Planning applications and the affect on the local community
11/10/2018 13:47:00......Posted by Michael Neal
The Labour controlled Croydon Council continue to tell us and the residents of Croydon that we need to build more homes which are affordable to local residents and their families.
We get the message, but at what cost?
At a recent planning meeting, applications to approve the demolition of 6 individual homes to make way for 48 high density flats across the South of the Borough will change the local character of the area forever, not to mention changes to the environment and to place further pressure on local Schools and Services.
Some may say that this is an inevitable change due to the increase in population around London and the UK as a whole, even if this is the case surely a better balance could be thought through which will reduce the impact on the local character of the area and the communities it serves. Better to build “like for like” rather than impose blocks of flats in areas where there are just houses and bungalows.
At present Labour is not listening to local concerns, residents are fair minded and can sense fair play. They do understand the need for extra homes to be built but don’t like it if their concerns are not heard and they are overlooked by the planning committee as is the case under this Labour administration.
Residents in South Croydon do not have this “not in my back yard” attitude but do care how the area should be preserved for future generations. Any new developments should be in keeping with the character of the area.
At present planning applications are being nodded through even when there are several objections. One resident told me after a planning meeting, “I had no faith that my concerns would be acted upon and I was proved right” it’s a “fait accompli”
In South Croydon Ward there have been major planning applications approved by the Committee, residents have to put up with the idea that a particular area will be intensified with a number of flats being built, in some cases around one or two particular properties with residents powerless to stop it.
One resident told me “I may as well sell my property to a developer and move out of the area” why does a resident have to resort to these types of statements?
Pre 2014 - during the Conservative time in office planning applications were at times refused and then approved (or not) on appeal. Better to move refusal when applications cannot be justified by the Committee and the local community.
At least the resident will have faith in the Committee to make decisions that reflect their views overall bearing in mind that some decisions may not go their way.
I realise that you cannot please everybody all the time. I only hope that the Labour Controlled Planning Committee start to realise that they are damaging the trust between residents and the Council.
The question is will they listen? Not on their past record they won’t.