Latest version of 'local plan' is still damaging for Sanderstead 14/07/2016 08:23:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
The council’s ‘Local Plan’ – a document containing their plans for building in the borough – has been released for approval after consulting with the public.
The Council received over 7,000 objections to previous draft of the Local Plan last year when local Conservative Councillors, Residents’ Associations and residents came together in unprecedented fashion to object to the Labour-controlled Council’s ideas.
As a result the council has backtracked in a number of key areas.
What was proposed in the original plans:
a gypsy and traveller site in Conduit Lane, in the green belt, next to the award winning Coombe Wood Gardens. U-TURN AFTER PRESSURE
a gypsy and traveller site at Coombe Farm, in the green belt, next to Lloyd Park. U-TURN AFTER PRESSURE
a gypsy and traveller site at Pear Tree Farm, in the green belt. U-TURN AFTER PRESSURE
the return to policies that allow building on back gardens and any green space, with developers pressurising homeowners through garden grabbing.GARDENS WILL HAVE GREATER PROTECTION AFTER PRESSURE
intensification of development around shopping parades, such as Limpsfield Road, South Croydon, Forestdale and Shirley. MAJORITY OF SUBURBAN STREETS WITHDRAWN AFTER PRESSURE
Whilst Labour have u-turned on many issues there are still a number of areas of the local plan that will change the nature of our borough forever:
the introduction of a gypsy and traveller site at the Purley Highways Depot, behind the already overcrowded recycling centre.
the loss of greenbelt status for areas such as (Site of Special Scientific Interest) Croham Hurst Woods, Sanderstead Plantation and Purley Downs.
the introduction of a number of schools into the green belt.
the downgrading of the much loved Metropolitan Open Land around Shirley Oaks Village, though the plans for 100s of new homes have been dropped.
the loss of Local Area of Special Character protection for over twenty roads including West Hill, Stanhope Road, Preston Road and Cheston Avenue.
In Sanderstead the three main issues are the downgrading from Green Belt of Sanderstead Plantation and Purley Downs Golf Club and the proposed intensification of the area between Limpsfield Road and Onslow Gardens - which means blocks of flats could replace the current low rise developments of houses and bungalows. We objected to this last time and as a result the proposed area has been made smaller, but it is still too large, taking in Onslow Gardens (end by All Saints’), Blenheim Gardens and Cranleigh Gardens.
Just like last time it is imperative that as many residents as possible respond to the latest consultation which will commence on 5th September 2016 for a six week period.
Whilst Labour bowing to public and political pressure is welcome, there are still major areas of concern for Croydon, namely the introduction of a new gypsy and traveller site in Purley; the downgrading of much loved greenbelt and metropolitan open land and the loss of protected special character status for many roads, with the sneaky move from Local Areas of Special Character to Local Heritage Areas.
Despite bowing to public pressure, Labour still have plans to downgrade our precious greenbelt and remove the special status of many areas in Croydon. This is our last chance to fight these damaging proposals. Now more than ever residents need to let this Council know that their plans are simply not good enough for our town.
How to comment on the plans:
The Local Plan documents, the accompanying Sustainability Appraisals and the Representation Form to respond to the Consultation may be viewed once the consultation starts:
At the borough’s libraries (during normal opening hours)
At Bernard Weatherill House (Access Croydon), Mint Walk, Croydon, 9:00am-4:00pm (Monday to Friday)
Update on Fiveways 14/03/2018 12:36:00.......Posted by Lynne Hale
Residents who use Fiveways in Waddon may be interested in knowing that Transport for London has updated us with regard to the consultation which took place last year about improving traffic flow through this notoriously congested junction and improving provision for pedestrians and cyclists.
TfL has now advised the following:
“Working in partnership with your borough, we consulted on our proposed major changes to the road layout on the A23 and A232 at Fiveways in Waddon between 10 July and 18 September last year. I am writing to let you know that the factual consultation report is now available.
We received 431 direct responses, of which 63 per cent supported or supported most elements of our proposals, 19 per cent opposed all or most elements of our proposals, and 18 per cent did not give an opinion or were not sure. To view the consultation report, please go to www.tfl.gov.uk/fiveways-croydon
Following careful consideration of consultation responses, we have identified some areas in the design which could be amended. We are currently exploring the options available and testing their feasibility. Together with Croydon Council, we will continue to work through the issues raised and will consider how best to respond to them in line with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. We plan to publish a detailed response to issues raised indicating how we propose to move forward with the project in summer 2018.”
Cherry Blossom Tree Dies in Purley Oaks Road 13/03/2018 16:25:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
Very sadly a Cherry Blossom Tree has died in Purley Oaks Road. It must be @100 years old and has added to the street value over many years. Its a terrible shame as it was just about to blossom. I am informed by the new tree officer that it wasn't at all well and the roots were diseased. Fortunately the family had gone out for the day as the very large tree fell across their drive blocking the pavement. Officers at the council were quick to respond and the tree has now been cut up and removed. A temporary tarmac patch will cover the area until a new tree is planted in the winter time.
Application for 48 Mitchley Hill withdrawn 03/03/2018 07:21:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
We have recently learnt that the planning application for 9 x two bedroom flats and parking at 48 Mitchley Hill has been withdrawn by the applicant.
We don't know the reasons for this withdrawal. I had referred the application so that it could only be determined by committee. I imagine there may well be another application for the site at some point.
Interestingly Cllr Paul Scott (Labour chair of the planning Committee) had also referred the application to committee. History suggests that he normally does that only when an application might be earmarked for refusal by officers or the site could be more intensively developed.
Temporary stay of execution on 105-7 Purley Downs Road 02/03/2018 10:57:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
I heard today the the application to demolish two beautiful detached houses on Purley Downs Road and replace them with two blocks of flats has been refused by Croydon Council. Whilst on one level that's good news, it is not as good as it sounds due to the reasons for refusal, which are:
A legal agreement has not been provided to mitigate the impacts of the development in relation to:
- Provision of affordable housing (up to the Policy requirement of 50%)
- Car club - 2 years membership for residents
- Carbon offsetting (financial)
- To address air quality (either financial or Low Emission Strategy).
In other words the council is happy with the principle and the design, but they have not been assured about the proportion of affordable housing they will get in the development!
I am sure we can lok forward, in short order, to another application which is substantively the same but with the technical issues addressed (unless the appplicant chooses to appeal this decision instead).
Noisy drain cover at Waitrose traffic lights fixed 19/02/2018 08:57:00.......Posted by Lynne Hale
If you have been anywhere near the Waitrose traffic lights since Christmas, you may well have heard a particularly noisy drain cover rattling around when vehicles drove it. I reported this and some repairs were attempted with tarmac. However, although it quietened the noise a bit, it was clear that this drain cover was in fact broken and needed replacing. It must then have come as a considerable relief for residents living nearby when Thames Water replaced the defective cover in early February.
Wentworth Way closure 12/02/2018 12:38:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
SGN are continuing with their gas mains replacement scheme this week in Wentworth Way. These works will take place during the half term break. Wentworth Way will be closed at its junction with Limpsfield Road to Ellesmere Drive, with two-way signals at the junction with Ellesmere Drive. Displaced traffic will be directed via Hilton Way.
Spineless council backs developers again 09/02/2018 11:20:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Last night I represented residents in Gainsborough Drive before the planning committee - and as is normal these days the Labour-run committee backed the developers rather than the residents.
The site is a back garden development which was refused by the council when under Conservative control in 2013, but the developer then got permission on appeal. When they came to build it, they built in the wrong place, to the wrong height, the wrong width, on a raised plinth instead of at ground level and with a sloping ramp to get access to the front door. Once it became clear that they were building much more than they had permission for, local residents contacted myself and the council enforcement team, who told the builder to stop and seek permission for what he was actually building. They repeatedly ignored this and the council did not compel them to, so in the end they completed the building at their own risk.
They then applied for permission for what they had built, which was refused by the council. They went to appeal and lost.
In his refusal of the appeal the Inspector particularly commented that removing the ramp “would still leave it sitting on what is in effect a raised plinth, with a door threshold level that would be incompatible with those of No1 to 7. I am not persuaded that the imposition of a planning condition requiring the ramp's removal would provide an acceptable alternative."
So the developer made a few changes, namely moving the front door so as to be able to delete the ramp and create a 1m space in front of the pavement in which they propose some planting to try to disguise the odd proportions of the raised building they are left with.
Council officers decided that was fine, saying ‘The proposed removal of the existing raised ramp, balustrade and the alteration to the location of the front door will help alleviate the inspector’s concerns.’
I don’t think so. With the door moved, and the ramp removed, we have an oddly proportioned building with its windows at the wrong height. The developer has not very successfully tried to disguise that with planting, but the reality is that the plants will struggle to survive in the few inches of space they have between the wall and the pavement. It will look horrible.
In his conclusion the 2016 Inspector said “I have found that the appeal development has an unacceptable appearance. The nature of the harm is such that I consider it could not be addressed by my imposition of reasonable planning conditions. The appeal is therefore dismissed.”
The Inspector was effectively saying that he does not believe there is anything the developer can do to make the building acceptable.
Clause 7.9 of the council report says ‘The inspector and officers are minded that reverting to the 2012 consent would involve the demolition of the house.’
And that’s exactly what should have happened to prevent the council becoming laughing stock amongst developers.
But no, the Labour controlled committee decided by 3 votes to two (breaking along party lines) that although the resulting building is wrong on virtually every level, it can stay, and they granted it permission. The message this sends to developers is quite clear. Build what you like in Croydon, our spineless council won't stop you.
Westfield Avenue – road name plate being replaced 09/02/2018 09:02:00.......Posted by Lynne Hale
A resident recently let me know about the very sad state of the Westfield Avenue road name plate – at the west end. Seemingly he has in the past painted it to keep it in good condition but it is now rotten and collapsing with heavily rusted supports. I am pleased to say that the Council has agreed to replace this sign so we can look forward to seeing a new one there shortly.
Seat at 403 bus stop Sanderstead Recreation Ground 06/02/2018 12:38:00.......Posted by Lynne Hale
Following the loss of the bus shelter, with the toilets, and the opening of the wonderful Priscilla’s café a while ago, a number of residents have been in touch about having a seat installed. Clearly for some people if there is a bit of a wait for a 403 bus it can get a bit wearying standing at this stop. I am pleased to say that a suitable spot has now been identified and he job is now being costed. I will update with further news…
20mph Zones in South of the Borough 16/01/2018 19:20:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
As residents will be well aware signs are appearing in the south of the borough for the introduction of the 20mph zone. We realise that this may well be confusing for some residents with Sanderstead Road and a number of others remaining at 30mph whilst others such as Purley Downs Road are 20mph.
Residents may also find it particularly confusing when faced with a choice. What do you mean you might say? Well in some roads, Farmfields for instance, just by Sanderstead library the signs on the entry to the road show 30 on one side and 20 on the other.
I have asked officers if they can explain the signage which residents have brought to my attention saying they are quite confused.
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