Agenda item

22/04309/FUL - 32-44 Keeley Road and 31-57 Drummond Road, Croydon, CR0 1TH


Comprehensive redevelopment of the site comprising the demolition of the existing buildings and structures; site preparation works; and the phased development of two new buildings containing residential uses, basement, private and communal amenity space, associated car parking, cycle parking, refuse storage, plant and other associated works.


Ward: Fairfield

Recommendation: Grant permission



Ward: Fairfield


To demolish existing buildings and structures to develop two new building blocks containing residential uses, basement, private and communal amenity space, associated car parking, cycle parking, refuse storage, plant, and other associated works. The development is to create 144 new homes.


Ross Gentry gave the presentation and addressed the questions and issues raised by Members.


The main issues raised through questions and debate at this meeting were as follows:

Impact on neighbouring property

·       Discussion and debate around daylight and sunlight impacts to Keely House and Frith Road; officers summarised the impacts with some minor, moderate and major adverse impacts.

·       Have to balance the harm against the benefits of the scheme.

·       Discussion around the existing Citiscape building line and the proposed, in terms of impact to Frith Road.

Future occupier amenity

·       Limited separation between Blocks A and B, impacting on the occupier’s amenity and daylight and sunlight. Less than the 18-21m separation yardstick, at 10m gap, which is an important consideration.

·       Discussion around play space on the site and routes to nearby parks. Play space contribution of £4,000 secured; possibility of use of part of the sustainable transport contribution to improve access for local children to nearby parks could be explored.

·       Some members felt amount of green space was good.

·       Some members felt the standard of accommodation worked well.

·       Discussion around number of blue badge spaces.

Design issues

·       Appropriate location for a tall building in the CMC and edge of OAPF.

·       Stepped design appropriate and some members commented on positive aspects of the design and evolution since PRP.

·       Concern from some members on tightness of the development, site layout and daylight and sunlight impacts.

·       The building is three to four storeys too tall, and it should be built within the envelope of the existing buildings height.

·       Discussion around public realm and what is secured as part of the scheme.

·       Some members supported the design and Frith Road frontage.

·       Discussion around the ground floor uses and active frontages

·       Need for commercial and office space in town centre.

Affordable housing

·       There is a lack of affordable housing being proposed, considering the number of units offered. Does not meet the 50% requirement for affordable housing.

·       Mayor of London has mentioned that there should be social renting products in schemes going forward. This scheme proposes shared ownership and London Affordable housing Rent rather than social rent.

·       Discussion around viability matters.

·       Although there are 144 homes, only 44 homes are two-bed accommodations whereas in the existing building, there are 73 two-bed apartments. Some concern over lack of family accommodation.

·       The Croydon Council policy is that 5% of homes on the site should be dedicated family homes, 6% is proposed, therefore, the scheme is compliant with family accommodation requirements.

·       Some members welcomed the number of homes and affordable housing offer.

·       The development should include Keeley House site as the overall number of homes to be developed would be significantly higher. A joint venture could incorporate mansion block-type properties thus reducing the height of the buildings and allowing for the development of more units and family homes on the site.

Heritage Issues

·       Mid-Croydon Conservation Area Advisory Panel and lack of Historic England representations discussed.

·       Benefits need to be considered against the harm.

·       Some members felt harm to heritage limited, some felt heritage harm unjustified.

·       Discussion around colour of bricks – some members preferred the red brick, others preferred the previous iteration in grey.

·       When taking a balanced view and considering benefits against the heritage harm, there was a lack of certainty that this scheme would deliver sufficient benefits to justify damage to heritage assets in the central Croydon area.

Other Issues

·       Would have been better to have a comprehensive scheme for both this site and Keeley House, which could deliver more homes, but understood they had this application to determine. Two tall buildings would be very difficult to deal with.

Jacquie Andrews attended to represent the position of the neighbouring property, Keeley House. Concern was raised about the scale, bulk and mass of the proposed buildings, closer to Keeley house and the impact on the flats and nursery. The proximity of the development may dominate and harm the quality of living for Keeley’s residents causing loss of privacy, overbearing presence and loss of daylight and sunlight, and is an overdevelopment of the site. Redevelopment of the site should be sought with both Keeley House and Citiscape.


Martin Scholar spoke in support of the proposal and advised that extensive changes had been made to the design through pre-application discussions. In relation to consultation, a programme of community engagement was undertaken and extensive dialogue with the residents in Keeley House remained ongoing. Keeley House was in pursuit of their own pre-application development, independent of Citiscape. This scheme was a policy compliant proposal comprised of 22 homes, 16 shared ownership flats and, 6 affordable rent flats, in contrast to the zero affordable homes in the currently vacant building. The mentioned benefits included:

·       122 private homes, with 22 affordable homes

·       a significantly improved design in comparison to the existing building

·       improved pedestrian environment

·       significant biodiversity net gain

·       new open space for residents

·       56% reduction in carbon emissions

·       around 300 jobs created during construction.

After consideration of the officer’s report and answers provided, the motion to GRANT the application based on the officer’s recommendation was proposed by Councillor Shortland and seconded by Councillor Denton.


The motion to grant the application was taken to a vote and carried with five Members voting in favour, four against, and one abstention.


The Committee RESOLVED to GRANT the application for the development at 32-44 Keeley Road and 31-57 Drummond Road, Croydon, CR0 1TH.


The item will need to be submitted to the GLA for Stage Two.


Supporting documents: