Loss of Sanderstead Road car park 01/03/2017 11:26:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
Croydon Council has been working for over a year to identify sites for its new housing development company, Brick by Brick (BxB), to develop out. Clearly there are a number of council sites in the borough where there is little controversy about the proposed developments, but there are others where it is highly controversial.
One of these is the car park opposite the parade of shops by the main entrance to Sanderstead Station. The last time Labour was in administration in Croydon (2002-6) it sold off half the existing car park, which formed the site on which the new block of flats was built.
That time it took several years for us to get the council to reinstate remaining portion of the car park and it wasn't until we returned a Conservative council in 2006 that we got the site resurfaced and the appropriate ticket machines installed.
Now the council is proposing to almost completely close the car park and reduce the number of public spaces to just seven. It wants to build a new block immediately overlooking the existing one - so that there willl be considerable shading of one by other for most of the year, as well as a total loss of privacy to the current residents.
The new building would be a 4/5 storey block with 20-22 flats, and NO provision of ANY car spaces for the new residents. There would be a permanent loss of about 25 parking spaces in this very popular car park, while at the same time the local demand for car spaces will be massively increased as a result of the influx of new residents.
If the site absolutely has to be developed, then there should be a way to retain at least some parking spaces, for example by putting the building up on stilts leaving part of the ground floor still available for parking; no doubt there are many other planning options.
As you would expect, the traders are up in arms - they rely heavily on people being able to conveniently park opposite for quick shopping visits. The station car park is no substitute, as this is set up for long stay parking for commuters, so would be too expensive for shoppers (as well as often being full).
Another aspect which has incensed local residents is that the site of the car park was a gift to the people of Sanderstead from a resident many decades ago, to be used for the benefit of residents. The council apparently has 'no record' of the terms of the bequest, so feels free - as it did last time - to completely ignore it.
Whilst the design of the proposed new block is not finalised, initial sketches are not encouraging - it looks more like a prison than a home! Sadly, athough we are always told 'oh, it's only an outline design at this stage', when the design is finalised it usually bears a striking resemblance to the one initially presented!
This site is just in Purley ward but we will be working closely with the Purley councillors on this. The shops are in Croham ward while St Mary’s Road is in Sanderstead ward, so the site is at the junction of three wards.
I would stress that I am not opposed to BxB's work on principle, but I do believe that a number of the sites which Labour believes are 'surplus' are actually vital community assets (it also proposes developments on other car parks, community centres and youth clubs). This one is the wrong development in the wrong place, and is one our council should back off from.
Hamsey Green fly tipping - AGAIN! 24/04/2017 08:51:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
My favourite local site for fly tipping has been fly tipped again! This tree just south west of the pedestrian crossing by Hamsely Green parade seems to be a magnet for a fly tipper - and given that it is always over the weekend and always in the same place, I suspect it is the same perpetrator over and over again. This time there is a mattress and other furniture as well as the usual black sacks (the mattress wasn't there yesterday early afternoon, but had appeared wnen I went past at 11pm).
I have repeatedly asked the council to do something to catch this person (or people) - they are always telling us how good they are at prosecution, so lets have it here - but not much seems to be happening. What about some mobile CCTV?
I have reported it for clearance, as usual.
Speeding fines 24/04/2017 08:47:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
A local resident (John Newberry) has brought this to my attention, so I thought it was worth sharing, in a spirit of helpfulness!
From 24th April, the rules are changing in relation to the way drivers will be fined for speeding offences in the UK. As of next week, the maximum fine will increase for speeding offences and could see motorists fined as much as £2500.
The new rules mean that from 24th April, driver’s can be fined up to 175% of their weekly income. They can also be disqualified from driving for up to 56 days for ‘driving grossly in excess of the speed limit’ according to the Sentencing Council.
Motorists who are caught speeding on the motorway will be hit the hardest, with a potential fine of £2,500, where as those caught elsewhere could be fined as much as £1,000.
A new three-band system will be in place, which will determine a driver’s fine and number of penalty points. We have outlined below the three bands and the new rules that will apply to each band.
Band A – Driver’s will receive 3 penalty points and a fine, which starts at 50%, but can range from 25% to 75% of their weekly income.
Band B – Driver’s will receive 4-6 penalty points OR disqualification from driving for 7-28 days and a fine which starts at 100%, but can range from 75% to 125% of their weekly income.
Band C – Driver’s will receive 6 penalty points OR disqualification from driving for 7-56 days and a fine, which starts at 150%, but can range from 125% to 175% of their weekly income.
These bands are based on a driver’s speed in mph. The speed limits, recorded speeds and relevant bands are shown below.
Speed Limit Recorded speed (mph)
20 Speed 21-30 (Band A) Speed 31-40 (Band B) Speed 41+ (Band C)
30 Speed 31-40 (Band A) Speed 41-50 (Band B) Speed 51+ (Band C)
40 Speed 41-55 (Band A) Speed 56-65 (Band B) Speed 66+ (Band C)
50 Speed 51-65 (Band A) Speed 66-76 (Band B) Speed 76+ (Band C)
60 Speed 61-80 (Band A) Speed 81-90 (Band B) Speed 91+ (Band C)
70 Speed 71-90 (Band A) Speed 91-100 (Band B) Speed 101+ (Band C)
For a first time offender, the chance to take a speed awareness course may be offered, which would mean avoiding the penalty points, but not the fine. This however, won’t be offered to repeat offenders.
New research by Green Flag suggests that speeding offences in the UK have increased by 44% in the last 5 years. The Sentencing Council has said that the move to raise penalties aims to ensure there is a “clear increase in penalty as the seriousness of offending increases”.
Thank you for sharing this John, hopefully it will cause people to think before they speed.
Adult Social Care & Health 21/04/2017 14:07:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
2017 has seen a raft of announcements from the Conservative Government regarding additional funding measures for social care and the wider local health economy. It is great to see new money for Croydon to support our elderly population and those who are most vulnerable with health care needs.
One of the key announcements in the Chancellor’s 2017 budget was an additional 32 billion of funding for adult social care over the next three years. The allocations by authority have since been released with Croydon receiving £5.5 M in 2017/18, £4 M in 2018/19 and £2M in 2019/20.
At this present time the funding has not been built into the Council’s 2017/18 budget and will be transferred directly to the council to be allocated to the Better Care Fund alongside existing BCF funding.
The guidelines for funding to be used to support the following area are:
· Meeting Adult social care needs
· Reducing pressures on the NHS and including support for hospital discharge
· Stabilising the social care provide market
It is important that the council identifies the best ways of allocating these funds to best serve all residents across the borough.
The NHS has announced £30M nationally to strengthen support to care homes to provide access to clinical advice in order to reduce the risk of resident in care homes being admitted to hospital. The NHS is still awaiting a confirmed figure on the allocation for Croydon.
Sustainable Transformation Plan
I also attended Croydon’s South West London Sustainability Transformation Fund which includes a number of organisations across health and local government in Sutton, Richard, Merton, Kingston and Wandsworth. Discussions are underway with the NHS Croydon CCG to understand how this regional funding might be accessed to support local objectives.
These plans have been developed jointly by the NHS and councils across England to deliver place-based improvements to health and social care centred on the needs of the local population.
As a member of the Adult Social Services Review Panel I will be discussing all these issues with colleagues on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 alongside other important agenda items.
At last the Alliance has been signed. After delays of more than a year and a half pen has been put to paper by Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group, Croydon Council, Croydon GP Collaborative, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and AGE UK.
The idea of collaborative working was first put forward by Conservative Councillor Margaret Mead, the then Cabinet Member of Adult Social Care and Health in 2014. There has since been a change in administration and delays and confusion seemed to have surrounded the signing of the agreement and a mass exodus of staff from the council meant that everything ground to a standstill.
The main principle is to move towards funding people’s care based on the delivery of successful outcomes, helping them to live a more independent and active life for as long as possible. It is hoped that this system of operation will mean residents avoid unnecessary hospital visit and trips to the doctors
Some of the personal independence co-ordinators that I met at AGE UK said that they are confident that the system of working with the over 65’s will ensure they live healthier and more independent lives at home.
The Alliance is expected to run for ten years with the first year involving a great deal of transformation. The Alliance had identified significant saving across all budgets and those anticipated savings have not been met as a results of delays which will have clearly impacted finances and will have resulted in some of the difficult decisions that we are now seeing coming forward in terms of service delivery.
Croydon Conservatives are extremely supportive of the work of the Alliance and are looking forward to seeing better health outcomes for the elderly and some of the most vulnerable in our Borough
Riddlesdown Residents' Association Notice Board - Councillor's Community Budget 21/04/2017 11:47:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
The Sanderstead Councillors are delighted to have been able to fund the new Riddlesdown Residents' Association Notice Board from their community budget.
The board was erected free of charge, by the Kier Group , (Croydon Council's Highways Contractor) and the RRA are grateful to them as well, for this kind gesture.
Our thanks also go to Steve Iles, for his assistance in co-ordinating the installation.
The notice board is located on the green opposite the shops in Lower Barn Rd and near to the footpath to/from the downside Station platform. The board is for all Riddlesdown residents/groups use.
The photo is of RRA Chairman, Brian Longman receiving the keys for the board from Stephen Murphy of Kier, which was manufactured by Hallmark in South Croydon.
It is extremely important that residents can receive information about the important work of the association, many of whom are elderly and do not have access to the internet.
Purley skyscraper called in 18/04/2017 10:41:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
I am delighted to hear this morning that the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid MP, has called in the appalling Purley skyscraper planning scheme.
This means that Croydon Council's planning committee cannot rubber-stamp it as many residents are convinced they had intended to do and the decision on consent will now be taken by an Inspector on the SoS's behalf, not by the Labour-dominated planning committee. This will ensure a fair hearing for all sides and a likelihood of a decision we can all have confidence in.
The Baptists' Church site at Purley Cross doubtless needs redevelopment and I am personally prepared to back a much lower building there with proper parking provision. Due to the council's insistence on getting so much out of the development, the applicants have had no choice but to go very tall in order to make the scheme financially viable. 17 storeys is way too tall for an area where most other buildings are 3/4 storeys, but it is the council which is responsible for this not the Baptists' Church.
Another issue, alongside the height, is the parking provision. With just 17 unrestricted spaces to share between 220 flats, it is clear that this development would create a parking drought in local streets.
Yes, we need homes. Yes, this site is an eyesore and needs developing. But not at any price.
It is a sad day for our local democracy that residents are rejoicing that the power to determine this has been removed from the council, but given the track record of our planning committee in recent years it is a necessary one.
Proposed extra telecoms mast in Riddlesdown 13/04/2017 14:08:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
We have been contacted by a PR company on behalf of EE about another proposed mast down near Riddlesdown Station, on land owned by Purley Downs Golf Club.
It is proposed ot be bigger than the other masts already there and will be an eyesore from a number of properties just over the border in Purley ward. Note that the picture here is not of the proposed mast, but off the alternative I mention below.
I have responded with the following points:
The mast at 22 metres is too high. It will clearly be seen from the vistas of Brancaster Lane, Riddlesdown Ave and parts of Riddlesdown Rd, the latter two streets all look down on the golf club land as they are considerably higher than the golf course land/railway which is in the valley. We already have a 15m high Vodafone/O2 pole mast behind 135 Brancaster Lane and at the back of the new flats in Lower Barn Rd (Riddleah Court). This mast is partly screened by the trees on the railway embankment. There is also a 15 m high Network Rail mast beside the line, r/o 93 Brancaster Lane (on the golf club side). This NR mast is clearly visible from some properties in Brancaster Lane, Riddlesdown Ave and Riddlesdown Rd. To have a third mast, in such a short distance (approx 200 metres), which will be taller, is not really acceptable. A 15 metre high pole mast, with antenna hidden (similar to Riddleah Court), might be acceptable.
It is not clear the exact position of the proposed mast in relation to the properties in Brancaster Lane and where exactly this mast will be located. This needs to be shown on the drawing and site plan and specified in the application form.
The mast, antennae, all equipment and cabinets need to painted dark green, as the land it will be situated on, is Green Belt. Why does it have to be such a ugly mast, with crows nest & ladder. According to the drawings, the top of the mast will be at least 12 metres above the top of the tree line.
Is there no option to mast share on the two other local masts (with Network rail and/or O2/Vodafone), as EE already do with the mast in Dunmail Drive, near to the Mitchley Hill junction, with both O2 & Vodafone?
It seems rather disappointing that EE has made no effort to disguise the mast more appropriately, as seen in this example from elsewhere (image above). As proposed it is large, intrusive and unsightly, whereas suitably disguised as a tree it would pass almost un-noticed. Can some further thought be given to this, please?
A New Primary School for Croydon Families 12/04/2017 17:30:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley
The Department for Education (DFE) today announced that the Collegiate Free Primary School has been approved to open in Croydon. This new primary school, to be established and run by The Collegiate Trust, will be developed over the coming years and will take in 60 children per year; we will announce an opening date as soon as we are able to do so.
The site of the school is yet to be finalised. The Trust originally intended to collocate the new school on site with Riddlesdown Collegiate, an area with need for further primary places. However, we have now agreed with the DFE to develop the school in an area of greater need for additional primary provision.
Gordon Smith, Chief Executive of The Collegiate Trust, commented: “This is a tremendously exciting moment for The Collegiate Trust as we have the opportunity to develop, within a brand new primary school, the approaches delivering outstanding education in our secondary school at Riddlesdown Collegiate and rapid improvements in our primary school at Gossops Green. The benefits to children and families will be enormous and we shall work in partnership with the community to deliver an impressive school, which will provide exceptional education for all.”
Toby Young, Director of New Schools Network, said: “The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous so it is a testament to the team at The Collegiate Trust that they have been approved to open. This is the largest ever cohort of free schools to be approved, a sign of this Government’s commitment to extending the benefits of the free schools policy to all parts of the country. This is a big day for free schools. With 800 either opened or approved to open, providing 400,000 places when full, free schools are now a permanent part of England’s educational landscape.”
For future updates, please see our website at www.tct-academies.org, follow our CEO on twitter @CEO_TCT, or the school itself @CollegiateFPS.
For additional information, contact the CEO at email@example.com.
Notes The Collegiate Trust currently operates Riddlesdown Collegiate in Croydon and Gossops Green Primary School in Crawley, both of which are converter academies. Free schools are state funded schools that are independent of local authority control. They have the freedom to decide the length of school day and term, their curriculum, teacher pay and how they spend their budgets. Today’s announcement means there are 430 free schools currently open and 373 approved to open, which will create 400,000 places when full. 81% of free schools that have been inspected by Ofsted have been judged Good or Outstanding. They are more likely to be judged Outstanding when compared to other state schools. New Schools Network is an independent charity that provides support to groups wanting to set up free schools: www.newschoolsnetwork.org
Riddlesdown Collegiate primary school 12/04/2017 16:21:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Last week at the Riddlesdown Residents' Association AGM we had a presentation from Gordon Smith of the collegiate trust about the possibility of a free school primary school sponsored by the collegiate opening in Croydon. Gordon was very clear that it may or may not be on the current collegiate site, but would only be so if the difficulties of access through the winding and narrow streets of Riddlesdown could be overcome to residents' satisfaction.
As it turns out, that won't be necessary, as we heard today that the DfE has approved the proposed 2-form-entry school, but to be on a site elsewhere in the borough with the greatest demand pressure. This most probably means central or northern Croydon, but definitely not on the current secondary school site.
Given the demands the school already makes on the local infrastructure, that's probably a good thing. We wish the trust well in developing this proposal and thank them for the very reasonable approach they took to the local community here.
More fly tipping in Hamsey Green 03/04/2017 19:58:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Once again there is a sack of rubbish at the foot of the tree immediately south of the pedestrian crossing near the Co-op in Hamsey Green a short way north of the borough border.
Almost every week there is rubbish left there now, so I am wondering whether it is the same offender over and over again. I imagine it is a resident who lives above the shops, where the waste & recycling facilities are not great.
I have suggested to officers that it might be worth seeing if any of the shops’ CCTV shows who is doing it, or taking some other step to deal with this repeat offending.
Key road closure in South Croydon 31/03/2017 07:08:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard
Many people have already noticed that traffic in South Croydon has been terrible this week as a result of the closure of Selsdon Road. Officers did inform the ward councillors for Croham and Fairfield, but it seems not to have occurred to them to also inform the Sanderstead and Selsdon teams, whose residents also use this roads to access Croydon! As a result we couldn't give our residents any advance warning. The Croham team have been liaising with the council to try to get the diversion made clearer, as this was initially rather confusing.
Below is what we know, taken from the officer briefing:
I am sorry to advise that Selsdon Road and Haling Road will have to be closed from approximately 1.30pm to facilitate emergency repairs to a collapsed sewer.
I did try to see if the works could be delayed until the weekend once the schools had broken up but was told that properties were being pumped out so therefore had to be treated as an emergency.
The diversion for northbound traffic along Selsdon Road will be via Sussex Road and southbound will be via Jarvis Road. The one way section of Haling Road, is closed at the junction with Selsdon Road and the one way will be revoked to allow access and egress back onto Brighton Road.
Thames Water to have been advised to contact the Harris Academy primary School so that they can inform parents of the closure.
The contractors will be working extended hours at this location to reduce the time that the road needs to be closed, which at the moment is anticipated to be 10 days. A update will be sent out when available.
I have asked that officers keep the Sanderstead/Selsdon teams abreast of any changes from now on and I will post anything I receive. In the meantime, this area is best avoided if at all possible!
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