About the planning system

Planning control is the process of managing the development of land and buildings. The purposes of this process is to save what is best of our heritage and improve the infrastructure upon which we depend for a civilised existence.  Your local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether a development, anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre, should go ahead.

The Government has published a plain English guide giving an overview of how the planning system works in England.

All planning must take into account EU, National policy, National Planning Policy Framework, the London Plan, and borough led Local Plan and policies, as well as relevant made Neighborhood Plans. The NPPF is easy to read and relevant to planning applications and appeals.  Planning appeals are undertaken by the Planning Inspectorate, which is independent of the local planning authority (LPA).

Planning balance – Planning is about balancing benefits and disbenefits. It is about weighing up the combined weight of benefits, and assessing if collectively sufficient to outbalance the identified disbenefits or potential harm.  See here for the Planning Portal and a full list of their planning FAQs.

Planning conditions – When used properly, conditions can enhance the quality of development and enable development proposals to proceed where it would otherwise have been necessary to refuse planning permission, by mitigating the adverse effects of the development. See Government guidelines here.

s106 agreements – are a mechanism which make a development proposal acceptable in planning terms, that would not otherwise be acceptable. They are focused on site specific mitigation of the impact of development. See  Local Government Association detailed background on conditions and s106 here.

Material considerations – are taken forward into consideration.  (Issues regarding licensing are separate to planning matters, and different local authorizes often have different approaches what are relevant licensing matters).

What are material considerations?

A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on an appeal against a planning decision. Material considerations can include (but are not limited to):

  • Overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Loss of light or overshadowing
  • Parking
  • Highway safety
  • Traffic
  • Noise
  • Opening and delivery times
  • Effect on listed building and conservation area
  • Layout and density of building
  • Design, appearance and materials
  • Government policy
  • Disabled persons’ access
  • Proposals in the Development Plan
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
  • Nature conservation

However, issues such as loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties are not material considerations.  Generally greater weight is attached to issues raised which are supported by *evidence* rather than solely by assertion.  For further advice see The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) who provide an online advice service, and guides.

NPPF revised 2019

Many changes have been made to the National Planning Policy Framework.  This also renumber key elements. Some of the changes include:

109. Development should only be prevented or refused on highways grounds if there would be an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or the residual cumulative
impacts on the road network would be severe.

180. Planning policies and decisions should also ensure that new development is appropriate for its location taking into account the likely effects (including
cumulative effects) of pollution on health, living conditions and the natural environment, as well as the potential sensitivity of the site or the wider area to
impacts that could arise from the development. In doing so they should: 
a) mitigate and reduce to a minimum potential adverse impacts resulting from noise from new development – and avoid noise giving rise to significant adverse
impacts on health and the quality of life; 
b) identify and protect tranquil areas which have remained relatively undisturbed by noise and are prized for their recreational and amenity value for this reason;
c) limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation.


Planning in Crystal Palace & Upper Norwood

Crystal Palace is unique, as 5 boroughs all meet, so to assess the overall and cumulative impact is more complex.  Additionally, three legislated  Strategic Road Network (SRN) routes meet here (using the A212, A2199, A234), that TfL highways authority have overall network responsibility for (see here for latest DoT traffic counts). Crystal Palace also splits inner and outer London, each having different respective planning policies.  The cross border nature of Crystal Palace also means the area is at risk of more limited cross-border borough provided S106 and CIL contributions and planning.  These contributions are meant to provide sub-regional infrastructure to support development within the area, and consideration to (our cross border) need for services (e.g health and education).

Local Authority Planning Sites – (and Local Plan policies).  Links below for Borough planning web sites e.g search planning applications  Many sites allow automatic email alerts of planning application searches.  Links to the your Planning Applications Database by borough:

How to receive
automated planning application alerts:
1) Open the ‘Planning Applications Database‘ for your borough.
2) Create a new search e.g “SE19” and press “Save Search

3) You will need to “Login” to you account by “Registering” online to save and run your searches.

Conservation Areas – We have many designated Conservation Areas that the meet here.  Click here to see more of UCLs neighbourhood planning assessment of our area.

High Street planning:
Croydon:  SHOPFRONTS AND SIGNS Supplementary Planning Guidance No.1
Croydon: CONSERVATION AREA GENERAL GUIDANCE Supplementary Planning Guidance

There are many local Sites of Importance to Nature Conservation (SINC), or designated as woodland of special importance. e.g

Major Planning – Regeneration and Masterplans 

Mayor of London New London Plan  – Draft London Plan

Planning Inspectorate – Crystal Palace area decisions

  • Auckland Road/Sylvan Road – Permitting development in/by Church Road Conservation Area
  • Grape & Grain –  effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the host building and on the Conservation Area. Appeal dismissed.
  • 25 Church Road D2 / Cinema use and the vitality of the town centre  Appeal dismissed.
  • Gipsy Hill Station – installation of an Automated Teller Machine at the front of the main railway station building at Gipsy Hill. Appeal dismissed.
  • 2 Alma Place The appeal is dismissed in so far as it relates to a new second floor with mansard roof. The appeal is allowed in so far as it relates to a rear extension.  Split Decision.
  • SG Smith Dealership Beulah Hill (Lidl UK) building retail foodstore, bed flats, closure of Beulah Hill vehicular
    access. The appeal is allowed subject to conditions.
  • Crystal Palace Park Masterplan  – use of enablingVery Special Circumstances” in permitting housing on Metropolitan Open Land.

View current and previous appeals with the Planning Inspectorate for “SE19” or by street click here to search. For a list of past Planning Inspectorate decisions click here to download an excel report listing with summary descriptions and outcome status.

Any questions or suggestions?  Contact cpneighbours on info@cpneighbours.org