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 The Purley & Woodcote Blog
Cllr  Simon  Brew
Cllr  Oni  Oviri
Cllr  Badsha  Quadir

Council meeting on 17/10: My speech on Local Plan's impact on Purley
17/10/2016 23:41:00......Posted by Simon Brew

Unfortunately, I just ran out of time for the whole of my speech but this is what I intended to say:

Thank you Mr Mayor for giving me the opportunity to speak this evening. Mr Nair & my colleague Cllr Tim Pollard have already dealt comprehensively with their objections to the Local Plan, but mainly on topics and in areas other than Purley. I now wish to speak on the Local Plan’s impact on Purley, a district centre which I am proud to represent, and in which I have lived for the last 35 years.

Site 324, adjacent to the Purley Oaks Recycling Centre is currently a Highways depot in the South of the Borough, and therefore conveniently close to the many steep hills which need regular gritting in winter. Astonishingly, the current iteration of the Local Plan proposes to turn this site into a Gypsy & Traveller site.

Local Plan policies state among other things that sites should not be located in areas of high flood risk, yet, the Council’s own independent report in 2014 described the situation as (and I quote) ‘dangerous, with overtopping that cut off the entrance for many days’. For this reason alone, it’s surely inconceivable that this site should suddenly now become acceptable as a Gypsy & Traveller Site. Quite apart from anything else, what about the impact on the unfortunate potential residents and their children if this scheme were allowed to go ahead? They would find themselves living next door to a huge contaminated pond which acts as a water storage area when the river Bourne floods, as it did in February 2014, and roughly every 7 years before that. Furthermore, other sites have been excluded on the grounds of noise, yet this site is virtually underneath the noisy Brighton main railway line which operates 24/7 (when they’re not striking).

That’s not all: The Purley Oaks Depot is sited behind a major recycling centre that badly needs expansion, as illustrated by the huge traffic queues that built up earlier this year, but if implemented, this proposal would preclude that expansion.

Finally, the Council’s report on this site in October 2015 scored it only 15th out of 35 sites, and it was not included as a possible traveller site, so there has been no public consultation until now; this has put local residents and businesses at a significant disadvantage. It’s impossible to believe that all the other 14 sites above it have suddenly become so unsuitable that this one is now the #1 option.

As an alternative, the plan should investigate underused industrial sites similar to the existing site at Lathams Way; there are other vacant plots around Purley Way near PC World, and around Croydon Airport.


I have two other Purley-related objections to the Local Plan:

a)    Purley – new tower block

Policy DM11.1 states that development should ‘enhance and sensitively respond to the predominant built form’ which in Purley has a range of building heights from 3-8 storeys. By contrast, policy DM44.1B states that there is a ‘potential for a new landmark of up to a maximum of 16 storeys’, and the proposed Mosaic Place is actually 17 storeys high. These two policies are surely incompatible.

b)    Purley leisure centre

The addition of a swimming pool at Purley Leisure Centre, site 30, is to be welcomed. However, the language does not specify a ‘like for like’ replacement with a 25m pool with spectator seating, and so could result in the replacement pool being inadequate for local demand. The proposal should be amended to allow for like-for-like replacement or enhancement of the existing facilities.

Thank you for giving me the time to express my doubts on those aspects of the local Plan which relate specifically to Purley.

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 Other Blog Posts

26/07/2018 10:38:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

The Purley & Coulsdon Centre for the Elderly charity held its AGM yesterday at their premises in Lansdowne Road Purley. It has about 30-40 members who enjoy companionship through participating in its regular actvities, which include an annual trip to the seaside. The chair of trustees Jim Spinks retired at the AGM, and we welcomed the vice-Chair Patricia Painintg into this role. 

The centre relies heavily on funding from the Council, and there was general relief that the funding level has been maintained, at least for the time being. 



Croydon Community Consortium - AGM
25/07/2018 10:26:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Along with my colleagues Cllr Badsha Quadir & Margaret Bird, I attended the recent CCC AGM in Central Croydon which, on a sweltering evening, did well to arract about 20 residents. Because of careful housekeeping, the committee has managed to make the Council grant last much longer than was expected. We heard interesting reports about the year's past activities which have included talks on the new bins, the Peace Festival, knife crime and many other local events. There were also suggestions for some future topics, and the idea of holding meetings in different venues across the borough



Planning Committee last night
20/07/2018 10:15:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Last night I spoke against the demolition of yet another large detached house at 53 Selcroft Road Purley, and its replacement by a block of 9 flats with totally inadequate parking arrangements. This application is particularly inappropriate because it's right next door to another detached house which has also to be demolished and replaced by a block of 7 flats. In aggregate therefore, in a 50m stretch of a peaceful Purley road, 2 houses will be replaced by 16 flats with probably 15-20 cars. I support residents in strongly believing that the local infrastructure simply cannot cope with this level of intensification. My fears were brushed aside by the Labour-dominated planning committee which voted this proposal through 6-4, just as they did its immediate neighbour. 



Last Council meeting before the recess: The bins debate
19/07/2018 10:01:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

All full council meeting and Planning committee meetings are web-cast, and can also be viewed after the event at this website: .

At the very end of a very long Council meeting (1830-2200!) I spoke for the Conservative motion which supported the idea of increased recycling, but regretted the ham-fisted way in which the new bins regime would be imposed across the whole borough. No account has been taken of the fact that Purley has some extremely steep hills! In addition, many houses are 10-20 steps up or down from the street, and it's impossible for elderly, or indeed younger residents to drag a huge paper recycling bin up 20 steps when they're full, and it's pretty difficult even when they're empty.. There are rumours that special arrangements will be made for such streets, but there's no confirmation as yet. 



A busy morning at the Carer Support Centre in George Street
06/07/2018 09:49:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

I spent an enjoyable morning yesterday at the Carer Centre where I volunteer as an IT buddy, helping two carers who both had problems with their use of moblle phones for email. Over time, I've noticed that the demand for basic support for PCs, email, web-searching etc has declined whereas the ever-increasing complexity of mobile phones generates a larger number of queries. 

Free support from the Carer Centre is open to anyone who has responsibility for caring for someone else, whether they are younger or older than themselves; I've met many good friends there and strongly recommend their services. 



Another enjoyable dummy interview session at Purley Baptist Church
02/07/2018 17:54:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Christians Against Povery is a charity which runs many worthwhile projects in the local community. One of these is the Purley Job Club which is based at the Purley Baptist Church; they run a one day per week course which teaches or refreshes basic employment and interviewing skills for those who for whatever reason have been out of the job market for some time, and so need to rebuild their confidence. I really enjoy volunteering as an external interviewer at the end of the course, and I've just completed another two interview sessions today. It's particularly rewarding when I hear in a later class that some of my interviewees have landed solid jobs as a result of going on the course. Pleae get in touch if you know anyone who might benefit from attending such a class. 



Purley Food and Drink Festival - another scorcher!
01/07/2018 11:00:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


On 30 June, Purley BID organised another very sucessful Food and Drinks Festival in the section of the High Street outside Sainsburys. About 25 local business were featured, offering delights such as bicyle-powered smoothies, lots of varieties of hot food including free pizza slices, pulled pork, hamburgers, and delicious cakes and other nibbles. We were also entertained on stage by a series of excellent local artistes.

Local councillors helped Purley Rotary provide some stewards for the event; it also featured a £100 car which had been driven all round the UK on a sponsored drive to raise funds to eradicate the scourge of Polio from the world. This is a particularly worthwhile project because the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation currently TRIPLES all donations received, and it was a pleasure to participate, especially in the scorching weather. . 



Purley Classic Car Show - what a scorcher!
25/06/2018 18:20:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

The Whitgift & Purley branches of Rotary International regularly sponsor the Purley Classic Car Show, and we were treated to a show of some magnificent private and commercial vehicles last weekend, particularly a splendid fire engine, and a loveley yellow car which could have come straight from the film Genevieve. 

It was a pleasure to help Purley Rotary with the stewarding of this event in such glorious sunshine.



Supporting Purley Baptist Church Easter party
02/04/2018 16:39:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


With my colleague Cllr Badsha Quadir & a member of Purley BID, I joined Purley Rotary in supporting the Church's annual Easter Saturday party which was held in Purley High Street. It was bitterly cold and wet, but that didn't dampen the spirits of those who participated!



Purley BID conference at Christ Church
25/03/2018 16:25:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

The Purley BID has been going strong for two or three years now, and the CEO Simon Cripps recently invited me to their conference. We heard several presentations about how much progress has been achieved towards the goal of making Purley a place of destination rather than of transit. The businesses are achieving so much more through cooperation on issues of common concern, such as the business rates increases which have hit Purley particularly hard, the improved signage, security & parking, and the spectacular new posters surrounding the Purley Baptist Church Island Site. All best wishes for the next two years, until the businesses vote again on whether to continue their support for the BID. 



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 Older Blog Posts
Croydon "Local Plan" approved at Council last night
Purley needs YOU for an interesting Community project
Purley BID Board meeting
Visit to Purley Mosque
Delighted to attend Purley Mosque Open day
Purley & Woodcote RA committee meeting
NWOW in Planning
Holocaust Memorial Day 26 January
Croydon Community Consortium meeting
Croydon Conference on causes/solutions for homelessness
Purley Skyscraper "Mosaic Place " enquiry
Montpelier Rd / Kingsdown Ave development approved..over-development, and destruction of open land :-(
Development threat to Sanderstead Road car park
The Lord Roberts Post Office will re-open on 23 March :-)
Purley is identified as a "Dementia-friendly" town
WARNING: Council tax refund scam
How to object to the 20MPH zone deadline 15 February 2017
20MPH speed limit across the South of the Borough?
Strong local opposition to plan for 34 dwellings at jct: Montpelier Rd/Kingsdown Avenue
Purley BID seeks an ambassador - interested?
Croydon's Digital Inclusion project and the Carer Support Centre
Busy Purley surgery this morning
Why so many tree stumps on Purley's streets?
34 new dwelling planned at junction Montpelier Rd / Kingsdown Avenue
Council meeting on 17/10: My speech on Local Plan's impact on Purley
"No thanks for Trick or Treat" poster
Fed Up with Trick or Treating at your front door?
Local Plan Consultation period is now open. Concern re proposed Gypsy & Traveller site at Purley Oaks.
Closed Fairfield Halls still owes 4500 to Croydon Dance Group
Purley Baptist Church development Mayor of London requires changes.
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