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

Intensification zones at local plan hearing
23/05/2017 10:40:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

Yesterday an entire day of the Inspection in Public of the local plan for Croydon was devoted to the subject of intensification zones. These are zones where our Labour council is particularly keen to see developed more intensively, in particular with more blocks of flats and heights allowed to double – so a predominately 1 or 2 storey area will be allowed to go to four storeys.

It has never been clear how the Labour administration arrived at the five sites it particularly wants to intensify. During the course of the inspection yesterday a new spreadsheet was circulated which apparently summarises which areas were considered and why the five selected ones were chosen. Unfortunately this document poses more questions than it answers!

What is clear is that 35 areas were considered, of which 16 were in the south and east of the borough – and therefore are represented by Conservative councillors – and 19 were in the northern and central areas currently represented by Labour. All five selected zones are in the south and east.

The areas concerned are:

  • An area along Limpsfield Road, Sanderstead, extending eastwards into Onslow Gardens and other residential roads
  • An area extending up the hills behind Kenley Station
  • An area around Wickham Road, Shirley Road and Addiscombe Road, again extending outwards into quiet residential roads
  • An area in South Croydon extending down Brighton Road from opposite Whitgift School, past the bus station and down to the junction of Sanderstead Road. It also runs up Sanderstead Road to Sanderstead Station and again takes in many roads to either side of the main roads
  • An area of Forestdale from Inglewood through Woodpecker Mount and Bellfield, down to Featherbed Lane and then up Gravel Hill.

My concern is that all these zones are too large, somewhat arbitrary in what they take in and what they don’t and the reasoning behind their selection very difficult to match up against the so-called ‘evidence’ which underpins it.

Some sites are rejected because the ownership of the land is fragmented and therefore the prospects for concerted development are very limited. Others are ruled out because of nearby heritage assets. Yet Onslow Gardens, which the supporting spreadsheet accepts contains All Saints Church (nationally listed) and eight other locally listed assets, with all the land owned in small house-sized plots. Surely when compared with other rejected areas, Onslow Gardens is equally challenging to intensify?

The plan regarding Sanderstead’s intensification is also contradictory. Elsewhere in the plan the council notes that the view of All Saints’ from Limpsfield Road is important and worthy of protection. That’s good, but given that it also wishes to allow four storey blocks of flats to be built surrounding All Saints’ and directly along the line of the view it wants to protect, that’s not very reassuring!

The over-arching policy talks about the idea that these zones should be in areas with good public transport. The council spreadsheet accepts that the PTAL (public transport accessibility level) in Sanderstead is virtually at the lowest level, far from the high level the policy requires!

This area is not called Sanderstead Village for nothing. It is centred around a church, a green and a village pond. The council recognises that the aspect to the west is very open and should be protected. The existing buildings in this intensification zone are predominately semis, detached two storey or bungalows. To all intents and purposes it is a village dropped into to a continuous urban environment. Turning it into flats seems nothing short of vandalism.

The good news is that it is clear that the Inspector is acutely aware that the selection of the five zones is arbitrary at best and the evidence base provided is contradictory. Towards the end of the day he noted that there were a number of possible outcomes of this part of the plan – he could redraw the boundaries, or delete entire zones, or even delete the entire policy from the plan. He could also, of course, approve the zones (although my reading of the progress of the day is that this is not the most likely outcome).

Moving on to the other proposed zones, the Kenley zone is equally bonkers. It does not need a policy to encourage intensification. Existing policies and the topography can be used to allow sustainable intensification as and where it is appropriate.

The Forestdale zone is quite simply crazy. The area identified is already quite intensively developed – mostly in the form of three storey six-flat apartment blocks. It is all in private ownership, with the flats subject to leases. The prospects of doing anything much in that zone are almost nil. Half of Holmbury Grove is in and half is out. You really wonder how officers and Labour councillors ever believed it was sensible to put this one forward.

The Wickham Road/Shirley Road zone is not entirely crazy, being based on a core area which is already semi-intensified. However, the zone extends too far into the main road hinterlands, and un-necessarily extends up Shirley Road and Addiscombe Road.

Similarly the Brighton Road plan makes a certain amount of sense in its application to Brighton Road, but there is no rational reason to include Sanderstead Road and it is hard to understand why this particular stretch of Brighton Road is considered more suitable that the miles of the rest of it or London Road? It seems to have just been pulled out of a hat!

The Inspector has run the sessions very fairly, and all the evidence has been examined quite forensically. I hope that the outcome of this will be a deletion or significant modification to this harmful and divisive policy.

 

 
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Xmas Lights - Sanderstead and Hamsey Green
05/12/2017 17:12:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

On Saturday I attended the official switch on for the Xmas lights outside Priscillas Cafe.  The Sanderstead councillors purchased additional lights for the trees and lamp posts from their councillor budget for Sanderstead and Hamsey Green.

It was a joyous occasion officiated by Jeremy Groombridge from All Saints Church and of course Santa who arrived courtesy of the Rotary Club. The lights will remain on during the day throughout the festive season and have low voltage bulbs.

It has made a huge difference to the area and we have received many compliments and thanks for all the work involved in making Sanderstead more festive!

 


 

Garden grabbing encouraged in Mayor Khan's London Plan
29/11/2017 13:38:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

he new draft London Plan has now been published and is available here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan/download-draft-london-plan

The key issues to note for Croydon are as follows.

  • As suspected, protection for back gardens has been removed. In addition, the Plan actually appears to be encouraging garden grabbing with a presumption in favour of 'infill development within the curtilage of a house'.
  •  
  • The housing density matrix has been completely removed. This means there are no limits or guidelines to the appropriate density of developments in particular areas.
  •  
  • Also as expected, there has been a drastic squeeze on parking standards. All developments with PTAL of 5-6 (i.e. areas with good public transport) are expected to be car free without exception. There is also a squeeze on office and retail parking.
  • Whilst internal housing space standards remain the same, it now says they should not be exceeded. The previous London Plan encouraged the space standards to be exceeded. So they are effectively now a maximum, rather than a minimum.
  • There are no targets for family homes, despite previous commitments. Boris's housing strategy had a target for 36% of affordable homes to be family sized. There was no target in Khan's housing strategy and we were told to expect this in the London Plan instead - however, it is not there. It also suggests that two bed units can be considered suitable for family housing.
  • As previously announced, the new London housing target is 64,935 homes a year across London. Croydon’s share is just under 3,000 homes per year, the fifth highest in London and the largest of any of the boroughs without large brownfield (former industrial or housing) sites. The borough breakdown show that Croydon’s target is double Bromley’s and three times Sutton’s.
  • Within this, there is also a new specific target for development on small sites of 24,573 homes per year. Again Croydon’s target is 50% more than Bromley’s and double Sutton’s.
  • There is a 'strategic target' for 50% affordable housing across London.

Cumulatively, these policies will encourage (particularly in outer London suburbs) a huge increase in the demolition of existing family housing and its replacement with blocks of flats with little to no parking provision.

 

 


 

Onslow Gardens closure: Tardis required
27/11/2017 13:05:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

 
 

The council placed signs at the weekend announcing the closure of Onslow Gardens from 30th Nov to the 4th Nov. We think they meant until 4th Dec! So unless you have a time machine handy, don't worry about the closures in the past....

As is frustratingly common they put the signs up before telling the councillors, so we have been unable to shed any light on what is happening until now.

It seems that the closure is necessitated by the back garden development at no 24, about which I bloogged several times duing the planning process. The two infill houses need ot be connected to the mains sewerage and that is the cause of the closure.

The actual closure takes place on the following days 30/11, 1/12 and 4/12, according to officers, which suggests it will reopen over the weekend.

Displaced traffic will be diverted via Blenheim Gardens and Cranleigh Gardens. Access will be maintained for residents up to works site and via diversion.

 


 

South East Cancer Help Centre - AGM & Member's Meeting
23/11/2017 21:35:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I was delighted to Chair the Annual General Meeting of the South East Cancer Help Centre along with the Members' Meeting.  It has been another successful year with not only an increase in membership but funding as well.  Paint Purley Purple was a great success with Chris Philp MP cutting the ribbon to start the week-long fundraising and awareness campaign.

Our guest speaker was Gary Das, who retired in 2016 from CUH.  Gary was a consultant urological surgeon in Croydon and also a pelvic cancer surgeon at St George's Hospital in London.  Gary gave a fascinating talk on his transition to becoming a surgeon at CUH and his book "Tender is the Scalpel's Edge".

The centre goes from strength to strength and is always looking for new volunteers.  If you feel you could spare a few hours do get in touch with Linda Kenison on 020 8668 0974.  The centre offers a wide range of activities and therapies and counselling can be booked through Linda.

 


 

Dementia Friends
23/11/2017 16:22:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I was pleased to see so many Conservative councillors and selected candidates take part in the Dementia Awareness session given by Rachel Carse, the new officer appointed to take forward work on Dementia and Social Incusion.  I have been working with the Dementia Alliance group for almost a year helping to raise awareness about people with Dementia.  We all have lapses in memory and sometimes get a little confused but Rachel helped us all understand how we can help identify residents/family or indeed friends who are showing signs of the onset of dementia and explained how we can manage some of the challenges presented by people with Dementia.  We have all signed up to undertake a small challenge and support Croydon becoming a Dementia Friendly Borough.

Anna D'Agostino from the Croydon BME Forum also visited the Sanderstead Residents' Association to talk about how to keep your memory strong and stay mentally active.  The SRA will include an article in the spring magazine.

As community leaders it is important that we are able to support all our community, young and old and fully understand some of the more complex issues impacting our residents.  I was pleased to see that the Borough Commander of Croydon Fire Brigade and Croydon's Metropolitan Police are also happy to take forward this agenda.

If you want to know more about the Dementia Alliance Group or would like to talk to me about the work I progressing do get in touch.

 


 

Friends of Purley Beeches AGM
23/11/2017 16:15:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

I attended the AGM of the Friends of Purley Beeches.  Many of the members are shocked and horrified that 31 of the borough's parks and green spaces are without local protection.  The Friends have worked hard in the beeches planting new trees and bulbs and cutting back much of the overgrowth from the natural pathways.  It is a very beautiful spot and has some exceptionally rare and beautiful trees.  Groups like this are so important in preserving our green spaces for all to enjoy. The group was formed after a number of trees were felled without informing local residents.  Many trees have been planted by the Friends and I am pleased to announce that the Sanderstead councillors will be making a donation from their community budget towards some bulbs to be planted alongside some of the pathways.  Do take a stroll through the woodland or maybe enjoy a game of tennis - its a real gem.

 


 

Trees Outside Priscillas and The Gruffy -- Xmas Lights
03/11/2017 15:58:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Residents will be delighted to hear that work is underway to put up the new Xmas lights purchased with the councillors community budget.  The lights will encircle the trees outside Sanderstead Recreation Park and at the Gruffy.  In order for the lights to be installed some minor works needs to be undertaken to remove some of the low hanging twigs and branches from the trees.  There will also be some new lights around the lampposts near the roundabout.  This builds on the lights already provided by the Sanderstead Residents' Association which will also be put up at the same time.  I am sure it will all look quite magical and we are looking forward to the official switch on and Xmas Fayre which will take place on Saturday, 2 December, in the Recreation Ground.

 


 

Traffic Sensors - Purley Oaks Road
03/11/2017 15:52:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Residents may have noticed some boxes attached to trees with rubber lines across Purley Oaks Road.  I enquired with officers why these have been implemented and they are monitoring traffic speed prior to the introduction of the 20mph zones being introduced.

Whilst the local Conservatives support resident concerns in relation to all traffic measures in roads where residents feel restrictions are necessary this is a blanket measure being introduced across the borough.

 


 

Footpath 138 Between Shaw Crescent and Rectory Park/Road Cleansing/Garden Waste Dumping
03/11/2017 10:25:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

The footpath between Shaw Crescent and Rectory Park is full of debris and bags of dog poo.  I have asked officers to ensure the contractor cleans up this unsightly mess as soon as possible and hope that residents resist the temptation to leave these bags in the alleyway in the future.

Some roads in the ward do not appear to be getting their regular street cleansing.  I have reported Ashdown Gardens which I hope will be swept shortly. Hillsmead Way is another road that seems to get missed.  Do let me know if you feel your road has not been swept in the last couple of months.

Not surprisngly St Marys Road has a number of large piles of garden waste alongside the mound of leaves that have fallen on the pathway. This is now impassable and commuters struggle down the road which of course is quite dangerous.  I have asked for the road to be cleaned and the debris removed.

 

 


 

Bus Diversion
03/11/2017 10:18:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

A number of residents have raised issues in relation to the recent bus diversion caused by the resurfacing of Sussex Road.  I have received the following response from officers which does in some part answer your questions:

Firstly I would like to apologise for the inconvenience the resurfacing of Sussex Road has caused to the residents. Regrettably we were unable to implement these works during any other time due to noise restriction in a residential areas.

Our highway inspectors carry out timely inspections of all carriageway and footways in Croydon twice a year and monthly on our busier routes to identify and raise orders to repair sections of the carriageway and footway which meet or will meet our intervention levels. This process allows our highway inspectors to prioritise repairs as well as it ensures that we can target our budgets to sites with the greatest need.

In December 2016 our team identified Sussex Road, for a road repairs,  Kier was instructed to commence works onsite from 31 October 2017, Prior to start works a letter was distributed to residents dated 17 October 2017 and buses accordingly. 

Unfortunately we were unable to use Selsdon Road as part of diversion route  due to the non-availability of low buses. However it is our understanding that the bus diversions signs were instituted on Friday by transport for London (TFL), this is a standard practice.

To enable the council to carry out these works with minimal distributions to the residents it was necessary to close Sussex road between the hours of 7am to 7pm on two sequential days. The council will only implement road closure under exceptional circumstance to safe guard road users and operatives.

In addition Croydon highways are constantly exploring ways to minimise disruption to residents and the surrounding networks while resurfacing works are taking place.

 

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
11/10/2017
Objection to local plan
29/09/2017
A Busy Day in Croydon
13/09/2017
Croydon Disability Forum/Dementia Action Alliance Meeting
06/09/2017
Rec traveller update
01/09/2017
Eid prayers in the Rec
01/09/2017
Graffiti removed
01/09/2017
Sanderstead Rec travellers
30/08/2017
Local Plan: good news for Sanderstead, not so good elsewhere
29/08/2017
Graffiti
24/08/2017
SGN road works in Hamsey Green
22/08/2017
Borough Grange garden furniture
22/08/2017
Change to Riddlesdown road works
13/08/2017
Dementia Alliance Action Group - Helpful Links
11/08/2017
More roadworks in Sanderstead
03/08/2017
Update on Addington Road Gas Main replacement
31/07/2017
Long term roadworks on Addington Road
21/07/2017
Childhood Obesity - Can we do More?
30/06/2017
A number of Essential Repairs Taking Place in Sanderstead
30/06/2017
Police Update - Theresa's Walk
19/06/2017
Armed Forces Day - Flag Raising - Grenfell Tower Minutes Silence
16/06/2017
South East Cancer Help Centre - Vice Chairman
12/06/2017
Sight lines on Mitchley View
25/05/2017
Gypsy and travelller site
23/05/2017
Intensification zones at local plan hearing
23/05/2017
Fly Tipping - Downsway Sanderstead
22/05/2017
Church Farm Services - Mitchley Avenue
19/05/2017
Field Opposite Riddlesdown Shops on Mitchley Avenue
15/05/2017
Dementia Awareness Week is 14 May to 20 May
11/05/2017
Riddlesdown Collegiate consulting on changing hours
04/05/2017
7-9 Arkwright Road
 
 
 
 
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