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

Purley Skyscraper
16/01/2018 12:30:00......Posted by Lynne Hale


Today I attended the Purley Skyscraper Inquiry and had the opportunity of explaining to the Planning Inspector why I objected to such a tall building on this site. The site is desperate for re-development and we need more housing but I do think that 17 storeys is just too tall.
Below are the notes I spoke from:
“I am here to tell you why I think the plan for a 17 storey skyscraper here in Purley is completely inappropriate.

At 4 to 5 times the height of any other building for miles around, the skyscraper would stick out like a sore thumb, be significantly out of character with the area and would obliterate the current suburban feel.

Whilst the main focus of my concern is with the height of the proposed building, I also have serious concerns about the impact on local parking, the flood risk, the density of the development and the detrimental impact which such a tall building will have on local views such as those from Farthing Downs.

I have a close connection with Purley and the people who live here. My parents had a shop next to Purley Station and I have always lived in the area, representing Sanderstead Ward as a councillor – just a few miles up the road from here - for nearly 20 years. I also worked as a health professional in Purley Hospital for many years.

This site really does need developing. It has been sitting here abandoned and derelict for years creating a dreadful eyesore on this important Town Centre site. I have seen quite a few proposals for the site in the past, some of which have truly celebrated the site which should sit proudly on the junction between the A22 and the A23.

- Well-designed buildings of character – one of which I recall looked like the bow of a cruise ship facing you as you drove under the A22 railway bridge towards it – its tiered storeys reflecting beautifully the topography of the site. Imagine that!

It is therefore perfectly possible to have a beautiful landmark design which will put Purley on the map in terms of innovative design, not just in the community development world, but in the wider world of regeneration. Importantly though, of all the previous iterations I have seen, none has been more than 7 or 8 storeys.

And I would at this point like to commend the vision and energy of Purley Baptist Church in trying to bring sustainable life to this derelict site.

I don’t think this 17 storey building is where they wished to end up, but I would like to place on record my recognition of the huge amount of time, money and prayer which Purley Baptist Church has invested into the creation of a scheme, which they wished to bring to this site and which would enhance the lives of Purley residents.

I am saddened that the sheer size of what we have had to end up with means we are in the position of opposing what started off as such a wonderful worthwhile positive proposal for Purley.

What started as a project built on faith not finance has now become one driven by finance and a political interpretation of planning policies based on ideology rather than what is best for the local community and character here in Purley.

Unfortunately, this proposal will put Purley on the map for all the wrong reasons. This looming eyesore is a tragic waste of a site with real potential to deliver a community centre and housing which we could embrace and celebrate. This skyscraper would cause a shadow over central Purley and have a detrimental impact not just on the character of the suburban neighbourhood but would completely dominate it.
The proposal for 17 floors is inappropriate for the following planning reasons:

• It does not respect and enhance the local area – as required by Croydon’s own Local Plan and it cannot possibly be considered to be of exceptional quality with sensitivity applied to articulation and composition which is proportionate in scale. CLP2 (2017) DM 16.

• Referencing London Plan (2016) Policy 7.7 –
o  It will have an unacceptably harmful impact on its surroundings because of its being so much higher than any other building nearby
o It certainly won’t relate well with the surrounding buildings being completely at odds with and utterly dominating the prevailing street-scene and public realm
o And it certainly doesn’t form part of a cohesive building group – as defined by the Policy – because it is a complete one-off

In addition to breaching the London Plan and the Croydon Plan as illustrated by my previous points, the scheme also flies in the face of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) para 58, sub point 4, which says that planning policies and decisions should aim to ensure that developments: “respond to local character and history and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials.”

The reason for this breach is that the towering height of this proposal is completely out of character with any other building for miles around.

This design in its entirety would however, be perfectly at home in Croydon Town Centre, just up the road, where tall buildings and density of this scale are perfectly apt.

Turning now briefly to density and parking.

This development exceeds the upper end of the density reference range set out in the London Plan 2016 Policy 3.4 and Table 3.2.

The island site on its own, which in many ways it is, as it is completely physically separated from the rest of the development by a busy dual carriage way, is 50% higher than the top end of the density range.

The density range is there for a reason – to protect the living conditions of the residents who will live there – so it is unacceptable just to ignore it. Indeed density alone would be sufficient grounds to have refused the application.

We know we need more housing in Croydon Borough but it is unacceptable to squeeze families into developments that are just not suitable in terms of density – especially when there are plenty of brownfield sites which are sitting undeveloped in Croydon, crying out for regeneration. Placing hundreds of families on a roundabout in the middle of a busy gyratory system is just not fair on any of them.

Parking is already at a premium in Purley and with just 37 parking spaces for the 220 flats, this will inevitably put a huge burden on local street parking which is already stressed.

Residents should be given a real choice about how they travel (NPPF 2012 para 29) but this scheme would deny that and seriously adversely affect the current parking conditions.

My final point is around flooding in this high flood risk area. We all know that the centre of Purley floods on a fairly regular basis – the Bourne rises in the Caterham/Kenley section of the valley every 7 years or so and even a particularly heavy downfall can bring Purley Cross to a complete standstill as the roads flood.
So it is surprising that the scheme does not have more substantial flood mitigation measures in place.

As I have said, I know Purley Baptist Church has worked so hard for many years on trying to bring a scheme which will enhance the local area and support local residents.

But with regret I think this skyscraper proposal would fundamentally and detrimentally change the nature of Purley. The goal posts have significantly moved during the scheme’s development and what we have now ended up with is just too tall.

Mr Nicholson, in the circumstances, I hope that you will reject it.”

 
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Be a Winter Champion - Do Take Care in The Cold Weather
10/12/2018 16:52:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Some General Advice

• Getting a flu vaccination. This is particularly important for young children, pregnant women, people over 65 years old and those with a long term health condition.
• Visiting a pharmacist as a good first port of call for advice, as they are experts in many aspects of healthcare. No appointment is required and many have private consultation areas.
• Make use of GP appointments which are available throughout the week.
• Calling NHS 111 for immediate healthcare needs when appropriate.

Residents are also advised to stay warm and well during the winter, and helping others to do so, by:

• Keeping their homes warm at a temperature of at least 18°C (65°F).
• Treating colds and sore throats quickly, wrapping up in warm comfortable clothing and wearing shoes with a good grip, especially if it is icy or wet outside.
• Looking out for frail, elderly or vulnerable family, neighbours or friends as they are more susceptible to ill-health in the cold. Ensure they are warm, have stocked up on their medication and have enough food in their cupboards.

More winter wellness advice is available at [www.nhs.uk/staywell]www.nhs.uk/staywell

 


 

Xmas Lights - Sanderstead & Hamsey Green
22/11/2018 16:08:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Finally, the Xmas tree has been installed at the side of Sanderstead pond.  This should be lit along with the trees on the roundabout.  I am pleased to see that the lamp posts in Sanderstead and Hamsey Green have their lights already in place.  All ready for Santa to turn them on on Saturday, 1 December at 4pm.  Residents will be gathering from 3.30 pm to sing carols around the newly planted tree.  Do come and join us.

 


 

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.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
04/10/2018
Sanderstead Pond
28/09/2018
Bins, Bins, Bins - But no Collections in some places
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
 
 
 
 
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