Croydon Council has begun the next stage of working out how many thousands of new homes will be delivered over the next 20 years to tackle the housing crisis and boost the borough’s economy.
Based on government methodology, up to 46,040 new homes are needed in the borough by 2039. Last year the Mayor of London proposed in his draft London Plan that Croydon and other boroughs in the capital should plan to accommodate an increased number of new homes.
Earlier this year the Secretary of State responsible for planning directed the Mayor to increase his targets and include more detail around building on many more small sites in the suburbs through what he described as “gentle densification”.
The new London Plan is still being developed but it is expected to be adopted next year.
For Croydon, this means at least 33,496 new homes by 2039 – 6,905 more than under the council’s approved Local Plan, so the council began a review on how it could deliver them sustainably. This overall target includes on average 641 new homes per year in suburban areas of the borough.
The first stage of Croydon’s Local Plan review in January saw more than 1,000 responses from members of the public, whose feedback themes included no homes on Green Belt land, a preference for using brownfield sites and protecting parks.
Now that Covid-19 restrictions are easing and the council looks ahead to long-term economic recovery, a cross-party working group has begun to examine the emerging Local Plan options. Once these are finalised, cabinet will consider the preferred option in the autumn before consulting the public again.
These options aim to balance housing need with sustainable growth and the borough’s climate emergency, and include the following principles:
• New homes should be a mix of high-density developments, urban sites and homes in residential areas
• Following the latest government direction on “gentle densification”, Croydon’s suburban areas will continue to see new development in line with the council’s Suburban Design Guide
• The borough’s parks and designated public spaces remain protected from development
• Development should be focused on areas with good public transport
• No development on Green Belt land unless it is for important public social infrastructure that cannot be built elsewhere.
Alongside this review, the council has begun a public engagement exercise asking for local people’s views on the Purley Way and their priorities for the future transformation of non-strategic industrial and retail park areas in a mixed-use town centre extension with up to 9,000 homes. These would be in addition to the minimum targets identified by the government through the new London Plan. The Secretary of State has decided that developments such as this cannot replace development in the suburbs.
“Croydon was already in the grip of a London-wide housing crisis before the coronavirus pandemic, and the need to tackle homelessness, overcrowding and affordability is now more important than ever.
“The government and the Mayor of London have made clear we must build more homes in Croydon than we previously planned, and to do this will require small, large, urban and suburban sites.
“As we look ahead to our long-term economic recovery, this emerging revised Local Plan will be key to ensuring Croydon grows sustainably and delivers the homes local people need, and I look forward to further public engagement this autumn once cabinet has considered the preferred option.”
Councillor Paul Scott, cabinet lead for planning and regeneration
For more information on the emerging revised Croydon Local Plan, including a detailed explanation of the housing targets, visit the council website. The council website also has an updated cabinet member bulletin about the Local Plan.