Croydon officers are recommending that the Planning Committee on 10 July accept the conversion of the outbuilding at 7 Beatrice Ave in to a games room and gym for the use of the ground floor flat.
There are several aspects of the application and the recommendation which seem to me to be a real concern.
Firstly, there appears to have been a history of the Council not wanting the outbuilding to be retained at all. Yet the officers provide no detail and no proper explanation as to why they are now happy to retain it in a reduced size.
Secondly, the paper states: ‘there is no planning history for this conversion but it is thought to have commenced more than 4 years ago.
Does this not make it an illegal conversion against which the Council could take action|?
Even if it is out of time to do so granting permission on the outbuilding is tantamount to letting the developer get away with it.
Given the intention of the Council to get tougher with landlords, granting permission will give a contrary signal to other landlords and developers converting houses into flats.
It would also weaken the Council’s future ability to defend areas of special character.
Thirdly, the recommendation is against the views of the residents association.
There is an objection reference to ‘The support has been entirely from the Labour Party and none from the local residents.’
Granting permission would undermine the development of improved partnership between Norbury Councillors and the particular residents association and will spill over into that with the other three associations, given they are now working closely on the Love Norbury campaign.
Fourthly , it seems strange that a private landlord would be turning a single storey outbuilding fur use as a games room and gym by the occupants of a ground floor flat. Ciould it be a holding exercise by the applicant in the hope that in the future he can try and get permission to knock it down and build a small house. Granting planning permission gives Council approval to the existence of the site of outbuilding site as a building plot.
It is to be hoped that the Planning Committee will reject the officers’ recommendation and instruct them to bring a paper to a future meeting on the situation with regard to the conversion of the house.
Previous Outbuilding Rejection Reasons
This despite their refusal last August of an application to retain the outbuilding, and the fact that it appears that the property was converted into flats without planning permission.
In rejecting the retention of the outbuilding the officers argued that:
‘1. The proposal would result in an overdevelopment of the site out of keeping with the character of the area and thereby would not comply with Croydon Local Plan Strategic Policy SP4.1, London Plan 2011 Policies 7.4 and 7.6, Policies UD2 and UD3 of the Croydon Replacement Unitary Development Plan (The Croydon Plan 2006) Saved Policies 2013 and Supplementary Planning Document No. 2 on Residential Extensions and Alterations.
2. The development would be detrimental to the residential amenities of the occupiers of the adjoining property by reason of visual intrusion and loss of outlook and would thereby conflict with Croydon Local Plan Strategic Policy SP4.1, London Plan 2011 Policy 7.6, Policy UD8 of the Croydon Replacement Unitary Development Plan (The Croydon Plan 2006) Saved Policies 2013 and Supplementary Planning Document No. 2 on Residential Extensions and Alterations.’