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

Evolving the suburbs
15/10/2018 08:25:00......Posted by Mario Creatura


Today is the deadline to respond to the Council's 'Evolution of the Suburbs' planning document, a piece of work that will provide the framework for a significant number of buildings and developments across Croydon.

Residents have until tomorrow to feed their views into the process - my submission is below. You can find the full document here and email your views to


To whom it may concern,

I am writing as one of the elected representatives for Coulsdon Town ward, please accept this as a submission on the SPD2 Document that is currently out for consultation.

I have a number of concerns about the language used in the paper, not least that it appears to be a subjective document that raises significantly more questions than it is supposed to clarify. The report should be more of a definitive piece of work, instead it appears to allow a substantial amount of interpretation which could have detrimental effects on the character of Croydon.

There appears to be scant suggestion about developing the infrastructure needed to support significant population growth – was this not considered to be something merited in the document? Will there be a supplementary paper outlining the plans for increasing capacity on roads and services to cope with the residential increase? My fear is that the impartiality of the Planning Committee necessitates that each application is considered on its own merits, but that this does not factor in the wider implications of many applications sequentially being considered for the same area over a period of months. Put simply – if 10 applications are considered and approved in the same area over the period of 12 months, what guarantee is there in SPD2 that commensurate infrastructure improvements will be developed and progressed to aid in the increase in parking, sewage and other vital requirements for a good standard of living?

A good example of this is contained in paragraph 2.30 on car parking – an issue that is plaguing my ward in Coulsdon. Multiple blocks of flats are being erected, without commensurate car parking spaces. Residents moving into the properties, knowing that parking space on the street is limited, still bring their vechiles. They feel it will be the job of others to abandon their cars. Coulsdon is on the edge of the North Downs and is quite hilly. Whilst public transport is well-connected, the train service quality is intermittent and most modes do not reach out into Reigate, Banstead and wider Surrey in way that means cars lose their value. The increase in population due to the density of the new developments means there is a huge volume of vehicles needing parking space, causing traffic gridlock most mornings and evenings. Parking is not a luxury, it is a basic necessity to support the sustainability of development and communities.

Has the recently rolled out amended waste service programme being accounted for in paragraph 2.31? If not, then this will have implications on the ability for officers and councillors to interpret the report.

Whilst I am fully supportive of the need to develop new housing opportunities, these can and must be done in line with the reasonable support of the local residents already habiting in the area. Paragraph 4.2 details the papers support for ‘character’ but then details the three residential extension approaches of subservient, innovative and seamless. Can a development policy simultaneously respect the existing ‘character’ whilst being ‘subservient/innovative’? I am fearful that good quality affordable housing that fits into the local community aesthetic will not be a red-line in the document, meaning anything can and will happen to my residents.

In paragraph 2.7 and 2.8 the three types of approaches to character is described as ‘sympathetic and faithful’, ‘innovative and original’, ‘contemporary reinterpretation’. Surely any application, development or scheme can apply to any of these? Isn’t the scope for interpretation so large that this set of descriptions is legally meaningless? How can it be measured and enforced on each application? What happens if it can be easily justified (due to its lack of definitiveness) that a scheme has breached this criterion?

This fear for the respect of the local residents and existing character is not eased when I read paragraph 2.2 which details the overarching principles for development: to provide the right mix of homes in the right location, improve or positively contribute to local character and minimise impact on neighbouring amenity. How is this monitored and maintained? Is this rhetoric or are there tangible figures and targets that can be applied to what is a laudable aim? What is to stop someone ignoring this piece of guidance? To what extent are the views of the local people and their representatives taken into account on inappropriate developments that do not fit this nebulous aspiration?

This subjectivity and lack of clarity also exists in figures 1.3a, 1.3b and 1.3c which detail the evolution of the different types of suburbs, but are open to interpretation.

I believe that SPD2 requires a substantial reworking to address the concerns I’ve outlined above. These are very real, practical fears that I know many of my residents feel. Each time they attend a Planning Committee meeting to comment on a scheme they leave disheartened. I hope that by engaging with some of my concerns that this may be limited in the future.

Croydon badly needs good quality, affordable family homes. I know my residents would support them if they are proposed, and this plan is vital in making that happen.

Kind Regards,

Cllr Mario Creatura, Coulsdon Town

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 Other Blog Posts

Stay home, save lives
23/03/2020 12:48:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


During the Coronavirus situation, it’s really important that we all keep on top of the Government guidance to keep our families and our community safe.

The Government is responding to the latest scientific data, so it’s likely that it will change on a regular basis. Please take special care to follow the advice on official websites:

There is a lot of unreliable information out there, so do try your best to think critically about what it is you are reading particularly if it’s shared on social media. It’s never been more vital that we react sensibly and rationally for the sake of our health.

Helping in the community

So many incredible people are out helping in the community during this situation. If you want to lend a hand then I would urge you to go through the Croydon Voluntary Association. They co-ordinate volunteering across the whole borough so by going through them you can be sure that the service you’re providing is for a legitimate need:

In Coulsdon we are lucky to be served by a number of hardworking local residents’ associations. They are always on the lookout for volunteers to help in the community, so do please consider contacting them to keep in the loop with local news and activities:

We are also always in need of road stewards for our Neighbourhood Watch. If you’re keen to sign up as a co-ordinator and help our local police then get in touch. Keeping an eye on our streets and sharing information will keep everyone (especially isolated vulnerable residents) safe:

If you need help

All councilors are working around the clock to help our communities. Hopefully you will understand that during this time of social distancing we will not be able to hold our regular street surgeries. But we local councilors are always here for you. If you need help please email us at any time and we can arrange to videoconference or speak to you on the phone:

Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives

Please do your best to stay at home. If you do that you will reduce your chances of getting infected and reduce the chance of passing the virus on to vulnerable family members and neighbours. That will reduce the pressure on the NHS, and in turn will help to save lives.

We will get through this by working together, following official guidance and supporting each other.

Do get in touch if I can help at all.





South London Downs National Nature Reserve
26/07/2019 10:47:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I joined Natural England and The City of London Corporation in celebrating the declaration of The South London Downs National Nature Reserve.  It's the second largest NNR in London and will include Coulsdon, Kenley and Riddlesdown Commons, Farthing Downs, Happy Valley, Hawkhirst Wood and the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside area.  On the edge of a large urban area, the declaration represents and underlines the importance of these well loved places for wildlife and local people.

We should fight to protect these areas and treasure them for future generations. 



Purley & Coulsdon Clubs for the Elderly
24/07/2019 15:17:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I was pleased to attend the Annual General Meeting of this local charity.  The object of the charity is to provide 'relief for older people within the immediate area in any manner which may be deemed by law to be charitable, in particualr by the provision of activities which meet their social health and educational needs such as luncheon care and recreational programmes'.

At the AGM we heard from Sarah Crane the Club's co-ordinator.  It was reassuring to hear that the Club is fulfilling its objectives with a wide range of activities aimed at the elderly.

Coulsdon Town councillors were in a position to provide funding to the organisation from our ward budgets and we wish the Club, its Committee and all its volunteers every success in the coming year. 



Coulsdon Comrades Club
30/06/2019 17:20:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

It was fantastic to join members of the Coulsdon Comrades Club at their centenary celebrations yesterday.  Those present learnt a lot about the huge contributions and sacrifices made by Coulsdon residents 

The Coulsdon branch of the Comrades of the Great War Club was formed on the present site in 1919. With 400 members, the Club continues to thrive and provides a friendly atmosphere for members and their family and friends.

It was a pleasure to meet key volunteers and recognise the valuable service they provide to the community.



Coulsdon Junior Snooker Programme - Summer 2019
26/06/2019 11:22:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Frames Snooker Academy (CR5 2NF) will be hosting a series of fun and engaging introductory snooker sessions for new players aged 10-16, as part of a national programme. These sessions are only £1 to attend.

The scheme will also develop a selection of ‘Young Leaders’ (aged 14-16), who will learn skills such as marketing, safe sport delivery, and in creating an engaging club experience for all.  They will become role models, encouraging other young people to take up our sport by joining their local club.

Email for more information!

Click here to download



Bus Routes 404 and 434
18/06/2019 11:36:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Following the development of Cane Hill we have worked with the London Borough of Croydon to provide a bus service to the new area, some of which is currently more than five minutes walk from a bus route. TfL received over 600 responses to a recent consultation. The removal of the direct 434 link from Rickman Hill to Purley received much opposition. 

TfL now intend to change their proposals. They will hold a further local consultation later this year on revised proposals to leave route 434 unchanged and divert route 404 to Cane Hill as well as Tollers Estate.

Thank you to all who joined us in lobbying for the Cane Hill service.



Coulsdon Town Street Stall/Surgeries
18/06/2019 11:23:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Coulsdon Town's councillors (Luke Clancy, Mario Creatura and Ian Parker) hold a regular street stall/surgery once a month outside Aldi in Coulsdon Town Centre between 11am and 12 noon.  The dates for the rest of the year are Saturday:

13th July

14th September

19th October

16th November and 

14th December

If you would rather meet us in a more private setting then please do email us at or phone: 020 8660 0491




Residents' Association meeting
17/06/2019 11:35:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Great to speak tonight at the Croydon-wide Residents’ Association meeting - from Norbury to Coulsdon and everywhere in between, all were concerned about Council policies including the latest emissions-based parking permit reforms:



Street surgery - plus new dates!
15/06/2019 11:36:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Great to be out with Chris Philp MP in Coulsdon Town this morning - and thanks to the team who went out talking to our local residents. Plenty of local issues came up with a healthy dose of Brexit chat!

We'll next be out:

  • 13th July
  • 14th September
  • 19th October
  • 16th November
  • 7th December - all day at Coulsdon Yulefest!

Each will be a 10.30am start - do come along!



Coulsdon Town Street Stall - and Cut It Out 2019!
25/05/2019 11:43:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Great morning with Cllr Parker talking to Coulsdon Town residents about planning, parking and pollution.

I then went on to the excellent Cut It Out celebration in Selhurst Park to talk about how our community can tackle the scourge of knife crime.



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Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.
020 8660 0491
 Older Blog Posts
Coulsdon shops close due to Labour inaction
A night(mare) at Planning Committee
Coulsdon Town Street Stall
Vaisakhi Celebration
Music Relief Foundation
A23 Brighton Road Improvements - Coulsdon Concerns
Public Transport Liaison panel
Bus Consultation - 404 and 434
Development at 76 Reddown Road
Memorial Service
Transport for London proposing changes to bus routes 404 and 434
Councillors' Street Stalls
Illegal discharge on Cane Hill
Damaged parking pole
Speed limit sign knocked down
Dust and mud on Cane Hill
Lights on Coulsdon Town footbridge repaired
Would Labour apologise to the vulnerable residents it's been letting down?
Superb scouting send-off for Steve
Coulsdon Town paint markings
Remembrance Sunday
Pay-to-use cash machines
The mystery of the missing fireworks banner...
Air pollution concern at Coulsdon South station
Evolving the suburbs
Response to local planning consultation SPD2
Labour threatens U-turn on free bulky waste collection
Petition on wheelie bins achieves partial win
Bid for funds from our Community Ward Budget
Shredded litter
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