A sad day - flats approved on Croham Valley Road.
26/01/2017 20:56:00......Posted by Sara Bashford
Tonight Croham Valley Residents Association and I objected to the first block of flats proposed for Croham Valley road. To our dismay and great sadness, the committee on a vote of 6 to 4 approved the proposal. Conservative Councillors spoke against the plans but the Labour Councillors all voted in favour of it. Cllr Paul Scott made it very clear that flats can be built anywhere and no area is special and everywhere can be intensified. Not what any of us wanted to hear.
I will do all I can to keep our area as distinctive as possible, but it will be an uphill battle whilst Labour are the majority group on Planning. If you want to read the speech I made it is below.
In the reasons for recommendation the report states that the proposed development would not have a detrimental impact on the character of the area. This is completely untrue. It will and it will be very significant.
If you drive down Farley Road and into Croham Valley Road you will clearly see a change in the type of housing and character of the area. Where this proposal is are large detached family homes with one house per plot. There are no flats and this makes the area what it is. If this application is permitted it will start a trend and we will lose the very attractive and distinctive look of the area.
You may say that the plot is large enough for a block of flats but that should not be considered to the detriment of the character which is not just in keeping with the Croham Valley Road area but those roads around it. This is an area that is attractive, open and has a special feel with the cricket and rugby grounds of old Whits just up the road. If we start changing the character this part of the borough will just merge into the next and lose its distinctiveness, which would be a real shame.
Adding a block of flats will be to the detriment of the area and is not acceptable and whilst I know we need more homes these won’t be affordable to most so won’t really impact on the borough’s housing problems.
This is a further creep application. The developer started by getting permission to build semi’s which residents and I also opposed. The developer clearly felt this wasn’t enough and has gone one step further. I hope this committee agrees this is one step too far. This isn’t acceptable to residents so shouldn’t be acceptable to you. Please don’t let the need to put forward statistics and numbers override the need to keep parts of the borough special and respect the character.
I would also like to add that it is disappointing that yet again plans have been changed 22 days after the close of the application consultation date. It isn’t fair to residents not to advertise and give a chance for people to see these changes. I know officers say the changes are not material but they are to residents, we need to be open and transparent. Any changes should be consulted on otherwise it looks as though there is favouritism towards developers and against objectors. This application has received a very high number of objections so I hope the committee does the right thing, respect the character of the Ballards area and listen to residents views and respect them.
I would ask that you refuse this very very out of character application.