A few weeks ago Croydon published its latest draft in its local plan - this is the suite of documents which will determine what does and does not get planning permission over the next 10-15 years.
There is much detailed work in this which is good, but there are also a number of major concerns with it.
In particular it is proposed to:
- Locate a gypsy and traveller site at Purley Oaks on land which was, in the previous drafts of the plan, considered quite unsuitable. This site is in a flood zone, near open water and on a busy junction. It is not an appropriate site either for the travellers or other residents and should be rethought.
- Withdraw Metropolitan Open Land protection from an area around Shirley Oaks Village, which opens it up for future development and the loss of this vital open amenity space.
- Reduce a number of areas of land in the south of the borough from Green Belt status to a lower degree of protection. This includes Purley Downs Golf Club, Sanderstead Plantation and Croham Hurst.
- Remove ‘Local Area of Special Character’ protection from a number of areas, leaving them unprotected
- Intensify development in the currently low-density areas behind many shopping parades. This includes Onslow Gardens and roads off it in Sanderstead, the area around Wickham Road, Forestdale, South Croydon district centre and areas off Godstone Road.
- Allow tall buildings in Purley, such as the proposed skyscraper on the Baptists’ Church site
- Include a pool for Purley but not specify that it should be a proper 25m pool with appropriate facilities.
Residents' groups up and down the borough are very worried about the impact the proposed plan will have on the character of the area.
As you will see from the list of concerns above, the south and east of the borough are particularly hard hit by the changes, with a proposed gypsy and traveller site in Purley and loss of protected status to several sites of Green Belt in the Sanderstead area. The plan also proposes to allow more intensive development in the residential areas behind All Saints' Church (Onslow Gardens, Blenheim Gardens, Cranleigh Gardens and Stanley Gardens), in Kenley off the Godstone Road, in South Croydon and Forestdale.
There is now a petition which concerned residents can sign to force the council to publicly debate the deficiencies in the plan and calling upon it to drop the most controversial elements. You can sign that petition on:
Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Tim Pollard, says "As well as signing this non-political petition, we would also urge you to take part in the official council consultation. The previous stage of the consultation also had some unacceptable proposals and the involvement of over 7,000 local residents in writing about their concerns did achieve some notable changes to the policies, so it is worth doing. This is our last chance to get the council to change its mind on some of these damaging changes, so the time to act is now!"
Consultation runs from 5 Sep for 6 weeks and documents may be viewed:
- At the borough’s libraries (during normal opening hours)
- At Bernard Weatherill House (Access Croydon), Mint Walk, Croydon,
- 9:00am-4:00pm (Monday to Friday)
- By downloading from the Council’s website:
- Croydon Local Plan: Strategic Policies www.croydon.gov.uk/localplanone
- Croydon Local Plan: Detailed Policies and Proposals www.croydon.gov.uk/localplantwo
- Alternative formats of the document are available on request at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8407 1385