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 The Sanderstead Blog
Cllr  Lynne  Hale
Cllr  Yvette  Hopley
Cllr  Tim  Pollard

Two planning applications pushed through
30/01/2017 16:47:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

I normally try to avoid being excessively political in this blog, as I am conscious that it is read by people who support all political parties (and none). However, this post is going to have to be the honourable exception to that rule.

Last Thursday night the Labour-dominated planning committee approved a number of intensification schemes in the south of the borough including two in Sanderstead. Sadly for local democracy, there was never any question that these schemes would be refused – despite the fact that committee members are not supposed to be whipped or express pre-determination, in each case all six Labour members voted en bloc.

The first of the schemes in Sanderstead was 105-107 Purley Downs Road, currently occupied by two lovely and distinctive large detached houses opposite the golf course. The proposal is to demolish both and replace with two large blocks of nine flats. One block is to be for sale and the other to be ‘affordable’, in co-operation with a housing association. I spoke in opposition to this development, as did a representative of the residents in Hill Barn, who would be most affected.

Here is what I said:

105 and 107 Purley Downs Road are two of the finest detached properties in Sanderstead, one of which was built by a local builder whose works are characterised by the distinctive glazed green tiles. As such I deeply regret that the owners have opted to sell these beautiful houses to a developer only for them to be demolished. That’s a great shame, but sadly I have to accept that it is not unlawful to do this.

If they are to go, it would seem a great shame not to insist that the space is filled by the type of accommodation of which we need much more and which is found a few yards down the road in Maywater and Tindale Closes – namely small family detached houses.

Instead , advised by the council during an extended pre-application process, the committee is being asked to adjudicate on two large blocks of flats, of which there are no other examples on Purley Downs Road. The two blocks are derived from the blocks from a previous scheme on this location, which was treated as two separate schemes on each of the plots of 105 and 107, both of which were refused by Croydon, upheld on appeal. The Inspector determined that the previous scheme would ‘materially harm the character and appearance of the area’. He further concluded that the scheme ‘failed to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness, and to seek a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings, a necessary requirement of the National Planning Policy Framework.’

It is hard to see that these concerns have been substantively ameliorated in the new scheme. The buildings are still alien, do not promote local distinctiveness and offer poor amenity for residents of the buildings. They still materially harm the appearance and character of the area. The revised scheme does go some way towards reducing the bulk and massing issues with the first scheme, although it will still be significantly worse than the current buildings and more intrusive than any others on the road. In particular there will be significant dominance as seen from Hill Barn , along with a significant increase in the overlooking of the detached properties in Hill Barn which back onto the site. This will result in a loss of privacy to those residents, especially from the higher floors in the new blocks. Although some soft landscaping is proposed, the parking requirements mean that this is necessarily modest in scale. It does not offer much reassurance that the privacy of neighbours will be protected.

The new blocks have been brought forward significantly and now stand in front of the building line. This will increase the dominance as seen from the road. In the locality people accept that development on this site is probably inevitable. But this is the wrong development for this area so I would ask that the committee refuses the application.

Sadly all these arguments were in vain. The Conservative councillors present moved refusal, which was rejected by 6 votes to 4 and the committee chair, Labour’s councillor Paul Scott then moved approval which was agreed by the same 6 votes to 4.

The second application, for land between Church Way, Briton Hill Road and Arkwright Road, went the same way. Here a tiny access road was to be created which is too narrow for a fire engine to get access, to lead to three new two storey detached houses. A local resident spoke very eloquently about the good reasons for refusal. Again the four Conservative councillors on the committee chose to support the 35 residents who were against the development in this form. Again the Labour chair proposed approval and his five colleagues slavishly followed his lead. Six to four in favour.

The other applications in other wards had all gone the same way when I left. Perhaps I was an unlucky charm that night, because shortly after I left we had a rare success - in Croham ward. Cllr Jason Perry and Cllr Luke Clancy proposed and seconded refusal on a scheme to replace the Stag & Hounds pub with an over cramped development. Whilst there was nothing to protect the pub in planning terms, Jason and Luke argued it was an over-intensification and pointed especially to the lack of defensible space for the residential units fronting busy highways which showed the developer had built as close as possible to every boundary - in some cases by 0.2 metres. To Conservative members’ astonishment the chair of the committee agreed with them, Labour abstained and they overturned the officer recommendation. Doubtless it will soon be back in a slightly less awful form and will be agreed, but at least this was a small victory for local residents.

Even more alarmingly, the Chair nailed his colours to the mast in terms of setting out what the Labour Group’s policy is. He said – and I quote – “There is no area of the borough where it is inappropriate to build flats”.

He went on to outline that respecting the character of an area does not mean building dwellings that are broadly the same as the ones around them. Nowhere, apparently, has the right to be considered special. And our housing need is so acute that, according to Scott, ‘every part of the borough will require intensification’.

Isn’t democracy marvellous?

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 Other Blog Posts

Trees Outside Priscillas and The Gruffy -- Xmas Lights
03/11/2017 15:58:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Residents will be delighted to hear that work is underway to put up the new Xmas lights purchased with the councillors community budget.  The lights will encircle the trees outside Sanderstead Recreation Park and at the Gruffy.  In order for the lights to be installed some minor works needs to be undertaken to remove some of the low hanging twigs and branches from the trees.  There will also be some new lights around the lampposts near the roundabout.  This builds on the lights already provided by the Sanderstead Residents' Association which will also be put up at the same time.  I am sure it will all look quite magical and we are looking forward to the official switch on and Xmas Fayre which will take place on Saturday, 2 December, in the Recreation Ground.



Traffic Sensors - Purley Oaks Road
03/11/2017 15:52:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Residents may have noticed some boxes attached to trees with rubber lines across Purley Oaks Road.  I enquired with officers why these have been implemented and they are monitoring traffic speed prior to the introduction of the 20mph zones being introduced.

Whilst the local Conservatives support resident concerns in relation to all traffic measures in roads where residents feel restrictions are necessary this is a blanket measure being introduced across the borough.



Footpath 138 Between Shaw Crescent and Rectory Park/Road Cleansing/Garden Waste Dumping
03/11/2017 10:25:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

The footpath between Shaw Crescent and Rectory Park is full of debris and bags of dog poo.  I have asked officers to ensure the contractor cleans up this unsightly mess as soon as possible and hope that residents resist the temptation to leave these bags in the alleyway in the future.

Some roads in the ward do not appear to be getting their regular street cleansing.  I have reported Ashdown Gardens which I hope will be swept shortly. Hillsmead Way is another road that seems to get missed.  Do let me know if you feel your road has not been swept in the last couple of months.

Not surprisngly St Marys Road has a number of large piles of garden waste alongside the mound of leaves that have fallen on the pathway. This is now impassable and commuters struggle down the road which of course is quite dangerous.  I have asked for the road to be cleaned and the debris removed.




Bus Diversion
03/11/2017 10:18:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

A number of residents have raised issues in relation to the recent bus diversion caused by the resurfacing of Sussex Road.  I have received the following response from officers which does in some part answer your questions:

Firstly I would like to apologise for the inconvenience the resurfacing of Sussex Road has caused to the residents. Regrettably we were unable to implement these works during any other time due to noise restriction in a residential areas.

Our highway inspectors carry out timely inspections of all carriageway and footways in Croydon twice a year and monthly on our busier routes to identify and raise orders to repair sections of the carriageway and footway which meet or will meet our intervention levels. This process allows our highway inspectors to prioritise repairs as well as it ensures that we can target our budgets to sites with the greatest need.

In December 2016 our team identified Sussex Road, for a road repairs,  Kier was instructed to commence works onsite from 31 October 2017, Prior to start works a letter was distributed to residents dated 17 October 2017 and buses accordingly. 

Unfortunately we were unable to use Selsdon Road as part of diversion route  due to the non-availability of low buses. However it is our understanding that the bus diversions signs were instituted on Friday by transport for London (TFL), this is a standard practice.

To enable the council to carry out these works with minimal distributions to the residents it was necessary to close Sussex road between the hours of 7am to 7pm on two sequential days. The council will only implement road closure under exceptional circumstance to safe guard road users and operatives.

In addition Croydon highways are constantly exploring ways to minimise disruption to residents and the surrounding networks while resurfacing works are taking place.




Fly tipping in Hamsey Green
20/10/2017 17:52:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Once again there is fly tipping on the verge between the borough border and the shops on Limpsfield Road parade - all within LB Croydon, not in Surrey.

There’s a bag on the west side near the lidl hoarding and furniture and bags around the tree to the south west of the pedestrian crossing. I have asked that it be removed asap.



Objection to local plan
11/10/2017 07:20:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Yesterday I submitted my objection to the areas of the local plan we are allowed to comment on at this stage in the procedings - we can only comment on aspects that the inspector has changed since the council's final draft.

You can read my entire objection, including comments on elsewhere in the borough here

However, my comments specifically on Sanderstead ward are pasted below. 

MMD86 – I strongly object to the deletion of the Local Green Space designation across the borough and with particular reference to several vital green spaces in Sanderstead: Sanderstead Plantation, The Gruffy, the pond at the top of Sanderstead Hill and Purley Beeches. Should regional protections be changed by a future London Mayor, these spaces would have no protection and would be available for development. This is not in the interests of my residents, who greatly treasure these spaces, all of which have active Friends’ Groups as a testimony to their local importance. There is more detail on my objections to the deletion in principle in the general section below.

MMD38 – Focussed Intensification Zones should be removed in their entirety from the plan, despite the modifications proposed by the Council. I am, however, pleased that the Inspector has deleted the entirety of the proposed Sanderstead (Onslow Gardens) zone. This was in contradiction with other policies (as per my previous two objections at the preceding stages) and its removal is warmly welcomed.

Technically, as the inspector did not substantively change the proposed designation of the area behind Purley Oaks Recycling Centre as a Gypsy and Traveller site, we are not supposed to comment on it. However, given its local importance I did object again in the full letter (link above).



A Busy Day in Croydon
29/09/2017 13:49:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group – AGM

 I attended the CCG AGM at the CVA and took note of the presentations by Andrew Eyres, the new accountable office and Dr Agenlo Fernandes, the Clinical Chair.  Highlights included improvements to access to mental health services for both adults and children and commissioning of the Health Help Now app.  Croydon residents use more hospital services on average than in other areas, often as a result of unplanned and avoidable hospital admissions.  At the same time the population is growing and is ageing and this results in an increase in the demand for care.

A locally designed new approach to treating urgent care issues is being introduced in 2017-18 which includes the provision of GP Hubs which will provide high quality urgent care services across the borough from 8am to 8pm, 365 days per year.  The service comprises GP hubs, GP out of hours services, the urgent care centre at Croydon University Hospital and a roving GP.  These services will be provided at the minor injury unit sites Purley and Parkway as well as at East Croydon Medical Centre. 

An integrated IT service will allow them to access patient notes to enable them to provide the right care in the right place, first time.  The service will help promote self-care and also a phone before you go model that will utilise the integrated South West London 111 services to ensure patients are correctly signposted to the most appropriate services for their needs.

The CCG will also continue with its Transforming Adult Services programme which ensures more patients are appropriately cared for in community settings, including their own homes. 

Croydon Adult Social Services Users Panel

I also attended a meeting of CASSUP at Jurys Hotel in Croydon to look at how our residents were coping with the new DWP system of PIP and how the most vulnerable in Croydon are dealing with the new assessments.

Sadly the venue was a little cramped and not all guests were able to get into the room to get their points across.  It is imperative that those members who are disabled and struggle with access/facilities are able to seek assistance from the council and I certainly hope that a more suitable venue is found for future events.  The CASSUP event was historically held at Fairfield Halls, which sadly is not yet open and the community space at Bernard Weatherill House, which has disabled access is no longer available for use as it has been rented, ironically to the DWP.

Sanderstead Safer Neighbourhood Police Meeting

The SNT says goodbye to PC Stephen Wilson and welcomes PC Dan Revell to the team.  The team reported on a number of antisocial behaviour incidents in area including some shop lifting.  There have also been a number of break-ins from garages during July.  Motor vehicle crime is made up largely of theft from trade vans with the theft of power tools with 12 of the 19 incidents occurring during the night. They also undertook a road watch scheme along Sanderstead Court Avenue catching up to 20 vehicles going over the speed limit.  Crime in the area, fortunately, remains low with Sanderstead and Selsdon having the lowest figures in the borough.  The Safer Neighbourhood Team can be contacted on 020 8721 2470 –

The Met police are looking at becoming more socially active and will be at the Community Day run by Priscillas at Sanderstead Recreation Ground this Saturday.

Riddlesdown Residents’ Association Meeting

My busy day ended with a visit to the RRA which as usual had a packed and varied agenda.  A number of planning applications were of great concern to the committee.  The overdevelopment of housing plots for the development of flats in inappropriate locations with size and massing of greatest concern.

Discussions were held about the main modifications to the Croydon Local Plan.  The Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to examine the Croydon Local Plan has considered all the duly made representations and the evidence presented to him during the examination.  He has now concluded that further modifications to the Croydon Local Plan are required in order for the plan to be sound.  Comments need to be received by 10 October 2017.  Email 

What he stated will not be discussed is the Purley Skyscraper and the gypsy and traveller site at Purley Oaks depot.

One of the concerns raised was the deletion of all local green spaces.  For Sanderstead there has been some success in the protection of the Sanderstead Plantation to Metropolitan Open Land and the removal of the intensification zone for Onslow Gardens. The Policy on protecting back gardens has been merged into a revised policy DM11 Design and Character.

I am personally disappointed about the removal of the policy that limited fast food outlets.  With my Health and Wellbeing hat on I believe we should be doing more to assist in the prevention of obesity, which is above the National Average in the Borough.  Obesity, as we know leads to many other heatlh problems such as diabetes and heart disease. 

If you want to discuss any of the issues raised in my report or have any other local issues you want to take up with us the councillors will be available at 11.00 am to 1pm on Saturday, 30 September in Sanderstead Recreation Ground. We will be sharing a stand with the Sanderstead Residents Association.



Croydon Disability Forum/Dementia Action Alliance Meeting
13/09/2017 08:56:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I attended two very important meeting this week - Croydon Disability Forum and the Dementia Alliance Meeting.  At the Disability Forum concerns were raised in relation to the misuse of blue badges, wheelchair safety on the bus (particularly when wet and slippery) and the closure of high street banks.  Issues were also raised in relation to the new proposal to close some roads around schools, thus preventing the usual access for carers, the delivery of medical equipment and indeed disabled children to schools.  I will submit a number of council questions in relation to the issues raised and hopefully a satisfactory arrangements can be made to allow entry into the zone during the restriction period in exceptional circumstances.

I also attended a meeting of the Dementia Action Alliance Group at the town hall.  I am pleased that an officer has been allocated to this important work - Rachel Carse who starts on 18th Setpember.  Both the Sanderstead Residents' Association and the Riddlesdown Residents' Association are keen to work with the local councillors to raise awareness of dementia in the community.  If you want to become more involved with the work we are doing please do get in touch.




Rec traveller update
06/09/2017 21:29:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

I contacted officers again today because the traveller group who started to congregate on the Rec last Thursday are still on site.  The council has apparently  served a bye law notice, which is usually successful in forcing groups to move on but that has not been the case with this encampment.  They have therefore had to apply to the court to serve a s77 notice.  This notice has also now been breached so officers now need to go back to Camberwell Court again for the removal order, which may take until Monday.   However, officers have been regularly liaising with the group and they have said that they will leave before the weekend. 

If I get any further information I will post it here.



Eid prayers in the Rec
01/09/2017 13:35:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard


Cllr Lynne Hale and I were delighted to be invited to join the community of the Purley Masjid and the South Croydon/Sanderstead Islamic Centre on the day of Eid-al-Adha. Around a thousand people were there on a beautiful morning to take part in a short prayer service.

It was fortunate that the weather was kind, as the organisers had chosen last night to take down the 'just in case' marquee due to the potential issues with a traveller group who had set up an illegal encampment on the other side of the Rec (see separate post).

It was great to see so many people using the park and I hope that this can become an annual event (albeit it moves earlier in the year by ten days every year).

Many thanks to the organisers and Purley Councillor Badsha Quadir for inviting us to be present for a very interesting event.



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 Older Blog Posts
Sanderstead Rec travellers
Local Plan: good news for Sanderstead, not so good elsewhere
SGN road works in Hamsey Green
Borough Grange garden furniture
Change to Riddlesdown road works
Dementia Alliance Action Group - Helpful Links
More roadworks in Sanderstead
Update on Addington Road Gas Main replacement
Long term roadworks on Addington Road
Childhood Obesity - Can we do More?
A number of Essential Repairs Taking Place in Sanderstead
Police Update - Theresa's Walk
Armed Forces Day - Flag Raising - Grenfell Tower Minutes Silence
South East Cancer Help Centre - Vice Chairman
Sight lines on Mitchley View
Gypsy and travelller site
Intensification zones at local plan hearing
Fly Tipping - Downsway Sanderstead
Church Farm Services - Mitchley Avenue
Field Opposite Riddlesdown Shops on Mitchley Avenue
Dementia Awareness Week is 14 May to 20 May
Riddlesdown Collegiate consulting on changing hours
7-9 Arkwright Road
Fly tips in Sanderstead
Anti-skid surface on Rectory Park
Hamsey Green fly tipping - AGAIN!
Speeding fines
Adult Social Care & Health
Riddlesdown Residents' Association Notice Board - Councillor's Community Budget
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