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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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 Other Blog Posts
 

Sanderstead Court Avenue one-way
24/04/2018 19:04:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

To facilitate emergency gas works outside number 2 Sanderstead Court Avenue, Southern Gas Networks have had to make the road one way from its junction with Limpsfield Road. The diversion for displaced traffic will be via Sanderstead Court Avenue/ Onslow Gardens/ Cranleigh Gardens/ Limpsfield Road. 


It is expected for the work to be completed by Tuesday 1st May.  I will post further updates if this changes.

 


 

Addington Road - Sapling Finally Planted
18/04/2018 18:02:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

After a number of requests the damaged sapling on the Addington Road has finally been planted.  Street trees add such value and its pretty blossoms will soon form new growth.

 


 

Large Street Tree in Lower Barn Road
16/04/2018 11:50:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

The council have promised that the large tree running alongside Riddlesdown Lawn Tennis Club is at last going to have a crown reduction.  The leaf fall is impacting one side of the tennis courts and needs a good prune.  The promise is to do the work within the next two months so fingers crossed!

 

 


 

Public Footpath 142 - Purley Oaks Road - Sanderstead Road
16/04/2018 11:28:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

Residents have raised concerns over the condition of the footpath between Purley Oaks Road and Sanderstead Road.  The rail has broken and is missing on one section of the steep incline, making it difficult for residents, in particular, the elderly, to use the pathway.  Moss and leaf mould has taken a grip of a large section of the pathway making it extremely slippery in wet and icy conditions.  It hasn't helped that the council haven't picked up the winter leaf fall which line the pathway on both sides.  I have taken these issues up with the council and hope that action will soon be taken to get the footway back into safe use.

 


 

Joy Gadsby 3 January 1928 - 14 March 2018
13/04/2018 12:17:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

I was extremely sad to learn that Joy Gadsby passed away on 14 March 2018.  I know that many residents attended her funeral at All Saints Church. She was a wealth of knowledge and had not only provided me with information for the Sanderstead News over the last fourteen years but had written articles for numerous editors before me. She was a keen and knowledgeable botanist who took a great interest in her local environment, particularly the ancient woodland adjoining Sanderstead.  In fact, her very last article published in the March edition of the Sanderstead News was about Kings Wood.

As well as being a faithful worshipper at All Saints she was a lover of Scandanavian life and culture and had many friends in both Denmark and Norway.

Joy never married, her young man being killed in World War II and lived in Sanderstead all her life.  They are now united.  We will all miss Joy and the huge contribution she made to the local community.  We are looking at celebrating her life in some way perhaps by planting a tree or a rose in Wettern Tree Gardens.  We work closely with the Sanderstead Residents Associaton and will discuss an appropriate way forward at the next meeting.

 

 


 

Sanderstead Ward Crime Prevention Day - 21st April
12/04/2018 12:48:00.......Posted by Lynne Hale


Our local Sanderstead Neighbourhood Police Team are holding a Crime Prevention Day on Saturday 21st April which residents may wish to pop along to. Local Police Officers will be on hand to discuss how best to protect your home and vehicle. The details are as follows:
Date: Saturday 21st April
Time: 10.45am – 1.45pm
Place: St Edmund’s Church Hall, Mitchley Avenue, Riddlesdown CR2 9HL
 

 


 

Caravan on Mitchley Avenue/Dunmail Drive field
12/04/2018 09:15:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

 
 

Yesterday residents started to report that a caravan had been delivered to the field at the bottom of Dunmail Drive where it meets Michley Hill/Mitchley Avenue. This is the field which has been used for a while to graze horses. A few years ago the owner got permission (against the ward team and local residents' associations wishes) from the Labour-controlled planning committee to put down hard standing and access gating, which they said they needed to facilitate the care of the horses. The land is Green Belt, which severely limits what can go on it.

I have asked planning officers to visit and advise whether the caravan can lawfully remain there (and if not, to take enforcement action). It looks as though the caravan is there with the permission of the field's owner and it doesn't appear to be the start of an illegal encampment, but we will keep and eye on it and make sure there are no additions whilst officers review it.

 


 

Hamsey Green Pond - Refuse and Neglect
09/04/2018 17:50:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

I have been working closely with the Sanderstead Residents' Association and local organisations such as the Rotary Club to improve the biodiversity and general appearance of Hamsey Green Pond.  Cllr Pollard and I planted crocus bulbs and the three local councillors alongside the Sanderstead Residents' Association funded the new railings, gate and hardstanding as well as organising the new noticeboard and benches for people to sit and enjoy this quiet place of contemplation.  Sadly, the pond itself is in a terrible condition.  Refuse and litter are strewn all around the pond and an old for sale board is now the main feature of the area.  I have repeatedly asked that the parrot weed be cleared and the whole area be cleaned of refuse and debris but sadly this does not seem to be a priority for this administration.  Despite being recognised as an important conservation and biodivrsity area recently listed in the local plan it is severely neglected.  Many residents have complained saying they are unable to enjoy this spot and are deeply saddened by its condition.  All I can say is that I will continue to email the council and the cabinet member asking that this important place is not neglected and work take place so that the community can enjoy this rare and beautiful pond.  As an update to this post the council is trying to facilitate a way forward with the developer to see if they would be willing to work with the council.

 

 

 

 

 


 

All Saints’ Church Graveyard in Sanderstead
03/04/2018 21:25:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

 
 

I've been visiting a number of the 31 green spaces which our Labour council managed to fail to get protected in the 'Local Plan' it recently adopted. These are a mix of playgrounds, small parklets, large recreation grounds and graveyards, all of which now have no local protection from development. 

One such is in Sanderstead, the graveyard of All Saints Church in Sanderstead. Like 30 other spaces in our borough, under Labour’s ‘Local Plan’ adopted in February, it does not have any local protection from development. As a graveyard, it seems unlikely to be a target for even the most rapacious property developer in the future, but sadly the same cannot be said for all the spaces Labour failed to get protected. This is a place of quiet contemplation and remembrance, rather than a thriving park like South Croydon Rec (also unprotected). It can be spooky at night, as I captured  as part of a project on night photography, which I love doing. Spaces like this will always be protected by any Conservative administration I lead, whatever the local plan might say.

If you want to see the pic a little larger, please click here.

 


 

King's Wood Paths & Signs
30/03/2018 19:41:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

 
 

The three Sanderstead councillors were pleased to contribute a significant sum of money to the Downland Project to improve some of the entrances to King's Wood.

Access is particularly difficult when the weather is wet and the new and improved surface in many of the entrance areas will give better access throughout the year.

Quotes have also been received for new welcome signs and these will be funded jointly by the Sanderstead Residents Association and the councillors.  Hopefully it won't belong before these are installed and the work is complete on the pathways.

 


 

See older blog posts

 

 
 
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 Older Blog Posts
25/03/2018
Scouts Go Green Thanks to Local Sanderstead Councillors
14/03/2018
Update on Fiveways
13/03/2018
Cherry Blossom Tree Dies in Purley Oaks Road
03/03/2018
Application for 48 Mitchley Hill withdrawn
02/03/2018
Temporary stay of execution on 105-7 Purley Downs Road
19/02/2018
Noisy drain cover at Waitrose traffic lights fixed
12/02/2018
Wentworth Way closure
09/02/2018
Spineless council backs developers again
09/02/2018
Westfield Avenue – road name plate being replaced
06/02/2018
Seat at 403 bus stop Sanderstead Recreation Ground
16/01/2018
20mph Zones in South of the Borough
16/01/2018
Enquiry into Purley Tower
16/01/2018
Purley Skyscraper
12/01/2018
43 Downsway - appalling planning decision
18/12/2017
Mitchley View road safety
18/12/2017
Last Floating Shelter before Christmas
07/12/2017
98 Hyde Road - increase from 7 to 8 flats
05/12/2017
Xmas Lights - Sanderstead and Hamsey Green
29/11/2017
Garden grabbing encouraged in Mayor Khan's London Plan
27/11/2017
Onslow Gardens closure: Tardis required
23/11/2017
Friends of Purley Beeches AGM
11/11/2017
Litter picking in Riddlesdown
07/11/2017
Sanderstead Floating Shelter
03/11/2017
Trees Outside Priscillas and The Gruffy -- Xmas Lights
03/11/2017
Traffic Sensors - Purley Oaks Road
03/11/2017
Footpath 138 Between Shaw Crescent and Rectory Park/Road Cleansing/Garden Waste Dumping
03/11/2017
Bus Diversion
20/10/2017
Fly tipping in Hamsey Green
11/10/2017
Objection to local plan
29/09/2017
A Busy Day in Croydon
 
 
 
 
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