings in locations where the forecourt parking would not cause undue harm to the character or setting of the building and where forecourts are large enough to accommodate parking and sufficient screening without the vehicle encroaching on the public highway. The Council will support proposals that incorporate cycle parking within the building envelope, in a safe, secure, convenient and well-lit location. Failing that, the council will require cycle parking to be located within safe, secure, well lit and conveniently located weather-proof shelters unobtrusively located within the setting of the building.

DM10.3 The Council will seek to support proposals that restore and incorporate historic street furniture within the development.

DM10.4 All proposals for new residential development will need to provide private amenity space that.

  1. Is of high quality design, and enhances and respects the local character;
  2. Provides functional space (the minimum width and depth of balconies should be 1.5m);
  3. Provides a minimum amount of private amenity space of 5m2 per 1-2 person unit and an extra 1m2 per extra occupant thereafter;
  4. All flatted development and developments of 10 or more houses must provide a minimum of 10m2 per child of new play space, calculated using the Mayor of London's population yield calculator and as a set out in Table 6.2 below. The calculation will be based on all the equivalent of all units being for affordable or social rent unless as signed Section 106 Agreement states otherwise, or an agreement in principle has been reached by the point of determination of any planning application on the amount of affordable housing to be provided. When calculating the amount of private and communal open space to be provided, footpaths, driveways, front gardens, vehicle circulation areas, car and cycle parking areas and refuse areas should be excluded; and
  5. In the case of development in the grounds of an existing building which is retained, a minimum length of 10m and no less than half or 200m2 (whichever is the smaller) of the existing garden area is retained for the host property, after the subdivision of the garden.

 

Adherence with Supplementary Planning document 3 Designing for Community Safety or equivalent will be encouraged to aid compliance with the policies contained with the Local Plan.

DM10.5 In addition to the provision of private amenity space, proposals for new flatted development and major housing schemes will also need to incorporate high quality communal outdoor amenity space that is designed to be flexible, multifunctional, accessible and inclusive.

DM10.6 The Council will support proposals for development that ensure that;

  1. The amenity of the occupiers of adjoining buildings are protected; and that
  2. They do not result in direct overlooking at close range or habitable rooms in main rear or private elevations; and that
  3. They do not result in direct overlooking of private outdoor space (with the exception of communal open space) within 10m perpendicular to the rear elevation of a dwelling; and that
  4. Provide adequate sunlight and daylight to potential future occupants; and that
  5. They do not result in significant loss of existing sunlight or daylight levels of adjoining occupiers.

 

DM10.7 To create a high quality built environment, proposals should demonstrate that:

  1. The architectural detailing will result in a high quality building and when working with existing buildings, original architectural features such as mouldings, architraves, chimneys or porches that contribute to the architectural character of a building should, where possible, be retained;
  2. High quality, durable and sustainable materials that respond to the local character in terms of quality, durability, attractiveness, sustainability, texture and colour are incorporated; and
  3. Services, utilities and rainwater goods will be discreetly incorporated within the building envelope2; and
  4. To ensure the design of roof-form positively contributes to the character of the local and wider area; proposals should ensure the design is sympathetic with its local context.

 

DM10.8 To ensure a cohesive approach is taken to the design and management of landscape within the borough the Council will require proposals to:

  1. Incorporate hard and soft landscaping;
  2. Provide spaces which are visually attractive, easily accessible and safe for all users, and provide a stimulating environment;
  3. Seek to retain existing landscape features that contribute to the setting and local character of an area;
  4. Retain existing trees and vegetation including natural habitats3;
  5. In exceptional circumstances where the loss of mature trees is outweighed by the benefits of a development, those trees lost shall be replaced with new semi-mature trees of a commensurate species, scale and form; and
  6. Adherence with Supplementary Planning Guidance 12 Landscape and the Croydon's Public Realm Design Guide, or equivalent, will be encouraged to aid compliance with the policies contained in the Local Plan.

 

DM10.9 To ensure a creative, sensitive and sustainable approach is taken to incorporating architectural lighting on the exterior of buildings and public spaces the Council will require proposals to:

  1. Respect enhance and strengthen local character;
  2. Seek opportunities to enhance and emphasise the key features of heritage assets and local landmark buildings; or seek to encourage the use of public spaces and make them feel safer by incorporating lighting within public spaces; and
  3. Ensure lighting schemes do not cause glare and light pollution.
  4. Adherence with Croydon's Public Realm Design Guide, or equivalent, will be encouraged to aid compliance with the policies contained in the Local Plan.

 

DM10.10 When considering the layout of new development, the council will support proposals that minimise the amount of blank and inactive frontages, increase the amount of natural surveillance and avoid dark and secluded areas.

DM10.11 In the locations described in Table 6.3 and shown on the Policies Map as areas of focussed intensification, new development may be significantly larger than existing and should;

  1. Be up to double the predominant height of buildings in the area
  2. Take the form of character types “Medium-rise block with associated grounds”, “Large buildings with spacing”, or “Large buildings with Continuous frontage line”
  3. Assume a suburban character with spaces between buildings.

 

Developments in focused intensification areas should contribute to an increase in density and a gradual change in character. They will be expected to enhance and sensitively respond to existing character by being of high quality and respectful of the existing place in which they would be placed.

 

Table 6.2: Private amenity and play space standards in all flatted developments and all schemes of ten or more units

Unit size

Minimum private amenity space

Minimum play space (for affordable or social rented housing)

Minimum play space (for private market or intermediate shared ownership housing)

1 bedroom house or flat

5m2

0.8m2 per unit
(based on 0.08 children per unit)

0.3m2 per unit
(based on 0.03 children per unit)

2 bedroom houses or flats

6m2 or 7m2
(depending on size of second bedroom)

8.1m2 per unit
(based on 0.81 children per unit)

1.2m2 per unit
(based on 0.12 children per unit)

3 bed houses or flats

Between 7m2 and 9m2
(depending on sizes of second and third bedrooms)

18.5m2 per unit
(based on 1.85 children per unit)

4.6m2 per unit
(based on 0.46 children per unit)

4 bed houses or flats

Between 8m2 and 11m2
(depending on sizes of second, third and fourth bedrooms)

19.0m2 per unit
(based on 1.9 children per unit)

10.4m2 per unit
(based on 1.04 children per unit)

 

Designations shown on the Policies Map

Each of the designations set by this policy are shown on the Policies Map. The designations are summarised in Table 6.3 below:

Table 6.3 Designations set by Policy DM10 shown on the Policies Map

Designation

Location 

Areas of focussed intensification

Area around Kenley station

Around Forestdale Neighbourhood Centre

Brighton Road (Sanderstead Road) Local Centre with its setting

Settings of Shirley Local Centre and Shirley Road Neighbourhood Centre

 

Why we are proposing this approach and how the preferred option would work

Character

6.57 The Council recognises the need to proactively plan for the population growth. The challenge for the Croydon Local Plan is to respect local character and distinctiveness whilst accommodating growth. Croydon's aspiration is for this to be done in a way that contributes to the improvement of each of Croydon's 16 places and accommodated in the following ways as set out in Table 6.4, Figure 6.3 and Figure 6.4 below :

Figure 6.3: Proposed approach to accommodating growth throughout the borough depending on character, ranging from places the character of which will be protected to places the character of which will actively be changed

Proposed approach to accommodating growth

 

Figure 6.4: Visual presentation of the five character management options

Visual presentation of the five character management options

 

Table 6.4 Accommodating growth and improving Croydon

Method of accommodating growth and improving Croydon

How it works

Applicable policies

Evolution without significant change of area's character

Each character type has a capacity for growth. Natural evolution is an ongoing process where development occurs in a way that positively responds to the local context and seeks to reinforce and enhance the existing predominant local character. Most development throughout the borough will be of this nature.

DM10.1 –
DM10.10

Guided intensification associated with enhancement of area's local character

Areas where the local character cannot be determined as a result of no one character being dominant, further growth can be accommodated through place specific enhancement policies.

DM34 – DM49

Focussed intensification associated with change of area's local character

Further growth can be accommodated through more efficient use of infrastructure. Due to the high availability of community and commercial services, intensification will be supported in and around District, Local and potential Neighbourhood Centres which have sufficient capacity for growth.

DM10.11

Redevelopment

In larger areas where growth would result in a change to the local character it must be supported by masterplans or design codes.

DM36.2
DM38.1
DM49.1

 

Evolution without significant change of area's character

6.58 There are existing residential areas which have the capacity to accommodate growth without significant impact on their character. In these locations new residential units can be created through the following interventions

  1. Conversion – The conversion or subdivision of large buildings into multiple dwellings without major alterations to the size of the building.
  2. Addition – This can include one or more extensions to the side, rear, front or on the roof, and is often combined with conversion of the existing building into flats.
  3. In-fill including plot subdivision – Filling in gaps and left over spaces between existing properties. It can also include subdivision of large plots of land into smaller parcels of land with a layout that complements the existing urban pattern.
  4. Rear garden development – The construction of new buildings in rear gardens of the existing properties. Houses must be subservient in scale to the main house.
  5. Regeneration – The replacement of the existing buildings (including the replacement of detached or semi-detached houses with flats) with a development that increases the density and massing, within the broad parameters of the existing local character reflected in the form of buildings and street scene in particular.

 

6.59 The level of growth depends on existing local character. The capacity for natural evolution is dependent upon the local character typology. The new development should not adversely impact on the predominant character. The objective of the evolution of local character is to achieve an intensification of use without major impacts on local character. Each character type has capacity for growth. Natural evolution is an ongoing process where development occurs in a way that positively responds to the local context and seeks to reinforce and enhance the existing predominant character.

6.60 Character in most areas of the borough will evolve over time through the recycling of existing plots with denser forms of development still within keeping of local character, the subdivision of larger properties, infill development and the development of the largest back gardens in the borough. Growth will be accommodated with Table 6.5 providing guidance as to what development types are likely to be acceptable compared to the predominant character of a local area.

Table 6.5 Interventions suitable for each type of local character

Local character types

Conversion

Additions

In-fill and Plot Subdivision

Rear garden development

Regeneration

PREDOMINANTLY RESIDENTIAL TYPOLOGIES

Compact Houses On Relatively Small Plots

 

 

 

 

Detached Houses On Relatively Large Plots

Large Houses On Relatively Small Plots

 

 

Local Authority Built Housing With Public Realm

 

 

 

Medium Rise Blocks With Associated Grounds

 

 

Planned Estates Of Semi Detached Houses

Scattered Houses On Large Plots

Terraced Houses And Cottages

 

PREDOMINANTLY MIXED USE CHARACTER TYPES

Large Buildings With Continuous Frontage Line

 

 

Large Buildings With Spacing

 

 

Suburban Shopping Areas

Tower Buildings

 

 

 

Urban Shopping Areas

 

PREDOMINANTLY NON-RESIDENTIAL CHARACTER TYPES

Green Infrastructure

 

 

 

 

 

Industrial Estates

 

 

 

 

 

Institutions With Associated Grounds

 

 

 

Linear Infrastructure

 

 

 

 

Retail Estates & Business & Leisure Parks

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping Centres Precincts & Town Centres

 

 

 

 

 

Transport Nodes

 

 

 

6.61 In areas where the predominant character is weakly defined or of poor quality, it is important that applicants take the opportunity to improve the overall quality of the area.

6.62 Conversions of large residential properties and the use of front gardens for car parking can cause unacceptable harm to the setting of building and the character of the local area.

Guided intensification associated with enhancement of area's local character (Place specific policy)

6.63 In line with the London Plan Policy 7.4, the local character of the borough's 16 Places has been mapped. The Borough Character Appraisal, the Opportunity Area Planning Framework and the Council's masterplans should be considered in conjunction with these policies. The applicable Place-specific development management policies should also be taken into account. Where the proposed development is located within a Conservation Area, further guidance should also be sought from Croydon's Conservation Area Appraisal Management Plan and the Conservation Area General Guidance.

6.64 Place specific policy guides development (and assists growth) by setting out policies on design in specific locations that seek to more towards a more consistent or appropriate character in these locations, deliver the spatial vision for the Borough and wider Local Plan policies and objectives (including delivery of new homes).

6.65 The character of the areas will evolve towards a more consistent one (as opposed to multiple character typologies); or one that might be expected in a District or Local Centre as sites are redeveloped. The policies often seek to permit development that is one or two storeys higher than the predominant building height so as to facilitate a level of growth and enable development. However, they are character policies first and foremost, not a policy about growth.

6.66 To accommodate growth which would complement the existing individual character of Places of Croydon and improve efficiency of land use, the Council promotes a minimum building height of three storeys.

Layout

6.67 Streets form an integral part of a place, creating movement networks that serve the built form rather than dominate it. Consideration should be given at a sufficiently early stage of the design process to how the development site links to the local and wider area. Additionally, the creation of routes punctuated by landmark buildings or features, public squares or spaces helps to make a place easy to understand.

6.68 The Council will require detailed design of roads, footpaths and cycleways to be clearly communicated. Early planning of road and site layouts enables applicants to incorporate parking and servicing in locations where their presence will not dictate the urban form and their visual impact can be minimised. When designing parking and road layouts, careful consideration should be given to creating layouts that are safe, secure, accessible, and permeable and balance the needs of all users. Particular attention should be paid to ensure safe and accessible pedestrian routes are accommodated within the development.

6.69 When considering the layout, proposals should demonstrate a clear and logical arrangement of buildings that provides a high quality design solution on the site. Buildings, other than on back land developments, should positively address the street and the public realm and particular care should be taken to address how they enclose private secure spaces, car parks and servicing areas.

6.70 Supplementary Planning Document No. 3 Designing for Community Safety or equivalent should be referred to for aspects of safety in layout, and design. The provision of sufficient lighting, in line with EU lighting uniformity requirements, will encourage greater pedestrian access, movement and reduce opportunity for undesirable behaviour.

6.71 The Council considers the health and wellbeing of those living and working within the borough to be of the upmost importance. New developments can impact upon the amenity of the occupants of neighbouring properties. Site layouts should be designed to protect or improve conditions for occupants of nearby properties and future occupants. In line with the Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance, when assessing site layouts the Council will consider a development's impact on visual amenity, overlooking, outlook, and sunlight and daylight.

Amenity space

6.72 Policies DM10.4 and DM10.5 apply to all new residential developments and conversions. Croydon's local character is the leading consideration on the quantum of private and communal open space to be provided for developments. When calculating the amount of private and communal open space to be provided the following elements should be excluded:

  1. Footpaths;
  2. Driveways;
  3. Front gardens;
  4. Vehicle circulation areas;
  5. Parking areas;
  6. Cycle parking areas; and
  7. Refuse areas.

 

6.73 Private open space is defined as amenity space which is accessible only to, useable for and screened for the purposes of individual dwellings at the rear or in the case of flatted schemes within the grounds.

6.74 Communal open space is defined as amenity space that is shared, accessible to all within the development and could be for their exclusive use.

6.75 Balconies, winter gardens or roof terraces may help to meet a development's private amenity space requirement but will have to comply with the privacy requirements of policy DM10.6 so enclosure may need to be opaque. They may be an innovative way of providing private or communal amenity space in areas of high density.

6.76 In exceptional circumstances where site constraints make it impossible to provide private outdoor space for all dwellings, indoor private amenity space may help to meet policy requirements. The area provided should be equivalent to the private outdoor amenity space requirement and this area added to the minimum Gross Internal Area.

6.77 The provision of private and communal amenity space per unit, including child play space of 10m2 per child, based on the calculation of numbers of children yielded from the development as set out in the Table 6.2 may be pooled to create a communal amenity space for a flatted development that meets all the requirements of this policy.

6.78 The amenity space provided for play space can be part of the shared amenity area; it may be a void deck within a tall flatted development, possibly on the ground floor and in small developments of less than ten dwellings it could be part of the shared or private garden.

6.79 The Play Space Standards are based on Wandsworth yield calculator which the London Plan Supplementary Planning Guidance (Supplementary Planning Guidance) Shaping Neighbourhoods: Children and Young People Play and Informal Recreation is based on. This Supplementary Planning Guidance should be referred to for the allocation and design guidance for play space. The requirements for play space will be calculated on the basis that all units are for affordable or social rent. This is because many applications are made by private developers which are then later sold, prior to occupation, to a Registered Provider of affordable housing and let on an affordable rent basis. In order to ensure that these affordable homes have sufficient play space for all the child occupiers, it is necessary to require that all developments meet the higher play space requirements of affordable and social rented homes unless there is a signed Section 106 agreement specifically stating a different mix of housing tenures in a development.

6.80 Evidence will be required to demonstrate that privacy is protected, and the character of the area is respected in the layout of private and communal amenity space as part of development proposals. A minimum separation of 18-21m between directly facing habitable room windows on main rear elevations is a best practice 'yardstick' in common usage and should be applied flexibly, dependent on the context of the development to ensure that development is provided at an acceptable density in the local context. For new major developments, as long as the perimeter buildings take account of this local context, the density may vary within the development.

6.81 Designers should consider the position and aspect of habitable rooms, gardens and balconies, and avoid windows facing each other where privacy distances are tight. Planning guidance has, in the past, been concerned with achieving visual separation between dwellings by setting a minimum distance of 18-21m between facing homes (between habitable room and habitable room as opposed to between balconies or terraces or between habitable rooms and balconies/terrace). These can still be useful yardsticks for visual privacy, but adhering rigidly to these measures can limit the variety of urban spaces and housing types and can sometimes unnecessarily restrict density.

6.82 A planning condition may require a management plan to provide the Council with some assurance that the communal amenity space will be maintained, and therefore continue to be useable. A well maintained appearance will assist with enhancement of the development, with a sense of ownership of residents, and increase the perception of safety in the neighbourhood.

6.83 Amenity, including sunlight and daylight need to be considered in the layout of private and communal open space and Building Research Establishment Guidelines referred to.

Design

6.84 The need for good design is supported in Paragraph 56 of the National Planning Policy Framework. Both the London Plan (policy 7.4b) and the Croydon Local Plan Strategic Policy SP4.1 identify the need for high quality design. To achieve high quality designs, proposals should consider the physical appearance and functionality of the development site and local area. In accordance with the London Plan, Croydon is committed to working with applicants to create modern, high quality innovative and well-designed buildings and places that are, safe, accessible, and inclusive and enrich the quality of life for all those who live, work and visit them.

6.85 The quality of materials can play an important role determining whether the integrity of the design concept is realised. The choice of materials and the quality of craftsmanship is vital to the overall success of the development in terms of function and appearance.

6.86 The design, position and rhythm of windows and doors can contribute or detract from the overall appearance of the building and the character of an area. The Council will seek to encourage applicants at an early stage of the design process to give careful consideration to the detailing of the overall design (including setbacks and reveals) of windows and doors. The Mayor of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance provides guidelines on window sizes and the required levels of light to protect the residential amenity and well-being of future residents.

6.87 Servicing equipment such as plant, utility boxes, ventilation systems (including heating and cooling), lift, mechanical equipment, fire escapes and rainwater goods form an integral part of the operational components of a building. Early consideration will enable it to be incorporated within the building envelope without compromising the integrity of the original design concept.

6.88 Roof-form plays an important role in creating and contributing to the visual character of an area and in some instances their visual prominence creates local landmarks or frames designated views. When considering the pitch, shape and materials of roofs, care should be taken to ensure that design is of high quality and appropriate to neighbouring buildings. The Council will also consider the impact of a scheme in terms of its effect on Local Designated Views (as shown on the Policies Map).

6.89 Information and guidance about the relationships of proposed extensions to neighbouring properties is available in the Residential Extensions and Alterations Supplementary Planning Document or equivalent.

6.90 The design of our built environment can affect our health, and our psychological and physiological well-being, and can have long-term implications for quality of life. Good house design should not be limited to the appearance of building and setting, it should also consider the wellbeing of the end user.

6.91 Croydon's Local Plan Strategic Policies SP5.2b set out the Council's objective to ensure new development provides healthy living by encouraging good house design. This is increasingly important in locations where densities are increased and/or separation distances are reduced. In these locations, to assist in the creation of buildings that improve the health and wellbeing of future occupiers, developments will be expected to exceed the minimum standards outlined in the Mayor's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance.

Public Realm

6.92 A well-designed, cared for and high quality public realm4 plays an important role in reinforcing the perception of Croydon as a welcoming, safe and accessible place. Croydon's aspirations for its public realm are outlined in SP4.6 to SP4.10.

6.93 Most proposals include an element of public realm. This can range from large scale public realm improvements such as the design of hard and soft landscaped areas (including footways) throughout a site or smaller scale public realm improvements to the forecourt; and in some cases, the area adjoining it.

6.94 Where public realm improvements have been included within a proposal, these should result in a high quality public realm that is usable, permeable, legible and accessible.

6.95 As outlined in the Strategic Policy SP4.10, the Croydon Public Realm Design Guide sets out materials and layout guidelines. Further details, including a materials palette can be found in the Croydon Public Realm Design Guide. 6.96 Historic street furniture such as traditional red telephone boxes, post boxes, ornamental lamp columns, drinking fountains, cattle troughs, monuments and memorials can make a positive contribution to local character by reinforcing a sense of place. Opportunities to retain, restore and incorporate historic street furniture should be taken.

Landscape

6.97 The character of a place can be significantly affected by the quality of the landscape and the way it is maintained. Sensitively designed landscape can enrich and reinforce existing wildlife habitats and improve the ecological value of sites and their surroundings. The Council considers landscape as an integral part of all development and would therefore require proposals for new developments and extensions to be accompanied by plans detailing all existing and proposed hard and soft landscaping affected by or to be incorporated into the scheme.

6.98 Supplementary Planning Guidance 12 Landscape Design is referenced in the policy and provides detailed guidance and clarity on what the Council is seeking from development proposals on providing safe well-designed landscaped schemes. The Croydon Public Realm Design Guide also sets out detailed guidance and clarity on what the Council is seeking from the public realm components of development proposals. If these documents are superseded the equivalent Council documents should be referred to.

Lighting

6.99 Lighting plays an important role in creating the perception of safe and welcoming place for people to use and interact with. A well-designed lighting scheme can improve the borough's image and if creatively implemented can give dimension to a building and the landscape surrounding it.

6.100 Architectural lighting is most effective when used to highlight a few structural elements such as colonnades, towers spires, sculpture or walls or by emphasising texture, such as brick, stone and steelwork rather than flooding every surface with light.

Design and Access Statements

6.101 The Council will require applicants to justify and fully demonstrate how the principles of good design are being met.

Design and Access Statements should be proportional to the size of the scheme and should fully demonstrate:

  1. A thorough understanding and analysis of the physical, social and economic and policy context;
  2. A clear understanding of the development objectives and brief;
  3. Clear design principles and design concept; and
  4. The evolution of the design and how the final design solution was arrived at.

 

6.102 The Statement should refer to By Design, Supplementary Planning Document 3 Designing for Community Safety or equivalent and Supplementary Planning Guidance 12 Landscape Design or equivalent, and demonstrate how the National Planning Policy Framework, the London Plan and the Croydon Local Plan design policies are being met. Advice on the content of the Design and Access Statements can be found in the Council's advisory note 'Preparing Design Statements Advice Note for Applicants and Agents' and CABE's 'Design and Access Statements, How to write, read and use them'.

Focused intensification associated with gradual change of area's local character

6.103 Focussed intensification aims to maximise use of the existing growth capacity and to support sustainable spatial vision for the borough through an increase in density of development and a gradual change in character to similar but higher density forms of development. Sites will be redeveloped with denser forms of development of a different character to that which exists in the local area currently. At the heart of each area of Focused Intensification is an area with no one predominant character type. As each area of Focused Intensification is currently low density it would not be justified, when there is unmet housing need, to seek to move towards a more consistent character that replicates surrounding low density development types.

6.104 Each of the Areas of focussed intensification are, in part, at risk of fluvial, surface water or groundwater flooding. However, a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment has identified that developments in these areas could be made safe from flooding without increasing flood risk elsewhere.

Key supporting documents

CABE Design and Access Statements, How to write, read and use them (2006)

  • Supplementary Planning Document 2 Residential Alterations and Extensions
  • Supplementary Planning Document 3 Designing for Community Safety
  • The Mayor Of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance: The London Plan Implementation Framework (March 2016)
  • The Mayor of London's Draft Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Guidance (2013)
  • The Borough Character Appraisal (2015) • Character Typology (2015)
  • The Mayor's Supplementary Planning Guidance – Shaping Neighbourhoods: Children and Young People's Play And Informal Recreation (2012)
  • Croydon Public Realm Design Guide (2012)
  • Croydon's Conservation Area Appraisal Management Plans (various)
  • Conservation Area General Guidance (2013)
  • Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework (2013
  • • East Croydon Masterplan (2011)
  • Fair Field Masterplan (2013)
  • Mid Croydon Masterplan (2012)
  • West Croydon Masterplan (2011)
  • Old Town Masterplan (2014)

 

Shop front design and security

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies

  • Strategic Objective 5
  • Strategic Objective 7
  • Strategic Objective 10
  • Policy SP4

 

Why we need this policy

6.105 Given the renewed interest in shop front security brought about as a result of the civil unrest on 8 August 2011, the Council acknowledges the key benefits of a robust shop front design. It is necessary to develop a security policy that will enable the delivery of secure well-designed shop fronts which improve Croydon's public realm, urban environment, and vitality of its town centres.

6.106 There is a need to ensure that opportunities are taken to promote a succinct and cohesive approach to shop front design and security. Additional guidance that provides clear and concise policies is required to help commercial premises across the borough to incorporate shop front designs which maintain local distinctiveness and provide adequate levels of security whilst reducing the requirement for enforcement action.

6.107 The new Shop Front Policy will apply greater emphasis in favour of quality shop front design and security in line with the revised addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 Shop Fronts & Signs.

6.108 Over recent years, changes in retail patterns and a growing demand for housing have led to many of these shops being converted into residential accommodation. Many of these conversions have been carried out in a way which often destroyed the inherent adaptability of shop units and the shop fronts. This policy will provide guidance to ensure that conversions are carried out sympathetically and flexibly to allow for future change.

6.109 Paragraph 56 of the National Planning Policy Framework (requiring good design) outlines the need for robust and comprehensive policies that 'establish a strong sense of place, using streetscapes and buildings to create attractive and comfortable places to live, work and visit'. Furthermore policies should aim to 'create safe and accessible environments where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine quality of life or community cohesion'.

6.110 The Council's Shop Fronts and Signs Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 was published on 27th March 1996 and Shop Front Security Addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 Shop Fronts & Signs was adopted in April 2012. The Addendum provides advice on shop front security technology and innovation and offers greater clarity regarding acceptable forms of shop front security.

6.111 The Converting Shops into Homes Addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 Shop Fronts & Signs was adopted October 2004. This addendum provides guidance on how to sympathetically convert shops to residential development.

6.112 The Strategic Policy SP4 makes no reference to detailed policies on shop front design.

6.113 The existing policy requires updating to align with the Council's recently revised Shop Front Security Addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 Shop Fronts & Signs adopted April 2012.

Policy DM11: Shop front design and security

DM11.1 To ensure shop fronts are attractive, secure and of a high quality design, the Council will support proposals for new shop fronts and related alterations that respect the scale, character, materials and features of the buildings of which they form part.

DM11.2 To ensure shop fronts are attractive, secure and of a high quality design, the Council will support proposals for new shop fronts and related alterations in the Metropolitan Centre, District and Local Centres, Shopping Parades and Restaurant Quarter Parades that:

  1. Do not include wholly solid or perforated/pinhole external shutters;
  2. Employ less obtrusive solutions which could include: security glazing, internal shutters, external open, tube and link grille, brick bond parallel pattern lattice type grilles and shutters, concertina or scissor grilles, removable shutters; or
  3. In some instances a mix of solid and open grille shutters may be acceptable as a solution where any element of solid external shutter proposed is transparent.

 

DM11.1To ensure shop fronts are sympathetically incorporated and to provide future flexibility, developments that convert shops into residential accommodation should:

  1. Respect the scale, character, proportions, materials and features of the buildings of which they form part;
  2. Retain and incorporate historic shop fronts, including signboards, roller blind boxes, corbels, stall risers, cornices, fanlights, console brackets, transoms, pilasters and lobbies into the design;
  3. For new elements, adopt and reinterpret the language of shop front design;
  4. Optimise window and door openings; and
  5. Ensure the design includes elements that provide privacy for the occupiers.

 

How the policy works

6.114 The Council expects all shop front design to be of a high design quality and craftsmanship and whenever possible, use sustainable or recycled materials.

6.115 The Council encourages improved shop front security and public realm through the integration of innovative technologies.

6.116 By encouraging shop owners to consider the inclusion of internal shop front shutters during the early stages of the design process. Proposals will respect the distinctive local character of an area whilst maintaining a welcoming environment and public realm.

6.117 Those seeking planning permission for shop front improvements and new shop fronts should seek additional guidance from the Council's Shop Fronts and Signs Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 published on 27th March 1996 and Shop Front Security Addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 Shop Fronts & Signs adopted in April 2012 or equivalent guidance.

6.118 Changes in retail patterns and a growing demand for housing have led to the piecemeal change of shops converted to residential. Construction works often associated with these changes in use (usually brick-infill) often destroy the inherent adaptability of shop units and shop fronts and detract from the character of the area.

6.119 Wherever possible it is preferable to keep and adapt existing historic shop fronts. Key features such as large windows, details and proportions of the shop front can make for an unique, adaptable and attractive home that enhances and compliments the character of the local area.

6.120 When designing conversions of retail units to residential use, careful consideration should be given to the designing-in of privacy, given that retail units are commonly hard against the pavement. This could include retention or replacement of existing shop fronts and integration of a winter garden space at the front of the former retail unit to create a degree of environmental protection, privacy and private amenity space. Those seeking planning permission to convert shops into homes should seek additional guidance from the Addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 Converting Shops into Homes, adopted October 2004.

Key supporting documents

  • Shop Fronts and Signs Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 (1996)
  • Shop Fronts Security Addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1 (2012)
  • Converting Shops into Homes Addendum to Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1, Addendum No. 2

 

Advertisement hoardings

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies

  • Strategic Objective 5
  • Strategic Objective 7

 

Why we need this policy

6.121 Advertising is closely associated with urban life and can be one of the most dominant elements of the environment. In the right context advertisement hoardings can enhance the appearance and vitality of an area. However, where they are poorly designed or located and where too many signs have been installed they can cause considerable damage to visual amenity by cluttering the built environment and detracting from the quality of the area.

6.122 Changes in legislation and national policy have resulted in the need for updated guidance. The provision of a policy for advertisement hoardings would align with paragraph 67 of the National Planning Policy Framework which highlights a need for controls on advertisements to be efficient, effective and simple in concept and operation. This policy provides guidance that is clear and concise.

6.123 The National Planning Policy Framework acknowledges the impact that advertisements can have on the appearance of the built and natural environment. It highlights the importance of the need for detailed assessment where 'advertisements would have an appreciable impact on a building or on their surroundings. Advertisements should be subject to control only in the interests of amenity and public safety, taking account of cumulative impacts' 5. The Advertisement and Hoardings & Other Advertisements Supplementary Planning Guidance No.8 (February 2003) provided guidance about acceptable locations, number, scale and type of advertisements such as wall mounted and Free standing hoardings and 'A' boards, panels, signs and window advertisements. The Supplementary Planning Guidance highlights the need to ensure advertisements are sensitively located and design to minimise the impact on residential areas and on heritage assets.

Policy DM12: Advertisement hoardings

DM12.1To ensure advertisement hoardings positively contribute to the character and appearance of existing and new streets, the Council will require advertisement hoardings to:

  1. Be designed to improve the public realm;
  2. Demonstrate that the rear of the signs are well designed;
  3. Reinforce the special character of heritage assets and other visually attractive parts of the borough; and
  4. Ensure the location and size of hoardings does not harm amenity or conflict with public safety.

 

DM12.2 To ensure advertisement hoardings positively contribute to the character and appearance of the building on which they are attached:

  1. The design and proportions should complement the symmetry and proportions of the host structure;
  2. They should be located where they do not obscure or destroy interesting architectural features and detailing; and
  3. They should be located where they do not cover windows or adversely impact on the functioning of the building.

 

DM12.3 A proposal to display advertisements in Areas of Special Advertisement Control will need to demonstrate that it would not:

  1. Significantly detract from residential amenity;
  2. Affect the setting or character of a heritage asset;
  3. Have a significant impact on the character of Metropolitan Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land, or other rural spaces;
  4. Have a significant impact on public safety including potential for traffic hazards;
  5. Have a significant impact on environmentally sensitive and major gateway approaches to the borough;
  6. Visually separate areas such as car parks and other locations where a safety issue may arise as a result of obscured views into an area; and
  7. Result in numerous hoardings in an area where the cumulative impact would be detrimental to visual amenity.

 

How the policy works

6.124 Larger hoarding sizes are becoming increasing prevalent, with new displays now incorporating high level brightly illuminated or flashing LCD screens. These are often mounted on large, poorly designed and unsightly platforms and gantries or on exposed flank brick walls which are intrusive in the street scene and can be a potential distraction for motorists. When assessing proposals for advertising hoarding, the Council will expect signs and their supporting structures to be of a high quality architectural design that positively enhances its setting.

Hoardings affecting heritage assets

6.125 In sensitive locations such as Conservation Areas, Local Heritage Areas, and adjacent to Listed Buildings and Locally Listed Buildings, an excessive number of advertisements and signs in close proximity can lead to visual clutter and can detract from their character, appearance and setting. To reduce their impact on the significance of these heritage assets in these locations, the number of advertisements will be restricted and proposals will need to demonstrate that they positively enhance and respect their immediate setting and context.

Wall mounted hoardings

6.126 Wall mounted advertisement hoardings are often difficult to sensitively integrate on buildings because they can be overbearing in scale, dominate the street scene and can create a poor relationship with building on which they are located. To ensure wall mounted hoardings can be sensitively incorporated on the side of buildings or on boundary walls, the Council will need to be satisfied that their design, scale, and siting would not have an adverse impact on the host building or structure on which it will be located.

Areas of Special Advertisement Control

6.127 To protect the open character of and visual amenity of the Metropolitan Greenbelt and the Bradmore Green Conservation Area, the Secretary of State designated these locations as Areas of Special Advertisement Control. This designation prohibits the display of certain advertisements without the consent of the Council.

6.128 Assessments relating to amenity and safety will need to comply with Town and Country Planning (Control of advertisements) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.

Key supporting documents

  • Advertisement and Hoardings & Other Advertisements Supplementary Planning Guidance No.8 (2003)

 

Refuse and recycling

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies

  • Strategic Objective 5
  • Strategic Objective 7
  • Policy SP4.5
  • Policy SP4.6

 

Why we need this policy

6.129 Most residential and non-residential developments generate waste which will need to be temporarily stored on site. The current kerbside recycling scheme necessitates the need to provide sufficient room to store separated waste within all developments.

6.130 Both the London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework do not contain policies relating to refuse and recycling within developments. Additionally the Strategic Policies refer to the Detailed Policies and Proposals for specific design guidance.

6.131 This policy will provide developers working on residential and non-residential schemes greater clarity about what the Council will expect them to provide.

6.132 The existing Unitary Development Plan policies have proved useful to both the Council and those applying for planning permission by providing guidance about the location and design of facilities which are integral to the functional running of each development.

6.133 The Mayor's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance provides some general guidance, however, it states that it should be used in conjunction with local guidance. The Mayor's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance does not address non-residential development.

Policy DM13: Refuse and recycling

DM13.1 To ensure that the location and design of refuse and recycling facilities are treated as an integral element of the overall design, the Council will require developments to:

  1. Sensitively integrate refuse and recycling facilities within the building envelope, or, in conversions, where that is not possible, integrate within the landscape covered facilities that are located behind the building line where they will not be visually intrusive or compromise the provision of shared amenity space;
  2. Ensure facilities are visually screened;
  3. Provide adequate space for the temporary storage of waste (including bulky waste) materials generated by the development; and
  4. Provide layouts that ensure facilities are safe, conveniently located and easily accessible by occupants, operatives and their vehicles.

 

DM13.2To ensure existing and future waste can be sustainably and efficiently managed the Council will require a waste management plan for major developments and for developments that are likely to generate large amounts of waste.

 

How the policy works

Design considerations

6.134 The Council considers the layout, siting, function and design of recycling and refuse storage facilities to all be of equal importance. It is important that these facilities are considered as an integral part of the development process.

6.135 If considered at the initial stage of the design process, proposals for new developments can integrate refuse and recycling within the building envelope without causing undue noise and odour nuisance.

Technical considerations

6.136 It is important that refuse facilities are located in an area where they are easily accessible to all residents, including children and wheelchair users. This would include the provision of a safe route for those on foot as well as ensuring facilities are located on a hard level surface. Facilities must also be easily accessible for waste collectors.

6.137 It is essential that developments incorporate enough suitable space to store the amount of waste and recycling likely to arise from the development once they are occupied and to build in capacity to meet future demand. This ensures that problems with rubbish being left on footways are minimised, occupants have space to recycle, commercial and household waste are kept separately and waste collection services can operate safely and efficiently. To ensure this demand can be met, major developments or those which are likely to generate large amounts of refuse and recycling will be required to submit a waste management plan.

6.138 Additional guidance should be sought from Croydon Council's Public Realm and Safety Department.

Key supporting documents

  • The Mayor Of London's Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance(March 2016)
  • British Standards BS 5906:2005 – Waste management in buildings – Code of practice
  • 2010 No.2214 Building and Buildings, England and Wales – The Building Regulations 2010
  • The Building Regulations 2000 – Approved Document H, Drainage and Waste Disposal (2000 edition)

 

Public art

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies

  • Strategic Objective 5
  • Strategic Objective 7
  • Policy SP4.5
  • Policy SP4.6

 

Why we need this policy

6.139 Despite its size there are relatively few examples of public art within the borough. The Council acknowledges the important role that public art can play in enhancing the setting of a building and creating a visually stimulating public realm and strengthening local distinctiveness.

6.140 There is a need to ensure that opportunities to incorporate public art within new developments or public realm improvements are taken and that it relates to the local character, contributes to the sense of place and reinforces local distinctiveness.

6.141 The incorporation of public art offers the opportunity to work with the local community to create distinctive works that help engender a sense of ownership and strengthen the sense of place.

6.142 Croydon's Supplementary Planning Guidance 19 provided a useful guidance for those wishing to incorporate public art within their development. However, this document referenced 'percent for art', a policy that is no longer live. The Croydon Local Plan now refers to the Council's Public Realm Design Guide which provides more detailed guidance.

Policy DM14: Public art

To enhance and express local character, the Council will support the inclusion of public art and require all major6 schemes to include public art that:

  1. Is integrated into proposals at an early stage of the design process;
  2. Enhances and creates local distinctiveness and reinforces a sense of place;
  3. Responds to local character;
  4. Makes a positive contribution to the public realm; and
  5. Engages the local community in its creation.

 

How the policy works

6.143 By considering public art during the early stages of the design process and clarifying the scope at the beginning of the pre-application process, opportunities can be taken to integrate public art into the fabric of the development itself in more imaginative ways. Public art should not be confined to statues, but can be incorporated in imaginative, simple and cost effective ways such as bespoke paving, gates, lighting, signage, street furniture, playground equipment, railings and landscaping, murals (painted or ceramic), decorative bargeboards or works of art incorporated on elevations where they will be visible to pedestrians.

6.144 The Council expects all public art to be of the highest design quality and craftsmanship and whenever possible, encourage the use of sustainable or recycled materials. When commissioning public art, developers should place equal weight on creating the right piece of work, the craftsmanship of the artist and those installing the piece and the maintenance after it has been installed.

6.145 Those commissioning public art should seek additional guidance from Croydon's Public Realm Design Guide.

Key supporting documents

  • Public Realm Design Guide (2012)

 

Tall and large buildings

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies

  • Strategic Objective 5
  • Strategic Objective 7
  • Policy SP4.5
  • Policy SP4.6

 

Why we need this policy

6.146 The Council acknowledges the positive contribution that well-designed tall buildings of high architectural quality can make. If sensitively and appropriately located, these buildings can facilitate regeneration through the provision of new jobs, homes and community facilities and an attractive built environment.

6.147 The need for this policy has been identified in the Croydon Local Plan's Strategic Policies which sets out the Council's intention to include detailed tall buildings policies within the Detailed Policies and Proposals plan. The Detailed Policies and Proposals also provide a link to the Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework and contain the Place-specific development management policies which identify areas suitable for tall buildings.

6.148 The borough's Open Space Needs Assessment identified significant gaps in the provision of amenity green space, particularly in the north of the borough. To address this there is a need to ensure tall and large residential developments are located in areas with sufficient green infrastructure or provide new green infrastructure to meet the increased demand.

6.149 London Plan Policy 7.7 refers to tall and large buildings. This policy advises boroughs to work with the Mayor to identify areas that are appropriate, sensitive or inappropriate for tall or large buildings.

6.150 The Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework identifies locations within the Croydon Opportunity Area that are suitable for tall buildings. It provides guidance on indicative tall building heights, form and typologies. This approach reflects the Mayor's aspirations for new residential development within the Croydon Opportunity Area.

6.151 The base line information used to select locations outside of the Croydon Opportunity Area included mapping of the residential and non-residential character analysis and mapping, PTAL7 ratings and open space deficiency mapping.

Policy DM15: Tall and large buildings

To ensure tall or large buildings respect and enhance local character, and do not harm the setting of heritage assets, proposals will be permitted where they meet the following criteria:

  1. They are located in areas identified for such buildings in Policies DM34 to DM49;
  2. They are located in areas meeting a minimum Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) rating of 4, with direct public transport connections to the Croydon Opportunity Area;
  3. The design should be of exceptional quality and demonstrate that a sensitive approach has been taken in the articulation and composition of the building form which is proportionate to its scale;
  4. The building height, footprint and design relates positively to any nearby heritage assets, and conserves or enhances the significance and setting of the assets of the wider historic environment;
  5. To improve the quality of and access to open space, developments including buildings taller than 40 storeys will need to incorporate amenity space, whether at ground level such as atria or above ground level, such as sky gardens and roof terraces, that is accessible to the public as well as residents of the development; and
  6. To ensure tall and large buildings are well integrated with the local area, they should include at least an active ground floor and inclusive public realm.

 

How the policy works

6.152 Tall and large buildings have been defined as those which are significantly taller and larger; in terms of scale, mass and height than the predominant surrounding buildings, causing a significant change to the skyline.

6.153 When assessing whether a development can be considered to be tall or large, the context within which the building is situated must be taken into account. This would mean that a proposal for six storeys; in an area where predominant building heights are two storeys, would be considered to be a tall building. In an area where an urban block8 comprises of buildings with narrow frontages, a proposal for a building with a scale that differs from this would be considered to be large.

6.154 This definition closely aligns with the Croydon Local Plan Strategic Policy SP4.5, London Plan Policy 7.25 and CABE and Historic England's guidance which refer to tall and large buildings.

6.155 There is a need to expand the current definition of tall buildings to include large buildings. This policy will expand the definition of tall buildings to include large buildings and ensure development is sensitive to its local context. 6.156 This policy in conjunction with the Place-specific development management policies (Policies DM34 to DM49) will establish clear principles and more certainty for developers about the locations for tall and large buildings.

6.156 This policy in conjunction with the Place-specific development management policies (Policies DM34 to DM49) will establish clear principles and more certainty for developers about the locations for tall and large buildings.

6.157 Proposals for tall or large buildings will need to include urban design analysis that demonstrates how they align with the Opportunity Area Planning Framework and the Fair Field, Mid Croydon, Old Town and East and West Croydon Masterplans. In locations outside of these areas, proposals for tall or large buildings will be expected to demonstrate that they will not cause unacceptable harm to the character of the surrounding area and to the wider setting of heritage assets and meet all policy requirements, including those relating to tall buildings.

6.158 Proposals for tall or large developments within sensitive locations9 will be expected to demonstrate that it meets the requirements of the London Plan Policies 7.6 and 7.7.

6.159 Paragraph 6.23 of the Croydon Opportunity Area Framework outlines the importance of creating slender tall buildings in locations where the proposed building will be taller than the predominant surrounding development heights. This criterion will help to minimise the impact that the proposed building will have upon the setting and character in terms of microclimate, overshadowing and wind turbulence. This criterion is equally applicable in locations outside of the Croydon Opportunity Area (as listed in the Places of Croydon Policies DM34 to DM49) where opportunities for tall or large buildings may be available.

6.160 Due to their size and scale and the increased densities arising from tall buildings, their impact on surroundings are greater than those of more conventionally sized buildings. Tall and large buildings, in areas such as the Metropolitan Centre that have been identified for growth, will place additional pressure on existing resources such as community facilities and public space. There is an opportunity to address the shortage of space by incorporating high quality public amenity spaces such as sky gardens, atrium spaces and roof terraces in tall buildings. To ensure that these buildings address current and future need for amenity space, provision full public access to these spaces will be supported. The Council will work with developers to secure legal agreements for this type of amenity space provision.

6.161 The design quality of the top of tall buildings is equally as important as the base. A base with a design that has been carefully considered can have a significant impact on the streetscape, local views and how the building physically and visually integrates with the street and the spaces surrounding it. To ensure a tall building is well integrated within its immediate local area, it should incorporate active ground and first floors and a stimulating and inclusive public realm. To make the public realm around the building feel safe and attractive for pedestrians, the façade should have sufficient openings to assist overlooking and passive supervision.

Key supporting documents

  • Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework (2013)
  • East Croydon Masterplan (2011)
  • West Croydon Masterplan (2011)
  • Mid Croydon Masterplan (2012)

 

Promoting healthy communities

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies 

  • Strategic Objective 4
  • Strategic Objective 6
  • Strategic Objective 7
  • SP5.2
  • SP5.4

 

Why we need this policy

6.162 The links between planning and health are well established. Chapter 8 of the National Planning Policy Framework sets out the role of the planning system in promoting healthy communities, facilitating social interaction and creating healthy and inclusive places. The National Planning Practice Guidance recommends that health and wellbeing and health infrastructure are considered in Local Plan and planning decisions.

6.163 Policy 3.2 of the London Plan, Improving health and addressing health inequalities, states that boroughs should work with key partners to identify and address significant health issues facing their areas and that new developments should be designed, constructed and managed in ways that improve health and promote healthy lifestyles to help reduce health inequalities. It recommends that Health Impact Assessments are used to consider the impact of major developments on health and wellbeing of communities.

6.164 SP5.2 of the Croydon Local Plan sets out the Council will work in partnership with health authorities to improve health in Croydon and will ensure new developments provide opportunity for healthy living.

6.165 Croydon, like many places, has a number of health inequalities. These health inequalities can be addressed by ensuring the planning system and new developments are considering health and wellbeing. This will allow local communities to lead healthy lifestyles and adopt healthy behaviours through living in quality homes, participating in physical activity and have access to quality open spaces.

Policy DM16: Promoting healthy communities

DM16.1 The Council, working with relevant organisations, will ensure the creation of healthy communities which encourage healthy behaviours and lifestyles by requiring developments to:

  1. Consider health and wellbeing during the design of a development to maximise potential health gains and ensure any negative impacts can be mitigated;
  2. Ensure access to open spaces and facilities for sport, recreation, play and food growing;
  3. Promote active travel and physical activity through cycling and walking opportunities that are well linked to existing pedestrian and cycling infrastructure;
  4. Create spaces for social interaction and community engagement which are designed to be safe and accessible to all; and
  5. Assess and mitigate pollutants and other environmental impacts on health.

 

DM16.2 The Council will work with NHS partners to support the provision of new healthcare facilities and improvements to existing facilities which provide services important for the physical health, mental health and general wellbeing of communities.

 

How the policy works

6.166 Considering health and wellbeing as early as possible into the design of a development presents greater opportunities for maximising positive gains, addressing health inequalities and mitigating any negative impacts. For example, to ensure a positive impact on mental health, developments should consider exceeding internal space standards, provide private or semi-private open spaces, ensure a sense of privacy for residents but also provide opportunities for social interaction and should ensure access to natural daylight.

6.167 Developments can support physical activity, promote healthy weights and address health problems associated with obesity. This can be done by considering the layout and access to stairwells, ensuring the provision of accessible cycle storage in both homes and workplaces and providing changing facilities to encourage people to cycle to work. Developments should provide quality open spaces, particularly in areas identified as being deficient, for sport, recreation and play whilst improving links to existing spaces and sport facilities. The design of a development can also promote access to healthy food opportunities by providing food growing opportunities whilst protecting existing facilities.

6.168 Air pollution affects everyone living and working in the borough but can have greater impact on children, older people and those with heart and respiratory conditions. Developments must assess and mitigate the impacts of pollution and look for opportunities to improve air quality. Developments should also be designed to be energy efficient and well insulated to ensure residents are able to live in warm homes and are protected against noise pollution.

6.169 Health Impact Assessments are a tool which can be used to assess the impact of development proposals on health and wellbeing. They should be used to set out how health and wellbeing have been considered during the design of a development, how positive impacts have been maximised and how any negative impacts have been mitigated, particularly where developments are located in the borough's most deprived wards. Health Impact Assessments should be undertaken as early in the process as possible to ensure the assessment is meaningful and can involve engagement from Croydon Public Health and NHS partners.

6.170 New development in the borough needs to be supported by health and social infrastructure to ensure communities have access to facilities and services they require at every stage of their lives. Facilities should be accessible to all and should be easily reached by walking, cycling or public transport. The Council will continue to work with NHS partners to identify requirements for new facilities to meet the need arising from the borough's growing population. It will support improvements to existing facilities and will also work with NHS partners to identify opportunities for facilities to come forward as part of mixed-use schemes, particularly where there is an identified need. The impact of developments on existing healthcare facilities should be considered through a Health Impact Assessment.

Key supporting documents

  • The Mayor of London's Social Infrastructure SPG (2015)

 

Views and Landmarks

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies

  • Policy SP4.2
  • Policy SP4.6
  • Policy SP4.9
  • Policy SP4.13

Why we need this policy

6.171 Croydon has compiled a list of Local Designated Views of significance for the borough. These include Croydon Panoramas that reinforce Croydon's sense of local place and identity and Local Designated Landmarks that assist with way finding and contribute to local character of the borough.

6.172 The Unitary Development Plan Policy UD1 contained a list of Views and Landmarks. These have been assessed alongside others suggested in the Borough Character Appraisal, by Development Management Officers and from the previous consultation on the Detailed Policies (Preferred and Alternative Options) of the Croydon Local Plan in 2013 and 2015. The proposed Views and Landmarks are detailed in Policy SP4 and Appendix 5. Policy DM17 details what the Council will consider in terms of possible impact of proposed development on the Local Designated Views, Croydon Panoramas and Local Designated Landmarks.

Policy DM17: Views and Landmarks

DM17.1 The Council will consider the proposed development in relation to its impact on protected Local Designated Views such that developments should not create a crowding effect around, obstruct, or appear too close or high in relation to any Local Designated Landmarks identified in the Local Designated View.

DM17.2 Developments should enhance Croydon Panoramas as a whole and should not tightly define the edges of the viewing corridors from the Croydon Panoramas. Developments should not create a crowding effect around, obstruct, or appear too close or high in relation to any Local Designated Landmarks identified in the Croydon Panoramas.

DM17.3 Public access to all viewpoints to Local Designated Views and all Croydon Panoramas should be maintained.

 

How the policy works

6.173 When new development is proposed it should consider the effect on a Local Designated View to avoid detrimental impact on the quality of the View and ensure it is not sited too close to avoid overcrowding the View of a Local Designated Landmark. This is considered in the Croydon Local Plan Strategic Policy SP4.2 which states that development will be required to protect Local Designated Views, Croydon Panoramas, the setting of Local Designated Landmarks, other important vistas and skylines.

6.174 The London Plan Policy 7.11 'London View Management Framework' is reflected in the Croydon Local Plan Strategic Policy SP4.13 which states that the Council and its partners will strengthen the protection of and promote improvements to local views, Croydon Panoramas and Local Designated Landmarks.

6.175 The Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework refers to the potential impact of tall buildings on views and assessment of impact on the skyline. It identifies townscapes along which people have generous views of the Croydon Opportunity Area. Further to this, it identifies the need for development to demonstrate that it integrates with and improves the local character and, that new buildings will be assessed against their impact on these views to ensure they do not result in an overbearing wall of development.

6.176 The Panoramas selected (listed in Appendix 5) are the wide expansive views of substantial parts of Croydon where public access to a view point to view the Panorama should be maintained.

6.177 The important Local Designated Landmarks in the views are noted in the list of Croydon Panoramas and Local Designated Views in Appendix 5. This policy aligns with the London Plan, Policy 7.12.

Key supporting documents

  • Borough Character Appraisal (2015)
  • Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework (2013)

 

Heritage assets and conservation

Strategic Objectives and related Croydon Local Plan strategic policies

  • Strategic Objective 5
  • Strategic Objective 7
  • Policy SP1
  • Policy SP2.2
  • Policy SP4.1
  • Policy SP4.12
  • Policy SP4.13

 

Why we need this policy

6.178 Croydon has a rich and varied heritage that provides depth of character to the borough's environment. The historic environment contributes to local character and distinctiveness and enables an understanding of the pattern of historic development of an area. In order to maintain the borough's character, it is vital that heritage assets are protected and sensitively adapted and that their setting is not harmed. The historic environment is a finite resource and, once lost, cannot be replaced.

6.179 The Council recognises the value of the historic environment, especially in relation to the positive contribution it can make to creating and maintaining sustainable communities, and considers it to be important to conserve the valued components of the borough's historic environment for the future. This view is supported by the National Planning Policy Framework (Chapter 12), the London Plan (Chapter 7) and the strategic objectives and policies of the Croydon Local Plan. The strategic policies state that 'Croydon needs to ensure protection of its heritage assets and their settings, to retain local distinctiveness and character'. This is particularly important given the context of the significant change that Croydon, in particular the Croydon Opportunity Area, has seen in the last century and is likely to continue to experience. The Council also supports the principles of heritage-led regeneration.

6.180 This policy seeks to improve the protection afforded to heritage assets in the borough. Heritage assets are the valued elements of the historic environment and make an important contribution to the quality of the borough's architectural, historic and townscape character. A heritage asset is a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. Heritage assets can be identified in various ways, for example through statutory designation as heritage assets of national significance, such as Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas, Scheduled Monuments, and Registered Historic Parks and Gardens, or through designation by the Local Planning Authority, which includes Locally Listed Buildings, Local Heritage Areas and Locally Listed Historic Parks and Gardens. Heritage assets can also be identified through area assessments, master planning or during the planning process itself.

6.181 Through the planning process the Council will consider the significance of all sites and areas identified as having heritage significance. The Council will monitor proposed removals and additions to the established lists of heritage assets as and when appropriate. The Council will continue to make information relating to heritage assets available to view on the Croydon Council website.

6.182 Heritage assets may be nationally or locally designated, or undesignated: the reason for their being identified is their special interest. This may be historic, architectural, artistic, or archaeological and these are the attributes that make up their unique quality or significance.

6.183 The setting of a heritage asset is defined in the glossary of the National Planning Policy Framework as 'the surroundings in which a heritage asset is experienced. Its extent is not fixed and may change as the asset and its surroundings evolve.'

6.184 This policy addresses detailed issues that relate to the detailed application of the Strategic Policies to heritage assets in the borough and fulfils the aim outlined in strategic Policy SP4 to strengthen the protection afforded to heritage assets in the borough.

6.185 The National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 126 states that 'local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment'.

6.186 The London Plan Policy 7.8G states that boroughs should 'include appropriate policies in their LDFs for identifying, protecting, enhancing and improving access to the historic environment and heritage assets and their settings where appropriate, and to archaeological assets, memorials and historic and natural landscape character within their area'.

6.187 The Croydon Local Plan 2018 provides general policies SP4.11 to SP4.15 that relate to the historic environment. However, there is a need to provide detailed policy on specific issues in order to provide additional policy protection to the borough's heritage assets and to enable the Council to meet its statutory duties.

Policy DM18: Heritage assets and conservation

DM18.1 To preserve and enhance the character, appearance and setting of heritage assets within the borough, the Council will determine all development proposals that affect heritage assets in accordance with the following:

  1. Development affecting heritage assets will only be permitted if their significance is preserved or enhanced;
  2. Proposals for development will only be permitted if they enhance the setting of the heritage asset affected or have no adverse impact on the existing setting;
  3. Proposals for changes of use should retain the significance of a building and will be supported only if they are necessary to keep the building in active use; and
  4. Where there is evidence of intentional damage or deliberate neglect to a heritage asset, its current condition will not be taken into account in the decision-making process.

 

DM18.2 Applications for development proposals that affect heritage assets or their setting must demonstrate:

  1. How particular attention has been paid to scale, height, massing, historic building lines, the pattern of historic development, use, design, detailing and materials;
  2. That it is of a high quality design that integrates with and makes a positive contribution to the historic environment; and
  3. How the integrity and significance of any retained fabric is preserved.

 

DM18.3 To preserve and enhance Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments and Registered Parks and Gardens within the borough, the Council will determine all development proposals that affect these heritage assets in accordance with the following:

  1. Substantial harm to or loss of a Grade II Listed Building or Registered Park and Garden should be exceptional;
  2. Substantial harm to or loss of a Grade I or II* Listed Building or a Scheduled Monument should be wholly exceptional; and
  3. All alterations and extensions should enhance the character, features and setting of the building or monument and must not adversely affect the asset's significance.

 

DM18.4 To preserve and enhance the character, appearance and setting of Conservation Areas within the borough, the Council will determine all development proposals that affect Conservation Areas in accordance with the following:

  1. The demolition of a building that makes a positive contribution to the special character and appearance of a Conservation Area will be treated as substantial harm;
  2. Where the demolition of a building in a Conservation Area is considered to be acceptable, permission for its demolition will only be granted subject to conditions linking demolition to the implementation of an approved redevelopment scheme; and
  3. All proposals for development must have regard to the development principles in the Conservation Area General Guidance Supplementary Planning Document and Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan Supplementary Planning Documents or equivalent.

 

DM18.5 To preserve and enhance the character, appearance and setting of Locally Listed Buildings within the borough, the Council will determine all development proposals that affect Locally Listed Buildings in accordance with the following:

  1. Substantial weight will be given to preserving and enhancing Locally Listed Buildings; where demolition is proposed, it should be demonstrated that all reasonable attempts have been made to retain all or part of the building;
  2. All alterations and extensions should enhance the building's character, setting and features and must not adversely affect the significance of the building; and
  3. All proposals for development must have regard to Croydon's Local List of Buildings of Historic or Architectural Importance Supplementary Planning Document or equivalent.

 

DM18.6 To preserve and enhance the character, appearance and setting of Local Heritage Areas within the borough, the Council will determine all development proposals that affect a Local Heritage Area in accordance with the following:

  1. Substantial weight will be given to protecting and enhancing buildings, townscape and landscape features that make a positive contribution to the special character and appearance of a Local Heritage Area; and
  2. All proposals for development must have regard to the development principles in the Conservation Area General Guidance Supplementary Planning Document and the Local Heritage Area evidence base.

 

DM18.7 Substantial weight will be given to conserving and enhancing landscape features or planting that makes a positive contribution to the special historic character and original layout of Registered and Locally Listed Historic Parks and Gardens.

DM18.8 All development proposals must preserve and enhance War Memorials and other monuments, and their settings.

DM18.9 In consultation with the Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service, or equivalent authority, the Council will require the necessary level of investigation and recording for development proposals that affect, or have the potential to affect Croydon's archaeological heritage. Remains of archaeological importance, whether scheduled or not, should be protected in situ or, if this is not possible, excavated and removed as directed by the Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service or equivalent authority.

 

How the policy works

6.188 While the Council recognises that many non-designated heritage assets do not benefit from statutory protection, the Council will seek to protect all heritage assets from demolition due to their national or local historic and architectural significance and the contribution they make to the borough's townscape character. The Council will seek to retain original features and detailing present on buildings and ensure that alterations and extensions to historic buildings are carried out in a manner that does not harm their significance and respects the scale, character, detailing and materials of the original building and area. Proposals that include the reinstatement of significant lost architectural or landscape features or the removal or harmful alterations, where this can be demonstrably undertaken without harm to the significance of the heritage asset, will be supported in principle.

6.189 In addition to the collective value of buildings and their relationship to each other, the character of Conservation Areas and Local Heritage Areas may be defined by the wider townscape, land uses, public realm, open spaces, road layout or landscaped areas. This character can be relatively consistent or in larger areas may contain several 'character areas' within the Conservation Area or Local Heritage Area. In addition to protecting individual buildings the Council will ensure that the wider character of an area is protected and enhanced.

6.190 All planning applications submitted that relate to heritage assets should include a description of the significance of the heritage asset affected and analysis of the resultant impact of the development on the heritage asset and its setting. The level of detail of this statement should be proportionate to the significance of the asset affected and will, if necessary, be directed by the Council.

6.191 All development that relates directly to heritage assets or affects their setting must be of a high quality design that enhances their special character. New development will be discouraged from copying existing buildings but rather must be informed by and well integrated with the established character of the area.

6.192 Development will be encouraged to enhance the setting of heritage assets, or at the very least not have any adverse impact on the current setting. In some cases there may be opportunities to better reveal the setting of heritage assets; however this must not have adverse impacts on local character or other heritage assets.

6.193 Historic buildings should be maintained in their original use wherever possible unless fully justified by demonstration that this is necessary to secure its long term future viability. Where a proposed change of use is fully justified, it should be demonstrated how the building's original fabric and character is to be preserved.

6.194 Historic landscapes, including Registered and Locally Listed Historic Parks and Gardens may have interest from their age, connection with historic buildings, events or people, presence of ornamental features and artefacts, style of layout, or work of an important designer. The Council will ensure that Historic Parks and Gardens are not adversely affected by new development.

6.195 Croydon's archaeological heritage comprises of both above and below ground remains, previously identified through individual finds, evidence of previous settlements and standing structures. At present, approximately a quarter of the borough is covered by archaeological priority areas, which are areas that have a high likelihood of archaeological significance. Due to its nature, much of the borough's archaeological heritage is likely to have been undiscovered and as a result is very sensitive. If a site is identified as having potential archaeological significance applicants will be required to undertake an archaeological desk-based assessment and, if necessary, a field investigation. Any discovered archaeological remains will be required to either be preserved in situ or through a programme of excavation, recording, publication and archiving, undertaken by an archaeological organisation approved by the Council, prior to the commencement of any development. The Council will consult with and follow the guidance of the Greater London Archaeological Advisory Service, or equivalent authority, on the archaeological implications of development proposals.

6.196 Where development proposals affect heritage assets, the submission of a full planning application will be sought as opposed to an outline planning application, unless the Local Planning Authority has sufficient comfort that the level of detail submitted will ensure that the proposed development will preserve or enhance the affected asset or assets.

6.197 The Council supports the principle of improving access to historic buildings but will ensure that works undertaken to achieve this are done so in the most creative manner possible and that any harm to significance is minimised and outweighed by the public benefit of securing access.

6.198 The Council will maintain the 'Heritage at Risk Register', which is managed by Historic England, and monitors the condition of heritage assets where possible. If deemed appropriate, the Council will exercise its legal powers to ensure that essential maintenance of designated heritage assets is undertaken. The Council will seek to work with partners to secure creative solutions that would contribute positively to local character and vitality.

6.199 When, in exceptional circumstances, a heritage asset cannot be retained, the development will be required to conduct a full recording survey (including photographs) and deposit the information in the Croydon Local Studies Library and Archives Centre. This should be secured through a planning condition. This is in addition to the recording requirements imposed in respect of the loss of nationally significant designated heritage assets.

6.200 This policy should be read in conjunction with existing and future Council guidance documents including the:

  1. Conservation Area General Guidance Supplementary Planning Document;
  2. Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan Supplementary Planning Documents;
  3. Local List of Buildings of Historic or Architectural Importance Supplementary Planning Document; and
  4. Residential Extensions and Alterations Supplementary Planning Document.

 

Key supporting documents

  • The Setting of Heritage Assets, Historic England - Historic Environment Good Practice Advice in Planning 3 (2015)
  • Conservation Area Designation, Appraisal and Management - Historic England Advice Note 1 (2016)
  • Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessments – English Heritage (2011)
  • Borough Character Appraisal (2015)
  • Croydon's Local List of Buildings of Historic or Architectural Importance Supplementary Planning Document (2007)
  • Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plans (various)
  • Conservation Area General Guidance Supplementary Planning Document (2013)
  • Local Heritage Areas Review (2016)
  • Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework (2013)
  • East Croydon Masterplan (2011)
  • West Croydon Masterplan (2011)
  • Mid Croydon Masterplan (2012)


1 A full list of heritage assets can be found in Appendix 5

2 The building envelope (also known as the building shell) refers to the outer structure of a building.

3 Natural Habitats are defined as the natural home or environment of an animal, plant or other living organism.

4 The public realm is defined as public spaces that are accessible to all without charge. These can include public, semi-public and privately owned spaces.

5 National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 67.

6 Major schemes are defined as being over 0.5 hectares or residential schemes over 10 units or developments over 1000m2

7 Public Transport Accessibility Level - a rating of accessibility provided by Transport for London

8 An urban block is a rectangular area in a city surrounded by streets and usually containing several buildings.

9 Sensitive locations include sites close to heritage assets, residential amenity spaces, schools, or where topography changes would result in the development crowding or blocking designated views or viewing corridors.



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