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

Purley Beeches is NOT being cleared for housing
02/05/2014 09:30:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

At the Sanderstead Residents' Association AGM last night, a number of residents raised concerns over the felling of many mature Beech trees before Easter.

The concerns fall broadly into three areas:

  1. A concern that the trees did not actually need felling
  2. A worry that it was done in order to clear the land for later redevelopment for housing
  3. Annoyance that the trunks and canopy from the trees felled has not been removed.

Dealing with the second of these first, there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that this work is all about clearing the way for a housing development. Purley Beeches is protected in our planning policies and there is no prospect at all of that changing. Certainly the ward councillors would be implacably opposed to any future attempt to build on this land and I can see no prospect of any future council administration seeking to do this.

I won't cover the third of these concerns in this post, as this is covered in earlier blog posts, except to say that we willl maintain the pressure on officers to clear the debris until it is broadly at a level which park users are happy to live with. It is important that some trunks are allowed to slowly decay in situ, as they would in an unmananged woodland, because of the benefits this brings as a habitat for various species. But at the moment, there is too much and it is spoiling park users' enjoyment, and that's not right.

So this brings me on to the first of the residents' concerns - the theory that the trees didn't actually need felling. I am not an arboriculturist and nor would I claim to be an expert on trees - but the council employs people who are, in the team led by Mr Browning. He has recently written to a resident, copying me in, explaining why the signs of decay are not necessarily visible to the naked eye and I reproduce the majority of that letter below. I hope this reassures residents that the works were necessary, although very regretable.

Thank you for coping me into your letter to Cllr Pollard regarding the above.

If I may, I would like to answer some of the concerns that you have raised in this letter;

Firstly, let me assure you that we are as upset as you are to fell these trees. However, the trees were not felled simply because they were over mature. They were felled because they were found to be hazardous.

With respect to yourself, and other people that have raised concerns, signs of a tree being hazardous may not be apparent to the untrained eye ( please see attached notes on Ketzschmaria deusta as an example of a fungal pathogen that can render trees extremely dangerous).

As a land owner we have a clear duty of care and simply cannot ignore trees that we find to be hazardous, especially in an areas such as Purley Beeches, which are both heavily used by the public and surrounded by residential properties. It should be noted that, in recent years, The Royal Parks, The National Trust and Kew have all been involved in court cases as a result of fatalities caused by fallen trees on their land.

The most recent felling is particularly noticeable because Purley Beeches, from an aesthetic viewpoint, is a pale shadow of its former self. Fifty years ago it was a magnificent woodland of mature Beech trees. Unfortunately, though, it was absolutely devastated in the1987 Hurricane and since then we have had to periodically remove trees that have become hazardous.

The problem has been compounded by the fact that the woodland was of a single age class and so there was not an understorey of young trees there to come through and replace the trees that blew over. To answer your question about planting, we have, in fact, already  planted several hundred replacement Beech trees. Unfortunately though, all of these trees have been ravaged by Grey Squirrels and the only long term answer to this problem is to cull all the squirrels from the site which, again, is a very emotive issue for the public.

Ironically, although the park has suffered aesthetically, it now improved ecologically as there is a far greater diversity. Ash, Hazels and other tree species are far more common and there is a greater variety in age structure, dead wood and habitat.  

Whilst understanding the criticism that the recent work has caused, I must point out that notices were put up at the entrances to the park some three weeks before the work started, explaining that we would be carrying out the work and inviting people to contact us if they had any concerns about this work. No one came back to us but, if they had, then we would have been happy to meet them on site, before the work started, and explain why the work was necessary.

Finally, can I say that, as well as managing some 33,000 street trees (one of the highest numbers of street trees in London), and trees in Parks, we also manage some 450 Hectares of woodland.We have active management plans in place for most of these woodlands and are proud to have achieved the high standards of woodland management required to receive Forestry Stewardship Council accreditation and to meet the UKWAS (UK Woodland Assurance Standard) standard.  We have also set up “ Friends of” groups for a lot of the woodlands and our woodland management is widely cited as being best practice both London and U.K wide.

I hope that I have addressed your concerns on this matter but please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other points that you wish to discuss.


For the sake of completeness, I also paste below the excerpt from ‘Principles of tree hazard assessment and management’ referred to in mr Browning's text:


The significance of the decay fungus Kretzschmaria deusta (formerly Ustulina deusta): 

Extract from ‘Principles of tree hazard assessment and management’ by David Lonsdale 1999: 

“….U.deusta induces a brittle ceramic-like fracture. This can occur in main stems or root systems, since the fungus is exceptional amongst ascomycetes in being able to grow in the central wood of very large trees. 

Fracture often occurs before an advanced white-rot has developed, so that the fracture surface can be quite hard. 

The seat of the decay within the tree is usually at the stem base, where in some cases the fungus appears to have entered through a wound. In such cases, it can extend 4m or more up the stem, as well as into the roots. It can also enter via the roots, eventually causing windthrow. 

This is a particularly dangerous decay fungus, partly because its fruit bodies are often overlooked, also because of its very common occurrence and wide host range, and finally because of the type of decay that it causes. The brittle fracture associated with this decay often occurs with no warning of incipient failure, and without the compensatory thickening that can occur with fungi which cause selective delignification (e.g. Ganoderma spp.). Except in very advanced cases, this decay cannot be detected with a stress wave timer and may also escape detection by certain kinds of mechanical probe.” 

Other texts: 

K.Weber, C.Mattheck – Manual of wood decays 2003 

F.Schwarze – Fungal strategies of wood decay in trees 2000


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 Other Blog Posts

Update on wheelie bin rollout
17/07/2018 07:46:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Council officers have today updated councillors about the progress towards the new 'improved' bin collection service.

Most Sanderstead houses have received their bins now, as we know from our postbag of residents asking where they are supposed to put this explosion of bins! I won't rehearse the arguments for and (mostly) against what is being done, save to say that in my opinion the council could have gone for a much more elegant combined recycling bin solution which would have reduced the number of bins required. 

There are various questions people have been asking, where I have pasted below the council's response, some of which I have shortened.

Where can residents go for more information?
• The website contains information about the service change, leaflets to download and a comprehensive list of FAQs –
Residents wishing to discuss their individual circumstances further can contact a council officer using:
• a dedicated email -
• a dedicated phone number – 020 8604 7282 (lines open between 9am and 5pm)

The dedicated telephone number and mailbox went live on Thursday 28 June. These are attracting on average 650 calls and 400 email per week and about a third of these are requesting site visits. About 150 site visits have been undertaken to date with approximately one third of these suggesting the properties are not suitable for the new service identified and therefore, will continue with their current configuration.

What can I do with my old boxes if I no longer need them after September?
You will need to continue to use your boxes until September. After this, you can keep them and use them around the home for storage, or take them to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre at Fishers Farm, Factory Lane or Purley Oaks and place them in with the ‘rigid plastics’. We will be offering a booked collection service for residents who need it once the new service starts in September - more details to follow.

What if I don’t have space for the new bins?
We have surveyed the borough and will be delivering the best combination of bins for different property types depending on the different space available. Please note that the footprint of the new bins is approximately the same as the boxes, so if you currently have the boxes for recycling your property will most probably be suitable for wheeled bins. Please try using the service for a few weeks. If you’re genuinely struggling to find space to store the bins, get in touch with us and we’ll visit your property to assess and, if necessary, make alternative arrangements.

What if I don’t have space to store the new bins until I can use them? Please deliver them later.
With more than 200,000 new bins to distribute across the borough, this is going to take some time and some people may have to store their bins for up to eight weeks. We are trying to deliver bins first to areas of the borough where houses generally have more outdoor space. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.

I don’t need such large bins for recycling, can I have a smaller one or continue to use boxes?
The changes we are making are designed to encourage more recycling and to create enough capacity for this both now and in the future. For this reason we chose the 240L bin for paper and card and to re-use the existing general waste wheelie bin for other mixed recycling. Standardising the use of wheelie bins as much as possible improves efficiency and helps to generate the £5m cost savings from introducing the new contract, as well as the additional £2m over 10 years for increasing recycling rates.

What if all of my general waste cannot fit inside the new 180L wheelie bin?
From October 2018, excess general waste placed on top of or next to your bin will not be collected. All non-recyclable household waste must be placed inside the general waste wheelie bin and the lid kept shut. However, if you live in a household of five or more, or have a medical condition that means you generate additional rubbish, you may be eligible for a larger bin. We recommend that residents wait until the new service is running and they have tried using it for a few weeks before making contact. 

What consultation took place about the changes?
Specific consultation on the detail of the new contract wasn’t possible due to the way the new contract was procured by the four boroughs under the South London Waste Partnership.



Road works in Hamsey Green
17/07/2018 07:23:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Essex utilities on behalf of Southern Gas Networks have begun their scheme to replace gas mains in the area between Wentworth Way and the borough boundary at Tithe Pitt Shaw Lane. In order to enable these works there will be side road closures and temporary lights on Limpsfield Road. The lights will be manually controlled through the peak flows.  Letter drops and advanced warning for affected residents have apparently taken place. Any works that remain after the school holiday can only continue if their existence has no impact on the carriageway or pedestrians.

Whilst these works are ongoing, it was highlighted recently that it is necessary for other works to take place on Surrey Councils side of the border, namely Wentworth Road junction with Tithe Pitt Shaw Lane. Council officers have agreed these works, on the understanding temporary lights at the junction are delayed until after the works on Limpsfield and surrounding roads are completed.



Sanderstead Residents Association - Waitrose - 4 August - 10am
12/07/2018 10:13:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Sanderstead Residents Association will be on hand at Waitrose between 10 and 12pm on Saturday, 4 August.  Members will available to talk to residents about the good work they carry out in the area and assistance they give in relation to a number of local concerns.  They work very closely with the councillors who jointly support numerous issues ranging from planning applications to organising events.  Established in 1926 The Sanderstead Ratepayers' Association was formed, later to be known as the Sanderstead Residents' Assocication.  Denis King, the chairman and his team will be happy to support you.  Membership is only £5 for which you receive two colour magazines posted to your doorstep and access to the committee's expertise.



New Bin Delivery
12/07/2018 10:10:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


The new bins are being rolled out in Sanderstead this week.  Do ensure you read the instructions attached to the bin and let the council know if you haven't received your new bins.  Any problems or issues of course your local Sanderstead team are here to help.



A New Bus Seat at Sanderstead Recreation Ground Bus Stop
11/07/2018 10:14:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


A number of elderly residents contacted the local councillors asking if a seat could be installed by the bus stop at Sanderstead Recreation Ground.  In this particularly warm weather it is good to have the opportunity to take a little rest whilst waiting for the 403.  I am pleased that the local councillors have been able to fund a new bench for residents from their community budget.  




New Crossing - Addington Road
03/07/2018 21:17:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 I am pleased to inform you that the proposed works for an informal crossing on Addington Road by the junction with Harbledown Road is due to start on Monday 30th July until 5th August.  Hopefully this won't cause too much disruption and will of course improve the safety of crossing this very busy road.



Possible New Gym in Hamsey Green
28/06/2018 14:51:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


We have received the following correspondence from the planning department in relation to the use of the ground floor at the new development, next door to the Co-op If you have any queries or would like to lodge comments please do so  and refer to Application:  18/02393/FUL Location:  359 - 367 Limpsfield Road, South Croydon, CR2 9BY.  Details of Application:  Use of ground floor commercial unit as gym (Class D2) with opening hours 6am-9pm Monday to Friday.

The council details are: Phone: 020 8726 6800 Email:

The letter from the commercial agency states:

RE: Commercial Unit at Limpsfield Road Croydon CR2

We act on behalf of the Landlord, Queensbury Investments Ltd, of the ground floor commercial element of the above scheme, and confirm that we have exchanged an Agreement to Lease with a tenant, which is subject to the hours of use being varied as per the planning application which you have submitted on behalf of our mutual client. You have asked for some further background information, which we can confirm as follows:


The commercial unit benefits from a range of uses, A1, A2, A3, D1, D2 & B1. The unit has been marketed extensively for over 9 months by our company and 2 other agents, James Commercial and Stile Harold Williams.

Due to the unit forming part of a residential led mixed use scheme, the lease restricts a number of activities / operations from taking place to ensure that the use is compatible with the residential element. Therefore, whilst the planning uses are wide, the actual uses permitted by the freeholder is more restrictive.

Efforts were made to secure a convenience store, however the neighbouring Co-Op is too dominant and none of their competitors wished to take a store.

We were delighted to receive interest from the proposed tenant, as this is a very compatible use for the wider scheme, and we have worked with them to design the fit out of what will be a fantastic addition to the area.


HARD Fitness is a well-established, goal specific personal training facility, delivering professional level fitness, hydration and nutritional education to private clients. They operate under brands HARD Fitness & Dynamo Boxing.

They currently operate from two locations in East Grinstead and Central Croydon, and due to success and ongoing demand, are opening a third site at the subject property, which would be branded as HARD Fitness.

The existing site in East Grinstead forms part of a mixed-use development with residential accommodation above, and the use has worked well and compliments the overall development. 

The new unit will be fitted out to a high quality including all necessary sound insulation, and will operate between the hours of 6am - 9pm on Monday to Friday.

Sessions are carried out by private appointment only, and typically there will be no more than 10 people within the premises at any one time. The premises has 7 dedicated parking spaces ensuring that there is no impact on local parking / transport. 

The planning application to vary the opening hours to 6am as appose to 7am is to allow appointments to take place before clients go to work, and this is typical of this type of operation, and is essential for the business to be competitive with other similar businesses.

The intention is to be ready to open the facility in line with practical completion of the development in October 2018. 

As a gesture of goodwill, HARD Fitness are pleased to offer a complimentary session to each household within the new scheme.

We can confirm that extensive consultation has taken place with Optivo Housing Association, who are the freeholder to the wider scheme, who are supportive of the use on the basis that it would be compatible with their overall development.


We feel that HARD Fitness will be an excellent addition to the overall scheme, being a highly compatible neighbour and one which promotes well-being and health. 

All parties are keen to see this happen, providing the hours of use can be changed to suit the operational requirements of the Tenant.

Yours sincerely,


Yours Sincerely, 

Joe Goldsmith Commercial Agency  

The site is right next door to Hamsey Green Pond which is not looking its best.  We hope to work with the contractor to improve the biodiversity of the pond which needs de-silting. 




Refuse Recycling and Green Waste Collections
26/06/2018 14:08:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Residents are contacting me experiencing severe problems with their green waste collections.  One resident has contacted the council more the fifteen times and even after my intervention the smelly bin remains some five weeks later. In this very hot weather the stench drifting down the street is quite horrible.  Not only are residents experiencing difficulty with collections but there seems to be a disconnect between the council and the contractor in the reporting of missed bins.  There is also a problem with tracing payments made by telephone when the council system of paying on line was down.  Nobody at the council can find the payments which is extraordinary. Elderly residents are contacting me in despair.  They have no access to online systems.

Coupled with the above residents living in a split road for collections of recycling and general waste are also being missed with two crews on separate weeks giving different informaton despite residents showing the men on their rounds the paperwork put through their doors.

Another excuse given to residents is that the bin is not properly presented or the bin is contaminated and when council officers have visited the properties they have found this to be completely untrue.  Both McCarthy and Stone's Yew Tree Court on the Limpsfield Road and the properties at the Methodist Church are also struggling with sporadic waste collections as well as the shops on the Limpsfield Road.

Something has gone seriously wrong and the situation needs rectifying immediately.  We are all dreading the new system of recycling in September as it doesn't appear that they can cope with the arrangements that are already in place.

For those families who have gardens they may have three green bins, one general waste, one for plastics and tins, one for paper and card and the food waste bin.  That's is seven bins being stored for the council at residential properties.  Whilst we all support the increase in recycling for those not living in a property that can cope with the footage these bins will take I certainly hope that the boxes can be retained.

The impact of this at the frontage of the house can be quite unsightly and destroy the character of the area as anyone who has visited Brighton will see.   And the very people that need to be encouraged to do more recycling are not generally those that are living in the larger detached houses but those living in the flatted developments and properties that are unable to house the new system.  So will there be an increase in recycling - we will have to wait and see!



Sanderstead Pond - Notice in SRA Noticeboard
25/06/2018 13:28:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Residents will see a new sign in the SRA noticeboard advising what is best for our ducks and geese.  White breat is not good for our feathered friends as it lacks the nutrients needed for a healthy life.  Grain, seeds, peanuts and brown or seeded bread are better.  Please don't leave an excess of food around the pond as it is attracting rats and can pollute the pond.



Hamsey Green Pond - Early Morning Meeting
21/06/2018 10:32:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I met with Meike Weiser and Verena Trend at Croydon Council to discuss the improvements to Hamsey Green pond.  The pond is in a terrible state with parrot weed now covering the whole of the surface of the pond and vegetation overtaking the entire surround.  The pond needs de-silting which is a major operation and there would need to be a clear plan to dispose of the huge amount of silt and evasive plant form.  The pond is extremely deep and the work that needs to take place would probably be beyond the remit of The Conservation Volunteers.  Meike and Verena very kindly are putting together a plan to instigate work at this site.



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 Older Blog Posts
Hear Me Speak - Sanderstead Residents' Association
20mph Road Markings - Purley Downs Road
Sanderstead Safer Neighbourhood Team - Change of Email
Grass Cutting and Green Space Management
Sanderstead Pond - Rat Infestation
Kings Wood - Friends Signs
Eid - Sanderstead Recreation Ground
Sanderstead Care Centre - Previously Wells Place
Addington Road - Proposed Crossing
Footpath 145 Between Heathhurst Road and Mayfield Road
McCarthy & Stone - Limpsfield Road
Green Waste - Missed Collections
Sanderstead Memorial Hall - Appeal for Committee Members
Roadworks at the bottom of Sanderstead Hill - delays possible
Sanderstead Residents' Association AGM
10 Clyde Avenue, Sanderstead - Application Withdrawn
Automatic Number Plate Recognition Visors
Sanderstead Councillors Elected - Thank You
Sanderstead Court Avenue one-way
Addington Road - Sapling Finally Planted
Large Street Tree in Lower Barn Road
Public Footpath 142 - Purley Oaks Road - Sanderstead Road
Joy Gadsby 3 January 1928 - 14 March 2018
Sanderstead Ward Crime Prevention Day - 21st April
Caravan on Mitchley Avenue/Dunmail Drive field
Hamsey Green Pond - Refuse and Neglect
All Saintsí Church Graveyard in Sanderstead
King's Wood Paths & Signs
Ken's Auto's Site - Development Well Underway
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