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 The Fairfield Blog
 
Elizabeth  Agyepong
Ben  Joce
Philip  Smith
 

Fairfield and College Green
25/02/2017 10:30:00......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

Went to the Planning Committee meeting where the plan for College Green and Fairfield Halls was recommended for approval.  

I question the wisdom of putting the Fairfield application into the same planning meeting as a number of other local developments.  Far more time was needed to consider an application this big.  There was an 86-page report prepared about this application and it was hard to give proper consideration to the many aspects of the development given the lack of time.  Anyone looking for more details on the Council's website would have found around 300 pdf documents (most labelled with a code, rather than description) so it was very difficult to work out what was going on.  I wonder whether all this was a deliberate ploy to 'bury' the details so that close scrutiny was made as difficult as possible. 

Whilst I am supportive of the redevelopment of the area and Fairfield Halls I have major concerns about the direction the development is taking.  The housing is very dense and corners seem to have been cut in order to maximise revenue.  Here is a copy of my speech.

I am speaking as a ward councillor for Fairfield Ward and also the Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture Leisure and Sport.

I would like to start by saying that I am pleased we finally have a planning application for the first phase of the Fairfield redevelopment even though it is seven months after the closure of Fairfield Halls.   I have great concerns about the redevelopment of Fairfield Halls given that this application his being submitted so late in the day.  I hope it is still able to open in 2018 so that residents can once again enjoy top quality events in this world class venue.  I also hope that the acoustics of the Concert Hall are not adversely affected and that community groups who want to use Fairfield Halls won't be priced out by a commercial operator who only wants to make a profit.

I'll now move on to the detail of the application.

I accept that there is a need to build homes in Croydon, particularly in this area which  is so close to good transport links, however I think a high price is being paid to squeeze in so many homes.  By which I mean that, in places this development is so dense it will materially affect the daily lives of residents.  

In a throwaway comment at 3.3 the report says that despite daylight and sunlight conditions being below the recommended standards the overall level of amenity for future occupiers would be acceptable. 

But is it acceptable that 36% of habitable rooms will have less than the recommended amount of daylight?

Is it acceptable that instead of half the amenity area for phase 1A receiving 2 hours of sunlight on the benchmark day of 21st March, only 14% will get two hours sunlight?

Is it acceptable that the courtyards for blocks 4 and 5 will receive no sunlight on 21st March and in block 6, only 36% of the area will get the minimum of 2 hours?  Below the recommended 50%?  It is hard to imagine any plants surviving in these courtyards, so they could potentially become concrete no-go areas.

I worry that the flats on lower levels and the communal areas will be dark and gloomy which is not a great outlook for residents.  Their experience of living in these flats will be adversely affected by the poor design and density of development.

Other things that concern me about this development are:

·        Firstly:  The lack of family housing.  6% rather than the recommended 20%.  This will really affect the feel of the place, with fewer children.  It could become a dormitory for city workers, rather than a vibrant community.

·        Secondly: Separation distance between blocks B and D are only 15-16 metres.  Once again, a dark and gloomy prospect for residents

·        Third:  The lack of onsite play space for children.  Ignoring recommended levels

·        Fourth:  The excessive use of concrete in the design.  Croydon has a reputation for being a concrete jungle because of the prevalence of 60s brutalist architecture and the use of bare concrete.  We should be making every effort to steer clear of this approach, especially as the applicant is actually the council.  The proposed design will date and look tatty very quickly.

·        Fifth:  The loss of 37 of the 50 trees on the site.  I hope these are replaced

·        Sixth:  A two thirds reduction in the number of parking spaces.  This will have far reaching implications for people who used to use the car park and also for residents.

·        Seventh: The fact that the council is ignoring GLA advice about the bridge link.

·        Eighth: The lack of comment from the Police’s ‘designing out crime’ officer

Finally, I would like to mention the local parks.  The report refers to the fact that residents can use local parks at Park Hill and Queen's Gardens.  There has been no investment in Park Hill Park despite money being set aside for doing this.  Will there be some s106 / CIL money from this development to upgrade the facilities at Park Hill Park and Queen's Gardens to cope with this increased usage? 

Notwithstanding the comments, I am happy to see that something is finally happening to move this development forward.  I support the overall idea of this application, but I have some major misgivings about the impact of this dense development on future residents.

Note: the photo shows the new college building (two blocks connected by a bridge) attached to the back of Fairfield Halls, which is to the right of the picture.  On the left is one of the residential blocks.

 

 
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 Other Blog Posts
 

Brick by Brick Development on Edridge and Coombe Road
17/02/2018 15:37:00.......Posted by Ben Joce

Today was an absolutely beautiful day down in Croydon town centre! We spent the momrning in the area around Edridge road. Meeting residents and gathering feedback on local issues. A key theme that emerged from the day was the level of anger directed towards the proposed development by the Labour Councils development company Brick by Brick at the corner of Edridge and Coombe Road. The development would be buildt on a very small bit of green space that the residents cherish and would put additonal pressure on parking and services in the immediate area. We have gathered the feedback and will be presenting the case on behalf of the residents to the councils planning committee, lets hope they listen...

 


 

Meeting Residents in the South of Fairfield
11/02/2018 21:02:00.......Posted by Ben Joce

Tonight we braved the freezing temperatures to spend the evening meeting residents in the very southern tip of the ward! Re-occuring theme tonight was the state of the streets and concerns from parents on road safety around Howard Road Primary School. Both issues we will be taking forward with council officers to work towards a resolution. 

 


 

Parks Consultation
08/02/2018 18:12:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Finally received the final report following the latest consultation about parks.  There are some beautifully presented pdfs with details of ideas for the parks.  Bit disappointed that the reports tell us largely what we knew already.  It is a shame we have had to wait years to get us to the point where we were ages ago.  It has cost £100k and the parks are still in need of investment, but there is no money to invest.  Hope the masterplans don't just gather dust on a shelf somewhere.  

 


 

Surgery in Matthews Yard
06/02/2018 18:11:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Councillors Surgery in Matthew's Yard this evening.  No visitors, but I enjoyed a coffee in this relaxing venue!

 


 

Cityscape Cladding update
02/02/2018 14:48:00.......Posted by Philip Smith

 
 

Following inspection of the current cladding after the dreadful fire at Grenfell, it appears that the cladding used on the Citiscape building is the same as that used on Grenfell Tower and that it must therefore be replaced.

With the issue going to a Property Tribunal next month we are pushing Croydon Council to do its bit to help support the residents. We have written to the Council Chief Executive to raise this really important point and will continue to campaign for residents to get help with any legal assistance. I myself live within Cityscape and will be updating our blog readers on the progress of the action we are taking to support residents. 

 


 

Public Meeting
01/02/2018 18:10:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

A public meeting had been arranged in St Michael's Church Hall on Poplar Walk.  I sat on the panel of councillors who took questions about issues of interest to the audience.  There was particular interest in planning and street cleaning.

 


 

Two car parks closed for works
16/01/2018 18:25:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Two car parks will be temporarily closed to allow some works to take place:

Lloyd Park car park - will be closing on Wednesday 17th of January 2018 for 1 day. There are planned works to re-line markings (weather permitting). The new parking charges/times for the car park will be effective from Monday 22 January 2018.

Spice's Yard car park, South End will be closed on Monday 29th & Tuesday 30th January 2018 for 2 days. There are planned works to re- line the whole car park and to carry out some tree works.

 

 


 

Wandle Road
13/01/2018 19:13:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Spent the morning talking to residents in the area around Wandle Road.  They are concerned about the lack of parking, anti social behaviour and litter.

 


 

Sports facilities
11/01/2018 19:11:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Spent the evening discussing plans to improve Croydon's sports facilities.  Local sports clubs are keen to develop the facilities that are available for current and future residents.

 


 

Surrey Street
06/01/2018 19:05:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Spent the morning meeting residents in the area around Surrey Street.  They are very concerned about the proposal to put a nightclub in the basement of the Q Car Park which is just off Surrey Street.  The market stall holders are also concerned as they store their goods, vans and stalls in the basement.  

 


 

See older blog posts

 

 
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 Older Blog Posts
12/12/2017
John Ruskin College
10/12/2017
Civic Carol Service
06/12/2017
Children's Services Briefing
04/12/2017
Council Meeting
02/12/2017
Lloyd Park litter
01/12/2017
New tower block in Wandle Road
30/11/2017
Meeting the Police
26/11/2017
Old Town
23/11/2017
Meeting residents in Addiscombe
20/11/2017
Cabinet Meeting
18/11/2017
Norbury flytips
15/11/2017
Meeting with Culture Director
14/11/2017
Westfield planning application
12/11/2017
Remembrance Sunday
11/11/2017
Palmer House
11/11/2017
Lambert's Place
09/11/2017
Whitgift Estate Residents' Association AGM
07/11/2017
Councillor surgery
07/11/2017
College governor
01/11/2017
St Michael's Church
30/10/2017
Council Meeting
29/10/2017
Shop Front
29/10/2017
Saffron Central
21/10/2017
Meeting residents
19/10/2017
Meeting residents
16/10/2017
Children's Services Council Meeting
14/10/2017
Dance and Plants
14/10/2017
Meeting residents
03/10/2017
Seats
30/09/2017
South Croydon
 
 
 
 
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