Environmental issues in Sanderstead 16/09/2016 08:47:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
The team has noticed a few environmental problems around Sanderstead which have been reported for fixing:
The roundabout at the top of Sanderstead Hill has a damaged guard rail, presumably caused by a traffic accident
The sign at the roundabout approach on Addington Road has been damaged and was swinging in the wind. After a few false starts we have inally got the highways team to accept that it is dangerous and it has been removed for repair. Hopefullly it will be back soon.
Various verges need a late season cut, as the council contractor has ignored them during the summer. There are lots of problems with the grass maintenance contract alll over the borough, as the weeds seemingly need to be several feet high before the contractor will deal with it.
Fly tipping on Purley Downs Road has been reported for clearance.
A resident has enquired whether the budget for street tree maintenance has been cut (as it was under the previous Labour administration 1994-2006). She had reported a tree needing pruning and been told by the contact centre that there was no budget. Further enquiries suggest that this is not true, there is still a budget available and I have asked that officers inspect that tree for potential pruning. I'm working on the principle that it is important to get it done now as I would like to predict whether the budget will still be around this time next year!
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.
Friends of Kings' Woods 11/10/2018 19:48:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
Kingswood Footpath Improvements
The Friends of King’s Wood approached their local Councillors to ask for funding to improve sections of worn paths at the various entrances into the wood to make them more welcoming for local residents.
The Ward Councillor through their Community Budget agreed to fund the resurfacing works with a grant of £6,782.
The Friends commissioned the Downlands Partnership Project to deliver the project over 9 days in August 2018. The Downlands Partnership hired the necessary machinery, and thanks to Graham Woodcock the machines were stored at the King’s Wood cottages for the duration of the project.
120 tonnes of type 1 limestone material was laid and over 1500 metres of paths improved. 66 volunteers assisted over the 9 days, led by 3 experienced members of staff. The project was very popular with volunteers and the large number attending meant they had time to carry out additional works and cleared litter, removed vegetation to widen paths and removed unwanted holly and sycamore.
Council still messing up bin enquiries 05/10/2018 07:32:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Lots of residents have been in touch to say that they repeatedly report problems with the new bins, including many missed collections, but that absolutely nothing changes. I saw a good example of that last week. On 27 July I asked them to review whether the new bins were suitable for properties like Woodview Close, off Cherry Tree Green.
The head of service wrote back to say he had asked his team to review it. On 26 SEPTEMBER the service wrote to say they were going to do it (the review) - that's two entire months' delay!
Now residents at the other end of the new ward, in Ridge Langley, have asked for a review, on the grounds that their properties are up many steps and there is nowhere to store the bins at ground level. They have tried to get the contact to do this direct, but have had no response to their pleas. I have told the service I am hoping for rather quicker response this time.....
In the meantime, residents who have used the new online reporting facility for missed collections tell me they report every missed collection but the service neither improves the following week nor do they get a remedial collection. They'd do as well to pin a message to the tail of a passing cat as use the new online system!
And people who try to use the 'phone often find they receive a cheery message about how great the new online service is, then get cut off.
And we repeatedly hear from residents that the crews are looking inside the new massive containers and seeing just a small amount of recyclables in the bottom, so they are picking up the bin and tipping the contents into their 'master' bins, in the way they used to do with the old crates. That's an industrial accident waiting to happen. When residents report it they get assured that Veolia does not do this - in spite of the evidence of hundreds of pairs of eyes that they do! I think I know which, out of the residents and the crews, are telling porkies.
As councillors we have a little more joy than residents in getting the service deficiencies sorted out, so please do continue to involve us where there are difficulties and we will do our best to get them sorted.
Care home in Wisborough Road 05/10/2018 07:32:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Last night I went before Planning Committee to support residents in Wisborough Road and Ewhurst Avenue in objecting to an expansion of the home. This used to be in Croham ward but came into Sanderstead in May.
The history here is that the home received permission to expand by building a bungalow in the grounds earlier this year, but now wants to add an additional bedroom to the extension.
Residents say that the previous application passed un-noticed because the notices informing nearby residents were either never sited or quickly taken down.
This is a case I can see both sides of: it is a care home for vulnerable adults (as opposed to the elderly), many of whom have apparently suffered serious injuries. This leads to more disturbance to neighbours than you might normally expect of a care home, as the clients face challenges and frustrations and this does lead to significant noise and other nuisances. Having said that, it is important that this vulnerable group receive the best standard of care and it is probably better if this is done by specialists.
In terms of planning law, the committee was in a difficult position in that whatever the rights and wrongs of the communication of the substantive application, this one is quite minor and there aren't really planning grounds to refuse it. It is always frustrating for residents when application gets bigger in little increments, in that nobody then considers the impact of the whole. The local planning authority has a duty to consider all applications received on the individual merits of the individual application, so it can't even impose a 'no more applications for a while' condition.
I was pleased that the home's manager offered to accept conditions that would require them to deal with a couple of issues which are currently irritating neighbours, including the location of a controversial terrace, some screening and increasing on-site parking. Sadly the council felt unable to include these as conditions, as they fall outside normally accepted conditions, but I hope that the home will make good on these anyway.
So the long and short of it is that permission was granted, but I have asked the home manager to work with me to try to bring some better harmony to relations with the neighbours and I hope to visit the home soon to start that.
Sanderstead Pond 04/10/2018 13:45:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
Residents will have noticed a new sign at Sanderstead Pond. Sadly, this has had to be installed to prevent the feeding of the ducks whilst officers try to deal with the rat infestation. Any excess food is attracting and keeping the rats healthy. I hope that this is only a temporary measure until the habitation of rats is brought down to normal levels. In the meantime, please do admire the ducks but don't feed them.
Bins, Bins, Bins - But no Collections in some places 28/09/2018 08:11:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
Despite numerous calls to the council and on line reporting the council have failed to collect the refuse from Beech Avenue for four weeks. It seems that even though I contacted the department asking that the mess be cleared up nothing has been done. The place is now rat infested and stinks to high heaven. I have once again contacted the council and asked that this mess be cleaned up. There seems to be a complete disconnect between the council and the contractor. Last week a resident said they had contacted the council every day for a period of fifteen days with the contact centre stating the matter would be resolved. Sadly, the gentleman who has assisted collections is still waiting. What has gone wrong noboddy knows! Some residents in desperation are burning their rubbish at their allotments and I have had to get in touch with the council over the ash cloud that has decended in residential gardens. Elderly residents from one particular road Sanderstead Court have telephoned me in near tears. They have no computers and have made the mistake of trying to telephone the council to wait over twenty minutes to be put through to an operator before being cut off and told to go on line. Residents in another road have been seen chasing the operators down the road begging them to take their waste only to be told they are not on the list. I myself tried to use the new online system only to be told I didn't exist at my home address - a property I have lived in virtually all my life. Apparently I too wasn't entitled to any services. What chance have residents got if the local councillor has to struggle with the system. I made a number of suggestions to Cllr Stuart Collins who is responsible for the implementation of this new scheme but have not received a reply. I think he has gone into hiding. At the recent Croydon Consortium Meeting, to which no cabinet or Labour councillors were available to take questions or resolve problems one resident explained their distress at having to take up plants to accommodate the new bins. Whilst even some of the large detached properties in Sanderstead struggle to accommodate the numerous bins it must be heart breaking for residents who now have black plastic bins as the main feature to the frontage of their houses.
Of course, sadly I am old enough to remember when the council insisted that bins should be kept at the back of the property to retain the character of the area. The bin man became a friendly face and someone you always gave a little token of appreciation to at Xmas time for all his hard work and efforts. Those were the days! We all want to recycle and be responsible with our waste but sadly for an awful lot of people the system is not working. I understand that Nadia Sawalha has taken to twitter to try to highlight problems residents are experiencing in her area. Nobody has been spared, rich or famous, old or frail. Come on Cllr Stuart Collins - get this sorted!
Fly tipping on Copthorne Rise 26/09/2018 17:03:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
There’s a large pile of dumped rubbish sacks on the corner of Copthorne Rise and Mitchley Avenue. I have asked that it be removed asap.
Fly Tip Bins with Asbestos 14/09/2018 16:21:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
Despite numerous emails to the council it appears they are unable to collect the asbestos that has been dumped at the corner of Briton Hill Road and Arkwright Road on the green. This is a hazardous material and needs careful removal by a specialist contractor. Many residents have contacted me worrying about the dust and particles blowing in the wind and young children who may be impacted passing this on the way to school. Other waste has also been deposited in the bins adding to the problem. Whilst the council have promised to send someone to deal with this two weeks have now passed since the arrival of this waste and no apparent action has taken place. I find this quite worrying. Surely this is urgent.
Recycling Boxes 05/09/2018 10:36:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
The council have agreed to collect the old recycling boxes from residents who have been given wheelie bins. Once the new collection has started old recycling boxes which have been replaced by larger bins will be taken away.
Residents who want the old recycling box collected should empty them and leave them at the front of their property on Monday 24 September. The lids should be placed inside the empty boxes. The boxes will then be collected over the next two weeks.
All residents should receive their new bins before the collection begins but if this does not happen please continue to use your old bins as you had previously.
75% of homes across the borough now have a new collection day. You can check your collection day online.
If your new bins have not yet arrived you can contact our dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8604 7282 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday
How to handle the bin change over 03/09/2018 09:09:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
The Sanderstead councillors have been in pretty much constant contact with officers over the bin changeover (and the woeful service in the weeks leading up to it).
Today is changeover day and that means you should be putting out the new containers from today. It also means you may well have a different collection day. In theory every resident should have had a leaflet setting out their new schedule, but this clearly hasn't always worked (I didn't get a leaflet in my home, for example).
If you are online you can check your new colection schedule using the Croydon 'My Account', for which you will need to have registered for an account (this is instant, so you can do it now if you haven't already).
I understand that this week Veolia will collect from the old containers if that's what a resident puts out, but that's for this week only. Unfortunately they didn't use that sensible approach last week, when many residents were conned by the hanging tag on their bin the week before telling them to now use the new containers. What the council meant by that was 'in two weeks time you'll use this bin for plastic/cans but next week it's paper in the box as usual', but unfortunately it was not at all clear and as a result many residents put the paper out in the new blue bin, which Veolia duly ignored.
I also brought to officers' attention that the web site was stilll refering in words and pictures for colllecting boxes this week, as nobody had remebered to update that! I believe this has now been corrected.
Unfortunately I suspect that the number of calls is not going to go down - not least because some residents are STILL trying to get the council to deliver their new bins, which are the only thing they will colllect from from now on. It's going to be a fun-filled fortniight!
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