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 The Fairfield Blog
 
Cllr  Vidhi  Mohan
Cllr  Helen  Pollard
Cllr  Sue  Winborn
 

Cabinet Agenda
13/03/2017 18:18:00......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met with colleagues to review the Cabinet papers that had just been circulated.  It was good to see that the Scrutiny Committee had recommended changes to the Council's approach for the redvelopment of Surrey Street.

 
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Planning Meeting
24/03/2017 11:55:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

Attended a Planning Meeting about an application in Scarbrook Road

 


 

A Mystery….
19/03/2017 09:40:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

On 5th March I received reports of new posts being put up in the Chatsworth Road area.

Chatsworth Road and its side roads are in area 4 for the 20 mph zones consultation as per the Council’s website https://www.croydon.gov.uk/transportandstreets/roadsafety/20mph-areas-for-residential-roads/south-east

The statutory consultation took place between 18/1/17 and 15/2/17. 

A decision about whether to go ahead with the 20mph zones in area 4 is due to be taken on 9th May 2017.

Since 5th March I have sent a number of emails to the Council, but so far, no one has advised me what these posts are for. 

So, has the Council already decided to go ahead with the scheme?  Was the consultation a tick box exercise?  If so, were residents wasting their time responding because the decision had already been made?

If you have a view on the 20mph zone you might want to speak at the Traffic Management Committee on 9th May.

Here are extracts from the Council’s website:

If you wish to attend and address the meeting, further information on attendance may be obtained by contacting Victoria Lower (Members’ Services Manager) after 2 May 2017 by telephoning 020 8726 6000 ext. 14773. Please note any requests to be added to the speakers list cannot be taken before that date.

All objections will be reported to Council Members for their consideration at the meeting of the Traffic Management Advisory Committee scheduled to take place on 9 May 2017, following which objectors will be notified of the outcome.  The outcome will also be placed on this webpage as a further update.

What are the next steps?

  • All objections received will be evaluated and where appropriate (in light of any objections) the proposal may be amended before being included as part of an objections report which will be considered by the Councils Traffic Management Advisory Committee meeting in May 2017. 
  • The Committee will make a recommendation to the Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment on whether or not the scheme should be proceeded with for any/all of the three areas i.e. areas 3, 4 and 5.  
  • The Cabinet Member will make the final decision on whether or not to continue with implementation of the proposal for any/all areas.
  • If the decision is to implement the scheme, the council will prepare the design work and implementation will be commenced.

 

 


 

Arts Question Time
16/03/2017 18:24:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

Attended a question time event organised but South Croydon Community Association (SCCA).  A very good evening of discussion about the arts in Croydon.  There were some challenging questions and thoughful answers from the panel.  It was a shame Croydon's Cabinet Member for Culture could not find time to attend this event.

Well done to SCCA for such a well-organised and timely event.

 


 

Addiscombe Grove
13/03/2017 20:41:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

Went to the public consultation about the plans for a development of affordable housing in a high rise development in Addiscombe Grove.  Here's a photo.  Planning application to be submitted in the April.

 


 

Old Town
09/03/2017 20:58:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

I was in Old Town this evening and spotted a number of fly tips that I reported to the Council.  Also saw a member of the Police Safer Neighbourhood team who was knocking on doors offering 'smart water' security to residents.  It is good to see the Police playing such an active part in preventing crime.

 


 

Spring Cleaning
04/03/2017 18:35:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

Today I led a team of residents as we cleaned up Lloyd Park.  This initiative was part of the Great British Spring Clean and similar clean ups were taking place in other Croydon parks.  In the space of 1.5 hours a team of us gathered many bags of rubbish and cleaned up a huge pile of rubbish next to the recycling bins in the car park.  Thanks to everyone who came along to help!

 


 

John Ruskin College
28/02/2017 10:06:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a strategy day for governors of John Ruskin College.  Interesting discussions about apprenticeships.  Some good ideas developed to take the College forward

 


 

Council Meeting
27/02/2017 10:03:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Spoke at the Council Meeting about the current lack of activity at Fairfield Halls

 


 

Fairfield and College Green
25/02/2017 10:30:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

Went to the Planning Committee meeting where the plan for College Green and Fairfield Halls was recommended for approval.  

I question the wisdom of putting the Fairfield application into the same planning meeting as a number of other local developments.  Far more time was needed to consider an application this big.  There was an 86-page report prepared about this application and it was hard to give proper consideration to the many aspects of the development given the lack of time.  Anyone looking for more details on the Council's website would have found around 300 pdf documents (most labelled with a code, rather than description) so it was very difficult to work out what was going on.  I wonder whether all this was a deliberate ploy to 'bury' the details so that close scrutiny was made as difficult as possible. 

Whilst I am supportive of the redevelopment of the area and Fairfield Halls I have major concerns about the direction the development is taking.  The housing is very dense and corners seem to have been cut in order to maximise revenue.  Here is a copy of my speech.

I am speaking as a ward councillor for Fairfield Ward and also the Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture Leisure and Sport.

I would like to start by saying that I am pleased we finally have a planning application for the first phase of the Fairfield redevelopment even though it is seven months after the closure of Fairfield Halls.   I have great concerns about the redevelopment of Fairfield Halls given that this application his being submitted so late in the day.  I hope it is still able to open in 2018 so that residents can once again enjoy top quality events in this world class venue.  I also hope that the acoustics of the Concert Hall are not adversely affected and that community groups who want to use Fairfield Halls won't be priced out by a commercial operator who only wants to make a profit.

I'll now move on to the detail of the application.

I accept that there is a need to build homes in Croydon, particularly in this area which  is so close to good transport links, however I think a high price is being paid to squeeze in so many homes.  By which I mean that, in places this development is so dense it will materially affect the daily lives of residents.  

In a throwaway comment at 3.3 the report says that despite daylight and sunlight conditions being below the recommended standards the overall level of amenity for future occupiers would be acceptable. 

But is it acceptable that 36% of habitable rooms will have less than the recommended amount of daylight?

Is it acceptable that instead of half the amenity area for phase 1A receiving 2 hours of sunlight on the benchmark day of 21st March, only 14% will get two hours sunlight?

Is it acceptable that the courtyards for blocks 4 and 5 will receive no sunlight on 21st March and in block 6, only 36% of the area will get the minimum of 2 hours?  Below the recommended 50%?  It is hard to imagine any plants surviving in these courtyards, so they could potentially become concrete no-go areas.

I worry that the flats on lower levels and the communal areas will be dark and gloomy which is not a great outlook for residents.  Their experience of living in these flats will be adversely affected by the poor design and density of development.

Other things that concern me about this development are:

·        Firstly:  The lack of family housing.  6% rather than the recommended 20%.  This will really affect the feel of the place, with fewer children.  It could become a dormitory for city workers, rather than a vibrant community.

·        Secondly: Separation distance between blocks B and D are only 15-16 metres.  Once again, a dark and gloomy prospect for residents

·        Third:  The lack of onsite play space for children.  Ignoring recommended levels

·        Fourth:  The excessive use of concrete in the design.  Croydon has a reputation for being a concrete jungle because of the prevalence of 60s brutalist architecture and the use of bare concrete.  We should be making every effort to steer clear of this approach, especially as the applicant is actually the council.  The proposed design will date and look tatty very quickly.

·        Fifth:  The loss of 37 of the 50 trees on the site.  I hope these are replaced

·        Sixth:  A two thirds reduction in the number of parking spaces.  This will have far reaching implications for people who used to use the car park and also for residents.

·        Seventh: The fact that the council is ignoring GLA advice about the bridge link.

·        Eighth: The lack of comment from the Police’s ‘designing out crime’ officer

Finally, I would like to mention the local parks.  The report refers to the fact that residents can use local parks at Park Hill and Queen's Gardens.  There has been no investment in Park Hill Park despite money being set aside for doing this.  Will there be some s106 / CIL money from this development to upgrade the facilities at Park Hill Park and Queen's Gardens to cope with this increased usage? 

Notwithstanding the comments, I am happy to see that something is finally happening to move this development forward.  I support the overall idea of this application, but I have some major misgivings about the impact of this dense development on future residents.

Note: the photo shows the new college building (two blocks connected by a bridge) attached to the back of Fairfield Halls, which is to the right of the picture.  On the left is one of the residential blocks.

 

 


 

Surrey Street consultation meeting
25/02/2017 10:29:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

Briefly attended the Surrey Street consultation meeting but had to leave early to go to the Planning Meeting where a decision was to be made about Fairfield Halls.  My colleague, Cllr Mohan was able to stay at the Surrey Street meeting and listen to the presentation from the council and the views of residents.  Having seen some plans for the new signs I'm really not sure about the proposed yellow neon approach. 

I asked for a copy of the council presentation to be sent to me.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
18/02/2017
Heathfield Gardens
11/02/2017
Rise Gallery
09/02/2017
Saffron Square
09/02/2017
Parks update
08/02/2017
Heathfield Gardens
04/02/2017
Saraswati Puja
01/02/2017
Project Griffin
01/02/2017
Meeting with Police
31/01/2017
Director of Place
30/01/2017
Council Meeting
25/01/2017
Made In Croydon
24/01/2017
John Ruskin College
23/01/2017
Meeting Fairfield residents
19/01/2017
Queen's Gardens
18/01/2017
Culture in Croydon
17/01/2017
Cycling Sign
17/01/2017
Flytip
17/01/2017
Old Town - Parking Issues
10/01/2017
Surrey Street - Notes
10/01/2017
Surrey Street Market
03/01/2017
Councillor Surgery
10/12/2016
Made In Croydon
06/12/2016
Cycling in Parks
05/12/2016
Fairfield Halls Plans
30/11/2016
Croydon Communities Consortium
23/11/2016
Community Budget
22/11/2016
Meeting residents in Fairfield
21/11/2016
Fairfield Halls Plans
14/11/2016
Fairfield Halls
13/11/2016
Civic Remembrance Service
 
 
 
 
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