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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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Sanderstead Pond - Vandalism
26/10/2018 12:12:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Sadly the Sanderstead Residents’ Association noticeboard and notices around Sanderstead pond were vandalised last week.  What some people probably don’t know is that the area is currently infested with rats.  Poison has been put down to try to bring the numbers down but with the warm weather, water and current food supply from residents feeding the ducks the problem has become an environmental health problem. 

The council as a matter of urgency put up metal signs at the pond and also laminated posters on the trees and bench to try to persuade residents to stop feeding the ducks whilst they deal with this worrying situation.  Huge rats have been seen scurrying along the pathways and around the Gruffy and in the vegetation at the pond.  This is only a temporary measure until the infestation is brought under control.

I thought it was worth informing you of the dangers of contracting Weil’s disease.

Weil's disease is a form of a bacterial infection also known as Leptospirosis that is carried by animals, most commonly in rats and cattle. It can be caught by humans through contact with rat or cattle urine, most commonly occurring through contaminated fresh water. Although human infection in the UK is minimal it is still worth taking some preventative measures to decrease the possibility of contracting it.

Lots of young and elderly people enjoy this pleasant beauty spot and as a matter of public safety these measures have had to be taken.  I would hate for anyone to become seriously ill as a result of not taking action with the council.

I hope this helps explain why these urgent measures have been taken.

 


 

Sanderstead Memorial Hall - New Noticeboard
22/10/2018 16:34:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

To commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War a new notice board and sign has been erected at Sanderstead Memorial Hall. Councillor Yvette Hopley & Cllr Lynne Hale unveiled the notice board on Friday, 19 October 2018

The origins of the Hall go back to just after the end of the First World War. A group of local residents set up a committee in order to raise funds and create a suitable memorial in honour of all the men and women of Sanderstead who died or served their country in the Great War.  The hall is used by a number of groups in the Sanderstead Community.

 


 

Sanderstead & Hamsey Green Ponds
19/10/2018 15:40:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

I visited Sanderstead and Hamsey Green ponds today to talk to the Conservation Volunteers about improvements.  At Sanderstead pond they are going to build a couple of new wooden benches so that resident can enjoy the view and have a little rest.  It maybe possible to repair the nesting boxes or if necessary re-build them.  This will be funded from the councillor budgets.  I also took a look at the recent clearance of parrot weed from Hamey Green pond.  This was undertaken by the Conservation Volunteers who have made some headway clearing the parrot weed and reeds and well as cutting back some of the dead branches.  The pond does need de-silting and this is a major job which will be undertaken by the council.  We are awaiting the contract to undertake this significant piece of work.

 

 

 

 


 

Sanderstead Ward Panel Meeting
18/10/2018 21:19:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I attended the Sanderstead Ward Panel Meeting at Riddlesdown Collegiate.  Ward promises were discussed and whilst maintaining a focus on residential and non-residential burglaries across the ward along with motor vehicle crime, including theft it was decided to focus on both our young peple in terms of developing youth engagement along with raising awareness about scams and frauds with our elderly and vulnerable residents.  Residents can contact our SNT on 0208 721 2470 or email: ZD-SNTSanderstead@met.police.uk.

 


 

Sanderstead Library - Prize Winners!
17/10/2018 18:06:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Cllr Lynne Hale and I presented the prizes for the Summer Reading Challenge at Sanderstead Library on Friday, 12 October.  Pictured here are prize winners.  The Library has a great children's section and is much used by those attending pre-school. It is a good stepping stone for our young people learning to read who eventually will have a more formal education at school.

 


 

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.

Specific points:

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.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
26/09/2018
Fly tipping on Copthorne Rise
14/09/2018
Fly Tip Bins with Asbestos
05/09/2018
Recycling Boxes
03/09/2018
How to handle the bin change over
31/08/2018
Waste Services - Change of System
17/07/2018
Update on wheelie bin rollout
17/07/2018
Road works in Hamsey Green
12/07/2018
Sanderstead Residents Association - Waitrose - 4 August - 10am
12/07/2018
New Bin Delivery
11/07/2018
A New Bus Seat at Sanderstead Recreation Ground Bus Stop
03/07/2018
New Crossing - Addington Road
28/06/2018
Possible New Gym in Hamsey Green
26/06/2018
Refuse Recycling and Green Waste Collections
25/06/2018
Sanderstead Pond - Notice in SRA Noticeboard
21/06/2018
Hamsey Green Pond - Early Morning Meeting
21/06/2018
Heathhurst Road/Mayfield Road Footpath
20/06/2018
Hear Me Speak - Sanderstead Residents' Association
20/06/2018
20mph Road Markings - Purley Downs Road
19/06/2018
Sanderstead Safer Neighbourhood Team - Change of Email
18/06/2018
Grass Cutting and Green Space Management
18/06/2018
Sanderstead Pond - Rat Infestation
16/06/2018
Kings Wood - Friends Signs
15/06/2018
Eid - Sanderstead Recreation Ground
14/06/2018
Sanderstead Care Centre - Previously Wells Place
12/06/2018
Addington Road - Proposed Crossing
12/06/2018
Footpath 145 Between Heathhurst Road and Mayfield Road
24/05/2018
McCarthy & Stone - Limpsfield Road
24/05/2018
Green Waste - Missed Collections
16/05/2018
Sanderstead Memorial Hall - Appeal for Committee Members
16/05/2018
Roadworks at the bottom of Sanderstead Hill - delays possible
 
 
 
 
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