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 The Coulsdon Town Blog
Cllr  Luke  Clancy
Cllr  Mario  Creatura
Cllr  Ian  Parker

Council plans to demolish Community Centre and cut parking in Coulsdon
01/01/2018 18:21:00......Posted by Mario Creatura


The Labour-run Council has recently put in a number of planning applications which will:

  • Demolish the Coulsdon Community Centre on Barrie Close and replace it with 33 flats
  • Move the Centre to the old CALAT site, cutting its parking provision by 1/3
  • Erect flats for some 237 residents, whilst cutting public parking provision in Coulsdon

I have written to the Council objecting to these plans. You can read my full arguments below. If you could like to do the same you can visit the applications and easily post your views: plan to demolish the Centre are here and the plans for Lion Green Road are here.

The more who object, and the more who attend the Planning Committee where it'll get decided, the more likely it is to be thrown out. I hope the Council will listen, and I'll be working with my fellow Councillors to do just that!


I would like to please object to two linked applications 17/06216/FUL and 17/06297/FUL and refer them both to the Planning Committee for refusal.

Taking them each in turn:

17/06216/FUL - demolition of existing community centre and erection of 33 residential units comprising 4 one bedroom flats, 12 two bedroom flats and 17 three bedroom houses, together with provision of car parking, landscaping and other associated works). My reasons are as follows:

1.     There is no compelling case for the Council owned and run development company to use Croydon taxpayer funds to relocate the Coulsdon Community Centre given its immense popularity with the thousands of residents who use it on a regular basis. It is fine where it is and has served its community very well under its current management committee.

2.     Parking is already very heavily congested at the section of Chipstead Valley Road that the Centre currently occupies, including the perpendicular roads of Coniston and Sherwood. One space per property for 33 properties is not enough for these new builds and will only make parking worse for those residents already in the locale - particularly those in Barrie Close.

3.     As the new proposed development is up hill from existing properties there is fear from the many residents who have contact me that they will be able to look down directly into bedrooms and bathrooms of existing properties, seriously affecting privacy and security.


The council’s own Development Presentations for item 5.1 of the Committee Planning Agenda for 21 November 2017 state: “Thought should be had in terms of mitigating the loss of privacy experienced at these properties, perhaps through landscaping provision.” The planning statement’s claim that “existing residents [sic] amenity is protected” is therefore contradicted by the council’s own documentation, and nothing has been included in the design to mitigate this issue.

The 21st November 2017 Development Presentations for item 5.1 of the Committee Planning Agenda state:

“It is considered that 3 storeys would be an appropriate maximum height for the properties to avoid the development having an overbearing impact on the surrounding 2 storey context. It is important that only the rooftops of the properties are visible through the trees from the surrounding area to be consistent with local character.”

The design of four storeys high is therefore contradictory to the council’s own development presentation. A reduction in the height/size of the development should be considered to mitigate these very real fears.

4.     There is fear that the removal of trees will negatively impact the local ecosystem.

5.     It is well known that the sewage system on this part of Chipstead Valley Road has overflown several times in recent years, adding this many properties to the outflow without heavily investing in underground sewage infrastructure is believed it will only make the problem worse.

6.     There are a large number of other residential developments that are either in construction, have been recently finished or have recently been approved including the hundreds of homes on Cane Hill, the Lion Green Car Park development, new flats at 177 Chipstead Valley Road, new flats at 193/195 Chipstead Valley Road etc. all with insufficient parking provision. Altogether, this will result in around an extra 900 dwellings in Coulsdon. Without any planned changes to the town’s infrastructure – especially with regard to trains, roads and schools – this is a clear case of over-development.

7.     The loss of the existing Coulsdon Community Centre building would be a sad event. The building dates to 1935 and has much architectural and historic interest to the local community. It is well-used, with 95% occupancy rate. Last year Cllr Timothy Godfrey, Labour Cabinet Member for culture, praised the community services offered by the Coulsdon Community Centre and has cited it repeatedly as an example of best practice in the borough. Demolishing this Centre seems entirely contradictory, hypocritical and destructive to our community.

17/06297/FUL - redevelopment of site to provide 5no. five, six,seven storey buildings providing 96 one bedroom, 42 two bedroom and 19 three bedroom flats: provision of vehicular access, residential and town centre car parking spaces, hard and soft landscaping works and new private and public amenity space.

1.     Out of keeping with the local area: the 7-storey buildings are at the back of the site where the elevation is higher.  The plans appear to reduce the elevation from the current level, however I believe the development will appear to be more like 8-stoeys above St Dunsten’s Cottages.

2.     The previous plans for this site proposed a non-residential development of four-storeys. This is significantly higher than that, and all other properties in the locale. Consideration should be considered to revise this application so that the height-limit is protected and therefore in keeping with the local area.

3.     There will be a loss of light to the rear of St Dunsten’s Cottages and Wells Cottages not to mention a loss of privacy at rear of St Dunsten’s Cottages homes, in back gardens and to Wells Cottages.

4.     St Dunsten’s Cottages are part of a Local Heritage Area.  The view of the cottages with towers over them will result in a significant loss of their aesthetic charm. There is deep concern that the huge scale of this development will put that at risk, harming the character of the local area which should be protected.

5.     Impact of increased traffic and changing traffic flows at the Chipstead Valley Road/Lion Green/Woodcote Grove Road junction.  This is further impacted by the development of the Coulsdon Community centre and the increased capacity planned at Smitham School.

6.     The Traffic Assessment makes no mention of the Chipstead Valley Road/Lion Green/Woodcote Grove Road junction. This surprised all of us as anyone local to the area would see the contact queue of traffic at that junction. Adding to this daily misery for my residents should not be something actively pursued by this Council.

7.     The biggest reason for objecting to this application, however, is lack of consideration for the increased strain on local infrastructure that the at least 237 additional residents (96 x 1; 42 x 2 and 19 x 3) will have. Virtually everyone agrees that Coulsdon needs more parking. The site has historically had 350 parking spaces, now cut to 115.

8.     The current Lion Green Road car park has over 100 of its 115 spaces used nearly all day. In the context of the rest of the town, there is no argument for reducing this provision:

o   The CALAT car park has 35 well-used spaces.

o   Aldi car park is often full with four or more queuing and over-flowing into the main road, obstructing public transport and other vehicles.

o   Waitrose car park likewise is often full with a couple queuing and some obstruction of passing traffic. 

o   The side roads with free bays or no controls are also heavily parked - notably The Avenue, The Grove and South Drive. Other roads with no charges are also well parked.

9.     Continued reduction of parking provision will continue to strangle local businesses, harm the environment through increase pollution and over-burden our straining local infrastructure. This is not the first time that I’ve written to the Council or spoken at Planning Committee on this subject!

Return to Coulsdon Town's main page
 Other Blog Posts

Coptic Church - Coulsdon
07/09/2018 14:34:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Delighted to have been invited along with ecumenical and other representatives to hear His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos speak on the integration of the Coptic Church in society. 

The Coptic Church, St Mary & St Shenouda on Rickman Hill, Coulsdon provided the perfect setting for an inspirational address by the Archbishop.

A tour of the impressive church after the address was the 'icing on the cake'. 



Residents' Associations - Stewards Night
06/09/2018 10:58:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I attended a joint meeting of Hartley and District and East Coulsdon Residents’ Associations at which their road stewards were warmly thanked for their good work on behalf of the two associations.

It was a great opportunity to thank the association members for their good work delivering leaflets and collecting subscriptions throughout the year.  Also an opportunity to thank the organisers of both residents’ associations for their sterling work fighting to preserve what's good about Purley and Coulsdon. Councillors have a good working relationship with the residents’ associations.  Long may this continue and thank you to the organisers of the ‘Stewards Night’.



Details to re-register for a doctor following the closure of Dr Khan's surgery
31/08/2018 16:35:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

We've now had in confirmed that Coulsdon Medical Practice, a single-handed practice run by Dr Jamil Khan, is closing permanently on 26 October 2018.

NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group have written to the patients currently registered at his practice to advise them of the closure. A list of nearby practices which all have room on their register for extra patients is included here:


1B Bramley Avenue, Coulsdon CR5 2DR. Tel: 020 8660 0193

*this is a very small practice with a limited number of registrations available


59 Tollers Lane, Old Coulsdon CR5 1BF. Tel: 01737 556880


70 Brighton Road, Purley CR8 2LJ. Tel: 020 8660 8292

Old Coulsdon medical practice

2A Court Avenue, Old Coulsdon CR5 1HF. Tel: 01737 558288


MAIN SITE: 32 Foxley Lane, Purley CR8 3EE. Tel: 020 8763 5620

branch surgery: 140 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon CR5 3BB

They are also holding drop in sessions for patients who wish to discuss next steps and registering with a new practice:

Saturday 8th Sept 10 – 12 noon

Monday 10th Sept 10 – 12 noon

Wednesday 19th Sept 11-1 pm

Wednesday 26th Sept 5.30 – 7.30 pm

All will be held at the Coulsdon Methodist Church, 83 Brighton Road, CR5 2BE.



New waste regime - impact on those with mobility issues?
30/08/2018 17:21:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


I've just sent in this question to Cllr Stuart Collins, Labour's waste and recycling chief, to find out how much consultation and mitigation work has been done to ensure those with mobility issues will not be adverslly affected by the big increase in street bins that his reforms are necessitating across Croydon.

With many streets where the front door opens up directly onto the path, no side alley or other location for storing the bins, having them on the street may cause significant issues for some residents.

I'll update the blog as soon as I hear back from Cllr Collins.

'The Cabinet Member is currently overseeing the rollout of a dramatic change in the way Croydon is processing our waste and recycling, which is understandably causing some difficulties for many residents.

Many of the properties across Croydon have small frontages, with no front gardens and front doors immediately off pavements. This means that the three full-size bins will often be blocking the public high way.

Could the Cabinet Member please:

1. Publish the list of streets in the borough assessed to have small frontages. Those being properties where the front door is immediately on the pavement, there is no front garden or area for storage and no side passage for storage.

2. Publish the results of any formal consultation and correspondence with organisations like the Croydon Disability Forum and Croydon Vision who represent the many residents who will be impacted by the practicalities of the waste and recycling changes.

3. Detail guidance for any resident with mobility issues who may find their path regularly obstructed by these bins

4. Outline the communications plan for how and when these residents and organisations will be informed of this advice.’



Impact of potential House of Fraser closure
02/08/2018 14:13:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


I've just asked Cllr Shahul-Hameed, Labour's economic Cabinet member, a question about the recent news that House of Fraser may be in danger of collapsing. You can read more about it online.

'For some months now there has been speculation about the future viability of House of Fraser, a business you'll know has a base in the Croydon Centrale Shopping Centre.

A planned rescue deal worth some £70m has recently collapsed, putting the business and its 6,000 direct members of staff nationally in danger of permanent closure.

Could you please outline what meetings you have personally had with House of Fraser to assess the impact of recent events on the Croydon store?

Could you please outline all that you are doing to try to safeguard the future of the store in Croydon?

Should House of Fraser fall into administration, can you release any information about what you understand will happen to replace its very large footprint in the Centrale Centre?

What impact willl the closure of House of Fraser have on the Westfield/Hammerson development that's currently in process?'



Bourne Society Blue Plaque
27/07/2018 11:54:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I was pleased to attend the unveiling of a Bourne Society Blue Plaque commemorating the 1910 train crash in Coulsdon when seven people were killed after the Brighton to London Victoria Express split into two when passing points at the now closed Coulsdon North station. The rear part of the train derailed and crashed into the platform at 40 mph.

The unveiling of the plaque took place at the top of Station Approach Road, Coulsdon.  Excellent turnout of community/residents' representatives including scout leaders.  Scouts assisted with the rescue at the time of the crash and it's right that this should be remembered.



Purley & Coulsdon Clubs for the Elderly (PACE)
25/07/2018 15:57:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I was delighted to attend their AGM and to meet their new Chairman Mrs Patricia Painter (yes – she insists on Chairman not Chair which is “a piece of furniture!”).  We wish her well in her new role.  Jim the retiring Chairman will remain involved with the important work of the organisation for which all members present were grateful.

PACE has a strong and growing committee and tribute was quite rightly paid to the many volunteers who help with lifts for members and organising a fantastic range of events from dominoes, bingo, quizzes to flower arranging, trips and painting.  The paintings were proudly displayed at the Centre where the AGM was held.

I was particularly pleased to hear that school children support the Centre by organising events. 

“Respect your Oldies – your turn will come sooner than you think!” was a message on the wall at the Centre.  I certainly respect the good work of PACE and was grateful for the invitation.



Labour push through unwanted traffic scheme at Woodcote High
13/07/2018 11:45:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Despite the objections of Coulsdon Town Councillors, local MP Chris Philp, every Residents' Association and hundreds of local people - our Labour-dominated Traffic Management Committee last night forced through unpopular plans to restrict parents and local residents driving in the area around Woodcite High School.

Cllrs Luke Clancy and Ian Parker joined residents in speaking against the plans. Here is what they said at the meeting:

Cllr Clancy

"My view on this scheme has changed over time. Initially I was receptive to the perceived benefits of displacing parking within a wider circumference of the schools.

But now I think whilst this policy could aim to solve one problem it has in fact created other challenges. Residents feel the displaced vehicles have a detrimental effect on road safety in the surrounding roads outside the pedestrianised zone, especially the Chase and Grove Wood Hill. These roads now experience blocked driveways, congestion and the type of unsafe driving practices previously complained of in the Dunsfold Rise loop.

Opposition to the scheme by residents of these roads has been evidenced by 2 petitions I am aware of received by this Council.

My view is that the benefits of the pilot are inconclusive and a permanent order should not be made for Woodcote. I support the aim of making the roads around the schools safer and less polluted. But the level of disruption that these restrictions have caused to residents has undermined any advantages the scheme may have.

Proof that the scheme has improved safety, cut pollution and increased alternative methods of transport is scant. It would seem parents are just parking a few streets further away.

It is a shame that the scheme was introduced before baseline data could be collected that would have given a more scientific basis to the experiment.

The report also rolls the three schools into one, with no real distinction between the very different areas and levels of objection. It would be wrong to give the committee a single vote on both areas.

The scheme should be abandoned or at the very least the experimental order be extended for Woodcote to consider modifications. The committee can defer decision for a further eight months as that is the period under which the experimental traffic order can continue to operate. During that time a fuller consultation can be carried out and more data gathered. Residents would welcome a full study and referendum of all roads affected, with the option both of termination or more mitigation if the scheme is eventually approved.

For example, while the installation of a new pedestrian crossing in Woodcote Grove Road is to be welcomed, parents would like to see increased public transport provision to support the objectives of the scheme. Parents and children cannot be expected to abandon the car unless that is balanced with extra public transport capacity to travel to school. The area is not as well served by buses compared a more urban area like South Norwood. This is another reason, for the purposes of this decision, the two sites should not be considered together.

If the committee was minded to implement the scheme permanently it might also consider a compromise solution that would take the some of pressure off nearby roads bearing vehicle displacement. The ANPR system could be used to regulate traffic flow more evenly by permitting some proportion of parents, such as those with the youngest children, to park in the Dunsfold Rise loop. The scheme could then continue in a modified fashion that better distributes parking across all roads around the schools."

Cllr Parker

"As a ward councillor for Coulsdon Town covering the area of restricted access by the Woodcote schools I’m grateful for the opportunity to comment following the pilot scheme.

The recommendation in the Report before you is that you consider carefully the objections raised as a result of the consultation exercise. These are significant in terms of numbers and severity.

The Committee this evening has a golden opportunity to demonstrate the Council’s commitment to be a listening council and at the same time end the severe problems created in the displaced areas around the Woodcote schools.

Traffic levels have increased in neighbouring roads. Whilst there are recognisable problems on roads nearest to the school the negative impact on surrounding roads more than outweighs any gains made in roads closer to the schools.

Obstructions to the traffic flow on Woodcote Grove Road have been evidenced creating road safety issues for motorists and pedestrians, particularly children from the Primary and students from the High School.

There is a danger that the much welcomed safety improvements recently introduced on Woodcote Grove Road with the introduction of a pedestrian crossing will be negated by the impact of restricted access near the schools.

But the displacement problems are not restricted to Woodcote Grove Road and our concerns are justifiably shared by residents on The Vale, The Horseshoe and Warwick Road.

As Chair of Governors at Woodcote High School until May this year I have first-hand experience of the difficulties and potential dangers to students arising as a result of this scheme.

I know committee members will listen carefully to the responses to the consultation. I ask that you reject the recommendation to make this unsatisfactory arrangement permanent on Dunsfold Rise, Meadow Rise and Fairfield Way.

Committee members should recognise that the objectors to this scheme are not restricted to those in the displaced area but also include residents who live right next to the Primary School.

I ask that the Committee votes on these three schools separately as they represent three distinctive areas requiring different solutions to their unique problems.

Finally Chair, should the Committee reject the views of a clear majority of local residents and make the zone permanent I would ask that officers immediately consider steps that will mitigate the severe impact that the zone is having on neighbours in the area outside the zone.

Thank you for allowing me time to address the Committee."

When it came to the vote, all Labour Councillors voted to push it through and all Conservative councillors voted against. Sadly Labour dominate the committee, and so permission was granted to continue with the scheme.



Pedestrianised Zone - Dunsfold Rise, Meadow Rise and Fairfield Way
13/07/2018 10:16:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Coulsdon Town councillors have received many residents' objections to this pilot scheme by Woodcote Primary and High schools which restricts traffic on these three roads at school start and finishing times.  Last night, Labour's Traffic Management Committee approved the permanent introduction of the scheme despite the number of objections received from residents' associations, local residents and Coulsdon Town's three councillors.

Cllr Clancy, myself and other local residents spoke against making the scheme permanent. Yet again the Labour Council rides rough shod over the views of locals who are in the strongest possible position to comment on such matters.




Dust on Cane Hill
05/07/2018 14:42:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Know a few residents on Cane Hill have been concerned about the dust coming from the construction site impacting their property. I've looked into it and asked the Council to get in contact with the managing agent for the development. A reply has been received this morning stating that the area where earth movement was taking place which was the cause of the problem is being dampened down by the use of sprinklers. In addition to this measure, they have told us they are deploying a road sweeper to attempt to keep a handle on the problem.

They've said they met with those affected and have offered to clean the outside of your properties - if that isn't right then please do get in touch with my using

Residents should please keep me posted so I know the problem has or has not been resolved, and if not I'll sort it.



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 Older Blog Posts
Progress with Aldi
Travellers on Lion Green Road
Getting ECRA access to Coulsdon South station
East Coulsdon Residents' Association AGM
Opposing Reddown Road plans
Meeting with Croydon's Director of Education
Coulsdon Town's Safer Neighbourhood Team
Community Engagement
The fish that got away...
Portnals Pipe update
CQC replies about the Coulsdon Medical Centre
Burst sewage pipe on Portnalls Road
Leaking pipe on Portnalls Road
A second letter to the CQC about the Coulsdon Medical Practice
Pigeon mess back under Coulsdon Town bridge
Paint disposal advice
Welcome 30m investment in Coulsdon South
'Absolutely massive' pothole fixed
Rescuing a resident at the tip!
Enough CCTV in Croydon?
Productive meeting with Aldi
Letter to save the Coulsdon Medical Centre
Labour's track record - not something to be proud of
My Lion Green Road objection
My Coulsdon Community Centre objection
Labour dominated planning committee approve controversial Coulsdon schemes
Coulsdon Medical Practice
Aldi replies - and wants to meet
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