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 The Coulsdon Town Blog
Cllr  Luke  Clancy
Cllr  Mario  Creatura
Cllr  Ian  Parker

My Coulsdon Community Centre objection
23/03/2018 11:30:00......Posted by Mario Creatura


17/06216/FUL – Community Centre on Barrie Close - demolition of existing community centre and erection of 33 residential units comprising 4 one bedroom flats, 12 two bedroom flats and 17 three bedroom houses, together with provision of car parking, landscaping and other associated works).

Two strands to my argument against this plan – the first is that there is no need to demolish a beloved community centre and relocate it in the first place, and the second is that what will be constructed there is deeply unpopular with some 165 of my residents.

There is no compelling case for Brick by Brick to demolish and relocate the Coulsdon Community Centre given its immense popularity with the thousands of residents who use it on a regular basis. It has a 95% usage rate and the car park is full most of the time. It is used by parents taking their children to classes, it’s used by elderly residents with mobility issues who need to park close to the centre, and everyone in between. It is used for our surgeries often accompanied by the regular Zumba class!

Parking is already very heavily congested at the section of Chipstead Valley Road that the Centre currently occupies, including the perpendicular roads of Coniston and Sherwood. One space per property for 33 properties is not enough for these new builds and will only make parking worse for those residents already in the locale - particularly those in Barrie Close.

As the new proposed development is up hill from existing properties residents have contacted me fearing that they will be able to look down directly into bedrooms and bathrooms of existing properties, seriously affecting privacy and security.

The 21st November 2017 Development Presentations for item 5.1 of the Committee Planning Agenda state:

“It is considered that 3 storeys would be an appropriate maximum height for the properties to avoid the development having an overbearing impact on the surrounding 2 storey context. It is important that only the rooftops of the properties are visible through the trees from the surrounding area to be consistent with local character.”

The design of four storeys high is therefore contradictory to the council’s own development presentation. A reduction in the height/size of the development should be considered to mitigate these very real fears. 

It is well known that the sewage system on this part of Chipstead Valley Road has overflown several times in recent years, adding this many properties to the outflow without heavily investing in underground sewage infrastructure is believed it will only make the problem worse. There appears to be no guarantee from the developer that this will be improved should these additional residents move in to the congested area.

There are a large number of other residential developments that are either in construction, have been recently finished or have recently been approved including the hundreds of homes on Cane Hill, the Lion Green Car Park development, new flats at 177 Chipstead Valley Road, new flats at 193/195 Chipstead Valley Road etc. all with insufficient parking provision. Altogether, this will result in around an extra 900 dwellings in Coulsdon. Without any planned changes to the town’s infrastructure – especially with regard to trains, roads and schools – this is a clear case of over-development of Coulsdon more broadly.

The loss of the existing Coulsdon Community Centre building would be a sad event for the history of Coulsdon. The building dates to 1935 and has much architectural and historic interest to the local community. It is well-used, with 95% occupancy rate. Last year Cllr Timothy Godfrey, Labour Cabinet Member for culture, praised the community services offered by the Coulsdon Community Centre and has cited it repeatedly as an example of best practice in the borough. Demolishing this Centre seems entirely contradictory, hypocritical and destructive to our community.

Again, I ask the committee to listen to the residents of my ward. Listen to the two MPs and the residents’ association who have deep concerns. They are not being unreasonable, they have legitimate concerns as I have outlined and 165 have taken the time to write to object and ask you to think again.

Objectors include Chris Philp and Crispin Blunt MP, Hooley Residents’ Association. The Coulsdon Community Centre is against/neutral.

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A23 Brighton Road Improvements - Coulsdon Concerns
05/03/2019 13:26:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I attended a meeting of Residents’ Association (ECRA, CWRA and Cane Hill) representatives with a representative of Highways England and Ian Plowright from the Council’s Highways Department.


Our strong concerns were expressed about the proposed A23 Brighton Road improvements from the M23 through Hooley to Coulsdon.  The proposed works cross Surrey/Croydon and TfL boundaries and our concerns surround the potential knock on effect of road widening and lane re-configuration on Coulsdon. 


As things stand at present, it’s difficult to rat run at the point at which the congestion starts but, with the ‘improvements’, the potential for rat running is significant and would impact negatively on Woodplace Lane, Downs, Fairdene and Reddown Roads.


It would appear that insufficient modelling had taken place to evidence the likelihood of this so the Highways England representative went away with a remit to carry out further studies. 


Watch this space!



Public Transport Liaison panel
03/03/2019 13:27:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

As a member of the Public Transport Liaison Panel I saw a presentation by the Managing Director of First Tram Operations.  Did you know Croydon's Tram Network….

  • Has 35 trams and 39 tram stops
  • Serves 80,000 customers daily
  • Is responsible for 29.1m customer journeys per annum (down 1.2% year on year)
  • Under performance by the tram operators was significantly impacted by the Shurgard/Ampere Way fire when the service was part-suspended for 7 days
  • At 90%, their customer satisfaction rating is the highest within London Transport
  • A number of new procedures have been introduced to improve safety (staff rosters, fatigue management procedures, enhanced training)

It was particularly fascinating to hear about the ‘Guardian Device’ – a fatigue and distraction detection solution which uses sensors and image processing technology to monitor the micro movements of a driver’s eyes, facial expressions and head to identify fatigue.

The Panel was grateful to the MD of the tram operators  for her presentation and for answering questions.






Bus Consultation - 404 and 434
08/02/2019 14:23:00.......Posted by Ian Parker


The three Councillors covering Coulsdon Town ward have commented on the bus proposals affecting our residents. 

There are a number of positives about the proposals which we welcome, particularly the introduction of a new service to Cane Hill.  The proposed increase in bus frequency and links to Coulsdon are also welcome as is integration with trains at Coulsdon South and Town stations. 

As much as the new service to the ever-growing Cane Hill estate is appreciated, this should not be at the expense of passengers from the Rickman Hill area who will be penalised with the proposed service alterations.  This negative impact will affect particularly school children attending Woodcote High School and passengers to Purley from the Rickman Hill area.  Purley provides health and leisure facilities not available in Coulsdon. 

These views have been submitted as part of the consulation process.  

The closing date for submissions to the consultation is 11th February.  You can view the consultation document here

Please do e-mail your thoughts to:




Development at 76 Reddown Road
31/01/2019 23:11:00.......Posted by Luke Clancy


Tonight at Planning Committee I supported 110 objectors in opposing a development at 76 Reddown Road in Coulsdon Town Ward.

Here is what I said:

While local residents and councillors understand the need to increase housing across the borough we feel this is too much in this location. The massing of this large 4 storey development looms larger over its neighbours. The roofline proposed is about 2 metres higher than the surrounding properties and its footprint is approx. twice the scale of its neighbours. It will introduce a harsh blank solid brick wall to the outlook of the residents of number 78. The proposal would increase the mass and bulk compare to the existing building just a little too much in my view.

The design is also out of keeping - particularly the fenestration and balconies. The exterior building materials and appearance are not consistent with neighbouring dwellings in the location, the grey slate roof being one example. And contrary to assertions in the report, residents claim their road does have a character of its own - white render, reddish-brown brick, wood panels – and that is not reflected in the design of this proposal.

This proposal is also marked out by a lot of unattractive tarmacked parking at the front in contrast to the generally verdant nature of Reddown Road. It is important to note that even that parking provision still doesn’t guarantee all residents their own car parking space on site. So there will be parking in the street. It is a likely misassumption that six parking bays will suffice for 9 flats with 19 bedrooms.

The lack of parking is a particular concern in a road that has a PTAL rating of 1b and residents dispute that parking is not already more stressed than the report assumes. The timing of the parking surveys seems to have been undertaken at times designed to suit the developer’s case. Most were timed to coincide with the period 11am to noon when a lot of residents have driven off to work and any illegal parking is actively enforced against by a warden in accordance with restrictions in the road.

The survey results were also ignored when it was convenient for the developer’s case. On Thursday 8 November at 4am, for example, the parking survey shows stress was shown to be actually 100%.

I think not restricting future residents applying for parking permits could lead to aggravation in the road and I would advise the committee to consider such a restriction on future residents in the interests of maintaining the status quo in the competition for parking spaces.

A better solution would be for the onsite parking provision to be mirror the number of occupants, and perhaps this could be reduced by reducing the number of flats in the building to six or seven, which is what I think had been proposed in a previous application.

The refuse arrangements are also questionable.  Does the proposal of just 3 large bins adequately provide for the needs of the proposed development, when all the existing housing along the road have 3 and in many cases 4 bins already along with food waste caddy?

All in, this indicates this is an overdevelopment and that too much is being crammed onto this site.

Unfortunately the proposal was approved by a 5-4 vote with one member abstaining.



Memorial Service
28/01/2019 10:13:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I was pleased to attend a Memorial Service at Croydon Minster in remembrance of those Croydon Scouts who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War and since. 

Movingly, 75 youth representatives from Croydon Scouting each laid a single wooden poppy cross with the name of one of the 75 former Scout members who gave their lives in the Great War. 

A moving service indeed and many congratulations to the organisers.




Transport for London proposing changes to bus routes 404 and 434
17/01/2019 11:22:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Following the development of Cane Hill, TfL have worked with Croydon Council to provide a bus service to the area, parts of which are currently more than five minutes walk from a bus route. TfL have also said they want to improve services in both the western and eastern sides of Old Coulsdon.

Under the changes, route 404 would serve the Tollers Lane estate and Shirley Avenue in Old Coulsdon. It would also be extended along the current route of the 434 between Coulsdon and the Rickman Hill estate.  TfL propose to introduce a Sunday service and to increase the frequency to every 30 minutes on all days.

Route 434 would be extended from Coulsdon to serve Cane Hill. It would no longer serve Rickman Hill. The frequency would be increased to every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday and remain every 30 minutes on Sundays.

Details of the proposals can be found online at:
Please do let TfL know what you think about their proposals using any of the methods shown in the link. The deadline for comments is Monday 11 February 2019.



Councillors' Street Stalls
17/01/2019 11:15:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Our popular street stalls outside Aldi in Coulsdon continue.  Residents come and discuss issues of local concern with us.  The dates and times for the first half of the year are:

16th February     2pm
16th March         2pm
13th April            11am
25th May             11am and
15th June            11am

As always, if residents prefer to meet by appointment, perhaps more confidentially, this can be arranged.




Illegal discharge on Cane Hill
02/01/2019 07:32:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


A resident recently got in touch having spotted an illegal discharge into a cattle grid at the bottom of Cane Hill Drive. They also reported that there is a constant breach of the 8:00 noise restriction as the sweeper is in full operation from 7:00am.

I've been working with the Council to get to the bottom of both these complaints.

The site manager has been contacted and as the road sweeper is vital to mitigate dust on site the Council has recommended that they clean the areas where there is no residential impact earliest in the morning before moving onto other areas later.

The manager has also been asked to investigate the ‘illegal discharge’ and I hope that now we're out of the Christmas period that we'll have a swift resolution to the issues.

If you spot anything like this where you live, then please do contact the Council's construction enforcement team.



Damaged parking pole
27/12/2018 13:26:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


I've reported to the Council a damaged parking pole about 50 tards east of the Woodplace Lane Rail Bridge. It looked like it was hit by a vehicle.

The highways inspector has said they'll investigate and get it sorted as soon as possible.

If you see anything like this, then please use the Council app or contact information to report it.



Speed limit sign knocked down
24/12/2018 11:42:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


A speed limit sign has been knocked down at the Croydon/Surrey border on Woodplace Lane, opposite the stables. 

I've reported this to the Council who tell me they'll investigate and get it sorted as soon as possible.

If you see anything like this, then please use the Council app or contact information to report it.



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 Older Blog Posts
Lights on Coulsdon Town footbridge repaired
Would Labour apologise to the vulnerable residents it's been letting down?
Superb scouting send-off for Steve
Coulsdon Town paint markings
Remembrance Sunday
Pay-to-use cash machines
The mystery of the missing fireworks banner...
Air pollution concern at Coulsdon South station
Evolving the suburbs
Response to local planning consultation SPD2
Labour threatens U-turn on free bulky waste collection
Petition on wheelie bins achieves partial win
Bid for funds from our Community Ward Budget
Shredded litter
Coptic Church - Coulsdon
Residents' Associations - Stewards Night
Details to re-register for a doctor following the closure of Dr Khan's surgery
New waste regime - impact on those with mobility issues?
Impact of potential House of Fraser closure
Bourne Society Blue Plaque
Purley & Coulsdon Clubs for the Elderly (PACE)
Labour push through unwanted traffic scheme at Woodcote High
Pedestrianised Zone - Dunsfold Rise, Meadow Rise and Fairfield Way
Dust on Cane Hill
Traveling Council
Progress with Aldi
Travellers on Lion Green Road
Getting ECRA access to Coulsdon South station
East Coulsdon Residents' Association AGM
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