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.
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.
These Dementia Friendly screenings aim to make cinema more accessible by providing a fun and inclusive experience to enable people living with dementia, their families and carers to attend the cinema in a safe and welcoming environment. The lights are left on low, there are no adverts or trailers and the audience is allowed to move around or even sing along to any musical numbers if they’d like to. There is an interval for people to take a break and tea and coffee will be served before the film starts.
Food Waste Bins - Montana Close 11/02/2019 17:40:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
The food waste bins at Montana Close have not been collected since 18 December. They are so full and smelly that residents have reported this as an environmental issue to the council. Repeated requests by residents and the management company are to no avail. I have reported the missed bins on several occasions. What has gone wrong nobody can explain. The Director of service has promised that the bins will be collected tomorrow. Let's wait and see!
Clinic - Rectory Park Sanderstead 30/01/2019 10:35:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
The local councillors received many emails from concerned resident about the possible closure of the clinic at Rectory Park. I have received the following official statement which does give some assurance:
RE: SANDERSTEAD CLINIC
We continually review our estate to make the best use of all of our premises to provide the best, most accessible and most efficient service we can to our patients. There are no agreed plans to close Sanderstead Clinic which is an important part of our estate and sees 4,500 patients a year.
Our ongoing review includes how we utilise some of the empty clinic space in Purley War Memorial Hospital which is 2 miles away from Sanderstead and provides a range of services including minor injuries and minor illnesses. Early conversations have begun to see what additional services, like physiotherapy or speech & language therapy, could move in to Purley to make this a central part of our care for people in the south of the borough but this does not mean changes at Sanderstead would have to happen.
At this stage we are only looking at what is possible. No decisions have been made and there would be no movement of services without a clear explanation to local people.
Christmas Trees 23/01/2019 12:18:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
I was a bit disappointed to see a large pile of Christmas trees uncollected this morning near Sanderstead Pond. I don't know whether these all came from the same source or whether one person dumped their tree there and lots of other people followed suit, but as there's a danger that the council teams who are supposed to be collecting trees will miss these, I have reported them. The council, on its web site, says it will only collect from 'kerbside properties' - i.e. houses they collect kerbside recycling from. This is not really a kerbside site location, so that's another good reason to report them. Hopefully the council will collect them before the service ends on Friday, but rest assured I will keep an eye on it!
What happens when the council misses a green waste collection 23/01/2019 12:10:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
For many months (or even years) I have been enquiring about what happens when a resident's green waste collection is missed, if the council does not remedy it when informed. Residents reglualry say that as they pay extra for this service, they should get a free collection added to the end of their twelve month paid period whenever this happens (at the very least). That's quite right, if you pay for 26 collections, you should get 26 collections (unless the reason you didn't get it is because you didn't put it out on time).
Finally, after asking different people many, many times, I have finally had an answer! You will get a collection added to the end of your contract period, which is now a rolling twelve month term, rather than the fixed April-November period it used to be. Thanks are due to cabinet member Cllr Stuart Collins, for promptly replying positively to this question when I submitted a written question to him last week. It's a pity it has taken so long to get this answer, but credit to Stuart for taking decisive action when it was put to him.
Elmfield Way not being street-swept 23/01/2019 12:06:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
I had a complaint a few days go about Elmfield Way not being properly swept on both sides. This is a road that has two bi-directional carriageways separated by some green space: only the western half was being regularly swept. I brought this to the attention of the council's contract management team who have ensured Veolia is aware that there are two roads rather than one which need sweeping, and they swept the eastern side last week. Unfortunately they didn't do it properly, in that nobody swept the pavement leaves into the gutter before the mechanical sweeper came along, nor swept out around parked cars. As a result I have asked them to go back and do it again.
Croydon Adult Social Services Users Panel 17/01/2019 20:00:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
A great CASSUP meeting today to discuss direct payments and active lines along with the new way of working in localities. Certainly direct payments can mean more independence, choice and control and we all want our residents with disabilities to have improved lives and better outcomes. If you do know of residents wanting help in these areas please do get in touch with me and I can direct you to the right officers. Your local conservative councillors will also be on hand to give you assistance and advice.
403 bus diversion latest - UPDATED 17/01/2019 09:43:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
The ward team and Steve O'Connell, GLA Member, have continued to work with the local residents' associations to put pressure on TfL over the diversion to the 403 bus which means two miles of its route through Sanderstead receives no service.
This is the response from TfL, which I have considerable sympathy with:
As mentioned previously, the disruption is due to emergency gas works with multiple leaks having been identified on Selsdon Road at its junction with Croham Road. Croydon Council have contacted us last week to inform that in order to facilitate the works, they would need to put a directional closure in for all traffic heading southbound. Following on from this, our Network Traffic Controllers were tasked to investigate whether Brighton Road and Upland Road could be used to get the buses back to line of route on Selsdon Road. After detailed checks and risk assessments, we were advised that it would not be possible to use these roads as the buses would not be able to make the turn safely from Upland Road onto Selsdon Road.
We then enquired with the Council whether the diversion could be reversed, ie divert buses coming northbound, as this would have allowed us to use Junction Road which is much wider and could be used by buses. However, the Council advised that due to the location of the leaks this option would not be feasible.
As a result, the only diversion possible was the one that we have already put in place. This is due to low bridges on Selsdon Road, Sanderstead Road and Croham Road.
With regards to the specific suggestion to divert the buses via Croham Manor Road and Normanton Road, we have assessed this option however this is not feasible due to low trees, issues with parking and turning manoeuvres that would be required from Normanton Road onto Hurst Way or Hurstview Road and Croham Manor Road onto Selsdon Road.
With regards to supplying single deck buses, we have spoken to both operators for the 403 and 412 buses and they have confirmed that unfortunately there are no single deck buses available that could be used on the route, particularly on such short notice given the emergency works. Had these been planned works, we would look at potentially providing a shuttle service or single deck buses but these require some lead time to plan, organise, source and finance.
We apologise again for the inconvenience this temporary disruption has caused. We have spoken with Croydon Council again this morning and reiterated the urgency and the problems that these works are causing and have asked them to ensure that the contractors are doing all they can to get these works completed as soon as possible.
Whilst it is very frustrating for passengers, I can see TfL's point of view here. I have been trying to get a response from the Council team that agrees works with the utility companies for over a week now, but they are not responding to my requests.
TfL believe that the works are now scheduled to come to an end on 20 Jan, which is better than we were first led to believe. I've driven past the site many times over the last week but regret to say I have yet to see anyone working on it. But we won't give up, we'll keep trying to get the council to take this more seriously than it seems to be at the moment.
4pm Thur 17 Jan
The officer co-ordinating the closure tells me:
Regarding the diversion, it was put in this way due to the proximity to the roundabout. If it had been a few meters back then we would have had the closure the other way and used Junction Road as the diversion for buses. We will keep this in mind if this situation is to happen again.
The extended duration of these works is due to a high number of leaks being discovered, 2 of which required specialist repair kits that had to be measured for each joint. I have spoken to SGN this morning and they have informed me they will be off the road Sunday night. I will be instructing them to liaise with Tfl buses to have the bus route / stops back to normally immediately following the road reopening.
Burglaries in Riddlesdown 16/01/2019 07:55:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Sadly there were four burglaries on the Sanderstead/Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown border over last weekend. I report it here from a Sanderstead perspective as I suspect criminals do not feel constrained by ward boundaries!
According to the local police team two were on Mitchley Avenue and two were on Ingleboro Drive. Access was gained via the rear of property. Various items were taken including jewellery and laptops. Two males aged 15-20 years old were seen hiding in a front garden bush on Ingleboro Drive when a resident called police, but both had run away prior to police arrival.
The SNT have responded by arranging for extra patrols in the area from a different unit, to boost the number of patrols.
The SNT say that side access and rear of the property are where homes can be vulnerable. Side gates should be secured with a lock/padlock that is not reached by learning your arm over. If the gate is 6ft tall you can consider trellis or intruder excluder spikes on top. Bins should be locked in behind the gate so they can't be used as a ladder. Rear fences should be secure and can also have intruder excluder or trellis on top as this is not easy for suspects to climb/gain access. Sheds should be secured and do not leave garden tools out that can be used to gain entry.
Diversion to 403 bus - UPDATE 15/01/2019 09:46:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Users of the 403 bus are quite rightly fuming about the decision to divert the route through Selsdon due to the collapsed sewer near the Croham Arms in South Croydon. Instead of doing a tight diversion to avoid the congestion there, the route has changed completely such that Selsdon Road, Carlton/Mayfield Road, Sanderstead Road and Sanderstead Hill get no service. To divert around a stretch of road covering 100 yards the diversion is running for over two miles.
That surely can't be the best way to do it? We are pressing the council and TfL to think again and come up with a better plan. The works are scheduled to run until at least 25 Jan, so we think finding a way that enables bus users to carry on using the route should be a priority.
UPDATE 16/01/2019 - TfL now believe the diversion can be removed on Sunday 20th, which is clearly better than we had first been told. GLA Assembly Member Steve O'Connell is pressing them to be more creative in their thinking about future diversions. Whilst we accept that the repair is taking place in a difficult place, with double deckers unable to navigate a number of low bridges in the locality, it must have been possible to come up with a less disruptive diversion, perhaps by temporarily using single decker buses.
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