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 The Sanderstead Blog
 
Cllr  Lynne  Hale
Cllr  Yvette  Hopley
Cllr  Tim  Pollard
 

Purley Skyscraper
16/01/2018 12:30:00......Posted by Lynne Hale


Today I attended the Purley Skyscraper Inquiry and had the opportunity of explaining to the Planning Inspector why I objected to such a tall building on this site. The site is desperate for re-development and we need more housing but I do think that 17 storeys is just too tall.
Below are the notes I spoke from:
“I am here to tell you why I think the plan for a 17 storey skyscraper here in Purley is completely inappropriate.

At 4 to 5 times the height of any other building for miles around, the skyscraper would stick out like a sore thumb, be significantly out of character with the area and would obliterate the current suburban feel.

Whilst the main focus of my concern is with the height of the proposed building, I also have serious concerns about the impact on local parking, the flood risk, the density of the development and the detrimental impact which such a tall building will have on local views such as those from Farthing Downs.

I have a close connection with Purley and the people who live here. My parents had a shop next to Purley Station and I have always lived in the area, representing Sanderstead Ward as a councillor – just a few miles up the road from here - for nearly 20 years. I also worked as a health professional in Purley Hospital for many years.

This site really does need developing. It has been sitting here abandoned and derelict for years creating a dreadful eyesore on this important Town Centre site. I have seen quite a few proposals for the site in the past, some of which have truly celebrated the site which should sit proudly on the junction between the A22 and the A23.

- Well-designed buildings of character – one of which I recall looked like the bow of a cruise ship facing you as you drove under the A22 railway bridge towards it – its tiered storeys reflecting beautifully the topography of the site. Imagine that!

It is therefore perfectly possible to have a beautiful landmark design which will put Purley on the map in terms of innovative design, not just in the community development world, but in the wider world of regeneration. Importantly though, of all the previous iterations I have seen, none has been more than 7 or 8 storeys.

And I would at this point like to commend the vision and energy of Purley Baptist Church in trying to bring sustainable life to this derelict site.

I don’t think this 17 storey building is where they wished to end up, but I would like to place on record my recognition of the huge amount of time, money and prayer which Purley Baptist Church has invested into the creation of a scheme, which they wished to bring to this site and which would enhance the lives of Purley residents.

I am saddened that the sheer size of what we have had to end up with means we are in the position of opposing what started off as such a wonderful worthwhile positive proposal for Purley.

What started as a project built on faith not finance has now become one driven by finance and a political interpretation of planning policies based on ideology rather than what is best for the local community and character here in Purley.

Unfortunately, this proposal will put Purley on the map for all the wrong reasons. This looming eyesore is a tragic waste of a site with real potential to deliver a community centre and housing which we could embrace and celebrate. This skyscraper would cause a shadow over central Purley and have a detrimental impact not just on the character of the suburban neighbourhood but would completely dominate it.
The proposal for 17 floors is inappropriate for the following planning reasons:

• It does not respect and enhance the local area – as required by Croydon’s own Local Plan and it cannot possibly be considered to be of exceptional quality with sensitivity applied to articulation and composition which is proportionate in scale. CLP2 (2017) DM 16.

• Referencing London Plan (2016) Policy 7.7 –
o  It will have an unacceptably harmful impact on its surroundings because of its being so much higher than any other building nearby
o It certainly won’t relate well with the surrounding buildings being completely at odds with and utterly dominating the prevailing street-scene and public realm
o And it certainly doesn’t form part of a cohesive building group – as defined by the Policy – because it is a complete one-off

In addition to breaching the London Plan and the Croydon Plan as illustrated by my previous points, the scheme also flies in the face of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) para 58, sub point 4, which says that planning policies and decisions should aim to ensure that developments: “respond to local character and history and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials.”

The reason for this breach is that the towering height of this proposal is completely out of character with any other building for miles around.

This design in its entirety would however, be perfectly at home in Croydon Town Centre, just up the road, where tall buildings and density of this scale are perfectly apt.

Turning now briefly to density and parking.

This development exceeds the upper end of the density reference range set out in the London Plan 2016 Policy 3.4 and Table 3.2.

The island site on its own, which in many ways it is, as it is completely physically separated from the rest of the development by a busy dual carriage way, is 50% higher than the top end of the density range.

The density range is there for a reason – to protect the living conditions of the residents who will live there – so it is unacceptable just to ignore it. Indeed density alone would be sufficient grounds to have refused the application.

We know we need more housing in Croydon Borough but it is unacceptable to squeeze families into developments that are just not suitable in terms of density – especially when there are plenty of brownfield sites which are sitting undeveloped in Croydon, crying out for regeneration. Placing hundreds of families on a roundabout in the middle of a busy gyratory system is just not fair on any of them.

Parking is already at a premium in Purley and with just 37 parking spaces for the 220 flats, this will inevitably put a huge burden on local street parking which is already stressed.

Residents should be given a real choice about how they travel (NPPF 2012 para 29) but this scheme would deny that and seriously adversely affect the current parking conditions.

My final point is around flooding in this high flood risk area. We all know that the centre of Purley floods on a fairly regular basis – the Bourne rises in the Caterham/Kenley section of the valley every 7 years or so and even a particularly heavy downfall can bring Purley Cross to a complete standstill as the roads flood.
So it is surprising that the scheme does not have more substantial flood mitigation measures in place.

As I have said, I know Purley Baptist Church has worked so hard for many years on trying to bring a scheme which will enhance the local area and support local residents.

But with regret I think this skyscraper proposal would fundamentally and detrimentally change the nature of Purley. The goal posts have significantly moved during the scheme’s development and what we have now ended up with is just too tall.

Mr Nicholson, in the circumstances, I hope that you will reject it.”

 
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Sanderstead Ward Panel Meeting
18/10/2018 21:19:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I attended the Sanderstead Ward Panel Meeting at Riddlesdown Collegiate.  Ward promises were discussed and whilst maintaining a focus on residential and non-residential burglaries across the ward along with motor vehicle crime, including theft it was decided to focus on both our young peple in terms of developing youth engagement along with raising awareness about scams and frauds with our elderly and vulnerable residents.  Residents can contact our SNT on 0208 721 2470 or email: ZD-SNTSanderstead@met.police.uk.

 


 

Sanderstead Library - Prize Winners!
17/10/2018 18:06:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Cllr Lynne Hale and I presented the prizes for the Summer Reading Challenge at Sanderstead Library on Friday, 12 October.  Pictured here are prize winners.  The Library has a great children's section and is much used by those attending pre-school. It is a good stepping stone for our young people learning to read who eventually will have a more formal education at school.

 


 

Latest 'local plan' consultation
13/10/2018 21:33:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Monday is the deadline for submitting comments on the council's plans for the 'evolution of the suburbs'. This document sets out in detail how the current council administration intend to intensify the suburbs like Sanderstead and make it even easier to demolish family housing and replace it with blocks of flats. 

Don't get me wrong, I have no objection to the construction of flats ot allow younger residents t oget on to the housing ladder or rent somewhere reasonably affordble. But it is where and how you do it that matters.

Here is my submission:

Please accept this email as my submission on the consultation for the SPD2 document. I write in my capacity as a Sanderstead ward councillor and as the leader of the opposition.

I will start with general comments on the document and then pick out some clauses which give rise to concern for specific remarks.

This is a well put together document which is easy to understand to the lay person. There are a large number of proposals contained within it that give me great concern, as a councillor representing the suburbs, but I cannot fault the way the document has been put together. It should be used to add clarity and texture to the policies in the local plan , but in my opinion SPD2 is too subjective and raises more questions than it answers.

The local plan makes it clear that intensification is coming to all areas of Croydon, with the leafy suburbs being no exception. My concerns are not the fact of intensification, but the need to balance intensification with keeping the distinct character of our different neighbourhoods and retaining the quality of life which currently makes them pleasant places to live. I am concerned that this issue of ‘character’ is paid little attention in the draft SPD2.

Specific points:

Figures 1.3a, 1.3b and 1.3c detail the evolution of the different types of suburbs, but are very subjective and takes no account of the context or topography of individual streets.

Paragraph 2.2 sets out the overarching principles to provide the right mix of homes in the right location, improve or positively contribute to local character and minimise impact on neighbouring amenity. All of these are laudable aspirations, but how are they balanced against housing need and how will be the balance between them be adjudicated?

Paragraph 2.3 & 2.4 talks about optimising sites by building across boundaries. I have major concerns about this. There is a real danger that this policy will create mega blocks which dominate their neighbourhoods. How will this work with policies 2.11 and 2.15?

Paragraph 2.7 & 2.8  - 2.7 talks encouragingly about recognising that different places have a different character and a different type of built environment. But it is really hard to take from this any guidance about what is and is not acceptable in each place. The Character of the 16 places is shown followed by the three types of approaches to character – sympathetic and faithful, innovative and original, contemporary reinterpretation – but there is no guidance as to what is to be used where. This runs the risk of challenging the character of the places and allows for too loose an interpretation. Is this really a faithful interpretation of policy DM10?

2.11 pages 38 and 39 offer guidance on acceptable levels of visual intrusion which seem confusing, vague and highly subjective. In my view 2.11n and 2.11r are equally unacceptable.

Paragraph 2.17 refers to backland site and references part of policy DM10.4 e. For clarity it should also detail the rest of the policy around use of 50% of rear gardens.

Paragraph 2.30 I agree that it is important for parking areas to be landscaped rather than simply being areas of hardstanding. However I am concerned about 2.30.3 suggesting it is appropriate to have parking in the front and rear.  

Chapter 3 details the four intensification areas in Brighton Road, Forestdale, Kenley & Shirley. In my view the locations and boundaries of these were arbitrary and in may cases illogical. Sadly only the Sanderstead one was entirely deleted, although it is clear that the Inspector also had concerns bout the evidence base to support these zones. However, whatever we may now think, the boundaries in most cases have been set by the Local Plan.

I have always felt that the Forestdale zone in particular is virtually impossible to deliver due to the fragmented nature of the land ownership.

 


 

Friends of Kings' Woods
11/10/2018 19:48:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Kingswood Footpath Improvements

The Friends of King’s Wood approached their local Councillors to ask for funding to improve sections of worn paths at the various entrances into the wood to make them more welcoming for local residents. 

The Ward Councillor through their Community Budget agreed to fund the resurfacing works with a grant of £6,782.

 The Friends commissioned the Downlands Partnership Project to deliver the project over 9 days in August 2018. The Downlands Partnership hired the necessary machinery, and thanks to Graham Woodcock the machines were stored at the King’s Wood cottages for the duration of the project.

120 tonnes of type 1 limestone material was laid and over 1500 metres of paths improved. 66 volunteers assisted over the 9 days, led by 3 experienced members of staff. The project was very popular with volunteers and the large number attending meant they had time to carry out additional works and cleared litter, removed vegetation to widen paths and removed unwanted holly and sycamore.

 

 


 

Council still messing up bin enquiries
05/10/2018 07:32:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Lots of residents have been in touch to say that they repeatedly report problems with the new bins, including many missed collections, but that absolutely nothing changes. I saw a good example of that last week. On 27 July I asked them to review whether the new bins were suitable for properties like Woodview Close, off Cherry Tree Green. 

The head of service wrote back to say he had asked his team to review it. On 26 SEPTEMBER the service wrote to say they were going to do it (the review) - that's two entire months' delay!

Now residents at the other end of the new ward, in Ridge Langley, have asked for a review, on the grounds that their properties are up many steps and there is nowhere to store the bins at ground level. They have tried to get the contact to do this direct, but have had no response to their pleas. I have told the service I am hoping for  rather quicker response this time.....

In the meantime, residents who have used the new online reporting facility for missed collections tell me they report every missed collection but the service neither improves the following week nor do they get a remedial collection. They'd do as well to pin a message to the tail of a passing cat as use the new online system!

And people who try to use the 'phone often find they receive a cheery message about how great the new online service is, then get cut off. 

And we repeatedly hear from residents that the crews are looking inside the new massive containers and seeing just a small amount of recyclables in the bottom, so they are picking up the bin and tipping the contents into their 'master' bins, in the way they used to do with the old crates. That's an industrial accident waiting to happen. When residents report it they get assured that Veolia does not do this - in spite of the evidence of hundreds of pairs of eyes that they do! I think I know which, out of the residents and the crews, are telling porkies.

As councillors we have a little more joy than residents in getting the service deficiencies sorted out, so please do continue to involve us where there are difficulties and we will do our best to get them sorted.

 


 

Care home in Wisborough Road
05/10/2018 07:32:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Last night I went before Planning Committee to support residents in Wisborough Road and Ewhurst Avenue in objecting to an expansion of the home. This used to be in Croham ward but came into Sanderstead in May. 

The history here is that the home received permission to expand by building a bungalow in the grounds earlier this year, but now wants to add an additional bedroom to the extension.

Residents say that the previous application passed un-noticed because the notices informing nearby residents were either never sited or quickly taken down.

This is a case I can see both sides of: it is a care home for vulnerable adults (as opposed to the elderly), many of whom have apparently suffered serious injuries. This leads to more disturbance to neighbours than you might normally expect of a care home, as the clients face challenges and frustrations and this does lead to significant noise and other nuisances. Having said that, it is important that this vulnerable group receive the best standard of care and it is probably better if this is done by specialists.

In terms of planning law, the committee was in a difficult position in that whatever the rights and wrongs of the communication of the substantive application, this one is quite minor and there aren't really planning grounds to refuse it. It is always frustrating for residents when application gets bigger in little increments, in that nobody then considers the impact of the whole. The local planning authority has a duty to consider all applications received on the individual merits of the individual application, so it can't even impose a 'no more applications for a while' condition.

I was pleased that the home's manager offered to accept conditions that would require them to deal with a couple of issues which are currently irritating neighbours, including the location of a controversial terrace, some screening and increasing on-site parking. Sadly the council felt unable to include these as conditions, as they fall outside normally accepted conditions, but I hope that the home will make good on these anyway.

So the long and short of it is that permission was granted, but I have asked the home manager to work with me to try to bring some better harmony to relations with the neighbours and I hope to visit the home soon to start that.

 


 

Sanderstead Pond
04/10/2018 13:45:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Residents will have noticed a new sign at Sanderstead Pond.  Sadly, this has had to be installed to prevent the feeding of the ducks whilst officers try to deal with the rat infestation.  Any excess food is attracting and keeping the rats healthy.  I hope that this is only a temporary measure until the habitation of rats is brought down to normal levels.  In the meantime, please do admire the ducks but don't feed them.

 


 

Bins, Bins, Bins - But no Collections in some places
28/09/2018 08:11:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Despite numerous calls to the council and on line reporting the council have failed to collect the refuse from Beech Avenue for four weeks.  It seems that even though I contacted the department asking that the mess be cleared up nothing has been done.  The place is now rat infested and stinks to high heaven.  I have once again contacted the council and asked that this mess be cleaned up.  There seems to be a complete disconnect between the council and the contractor.  Last week a resident said they had contacted the council every day for a period of fifteen days with the contact centre stating the matter would be resolved.  Sadly, the gentleman who has assisted collections is still waiting.  What has gone wrong noboddy knows!  Some residents in desperation are burning their rubbish at their allotments and I have had to get in touch with the council over the ash cloud that has decended in residential gardens.  Elderly residents from one particular road Sanderstead Court have telephoned me in near tears.  They have no computers and have made the mistake of trying to telephone the council to wait over twenty minutes to be put through to an operator before being cut off and told to go on line.  Residents in another road have been seen chasing the operators down the road begging them to take their waste only to be told they are not on the list.  I myself tried to use the new online system only to be told I didn't exist at my home address - a property I have lived in virtually all my life.  Apparently I too wasn't entitled to any services.  What chance have residents got if the local councillor has to struggle with the system. I made a number of suggestions to Cllr Stuart Collins who is responsible for the implementation of this new scheme but have not received a reply.  I think he has gone into hiding.  At the recent Croydon Consortium Meeting, to which no cabinet or Labour councillors were available to take questions or resolve problems one resident explained their distress at having to take up plants to accommodate the new bins.  Whilst even some of the large detached properties in Sanderstead struggle to accommodate the numerous bins it must be heart breaking for residents who now have black plastic bins as the main feature to the frontage of their houses. 

Of course, sadly I am old enough to remember when the council insisted that bins should be kept at the back of the property to retain the character of the area.  The bin man became a friendly face and someone you always gave a little token of appreciation to at Xmas time for all his hard work and efforts.  Those were the days!  We all want to recycle and be responsible with our waste but sadly for an awful lot of people the system is not working.  I understand that Nadia Sawalha has taken to twitter to try to highlight problems residents are experiencing in her area.  Nobody has been spared, rich or famous, old or frail.  Come on Cllr Stuart Collins - get this sorted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Fly tipping on Copthorne Rise
26/09/2018 17:03:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

There’s a large pile of dumped rubbish sacks on the corner of Copthorne Rise and Mitchley Avenue. I have asked that it be removed asap. 

 


 

Fly Tip Bins with Asbestos
14/09/2018 16:21:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Despite numerous emails to the council it appears they are unable to collect the asbestos that has been dumped at the corner of Briton Hill Road and Arkwright Road on the green.  This is a hazardous material and needs careful removal by a specialist contractor.  Many residents have contacted me worrying about the dust and particles blowing in the wind and young children who may be impacted passing this on the way to school.  Other waste has also been deposited in the bins adding to the problem.  Whilst the council have promised to send someone to deal with this two weeks have now passed since the arrival of this waste and no apparent action has taken place.  I find this quite worrying.  Surely this is urgent.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
03/09/2018
How to handle the bin change over
31/08/2018
Waste Services - Change of System
17/07/2018
Update on wheelie bin rollout
17/07/2018
Road works in Hamsey Green
12/07/2018
Sanderstead Residents Association - Waitrose - 4 August - 10am
12/07/2018
New Bin Delivery
11/07/2018
A New Bus Seat at Sanderstead Recreation Ground Bus Stop
03/07/2018
New Crossing - Addington Road
28/06/2018
Possible New Gym in Hamsey Green
26/06/2018
Refuse Recycling and Green Waste Collections
25/06/2018
Sanderstead Pond - Notice in SRA Noticeboard
21/06/2018
Hamsey Green Pond - Early Morning Meeting
21/06/2018
Heathhurst Road/Mayfield Road Footpath
20/06/2018
Hear Me Speak - Sanderstead Residents' Association
20/06/2018
20mph Road Markings - Purley Downs Road
19/06/2018
Sanderstead Safer Neighbourhood Team - Change of Email
18/06/2018
Grass Cutting and Green Space Management
18/06/2018
Sanderstead Pond - Rat Infestation
16/06/2018
Kings Wood - Friends Signs
15/06/2018
Eid - Sanderstead Recreation Ground
14/06/2018
Sanderstead Care Centre - Previously Wells Place
12/06/2018
Addington Road - Proposed Crossing
12/06/2018
Footpath 145 Between Heathhurst Road and Mayfield Road
24/05/2018
McCarthy & Stone - Limpsfield Road
24/05/2018
Green Waste - Missed Collections
16/05/2018
Sanderstead Memorial Hall - Appeal for Committee Members
16/05/2018
Roadworks at the bottom of Sanderstead Hill - delays possible
11/05/2018
Sanderstead Residents' Association AGM
10/05/2018
10 Clyde Avenue, Sanderstead - Application Withdrawn
10/05/2018
Automatic Number Plate Recognition Visors
 
 
 
 
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