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 The Selsdon & Addington Village Blog
Cllr  Helen  Pollard
Cllr  Robert  Ward

Selsdon 'Garage'
11/02/2019 15:35:00......Posted by Helen Pollard

We are frequently asked what is happening with the ‘garage’ site next to Aldi.  It is an eyesore and needs to be redeveloped. 

Planning permission has already been given for it to be redeveloped to have 26 flats and retail space on the ground floor so why has work not started?

This was a question that the Selsdon Councillors wanted to ask the developers so a meeting was arranged to find out why nothing is happening.  A member of the Council’s Planning Department was also present. 

The developer said the problem is that the planning permission with 26 flats, with four of these being affordable housing, is not financially viable.  (It is Council policy that a minimum of 15% of properties in a development should be affordable). The developer said they would make a significant loss if they redeveloped the site in the current economic climate.  Their view is the development would only be viable if they could have more flats and if the requirement to include affordable housing was removed. 

As local councillors, not property development experts, we can’t judge whether viability is really the issue here, but it would be reasonable to think that the developer would have developed the site by now if it could make a profit.  The site was purchased in 1996 and the developer seems pretty keen to complete the project.   

The current planning permission for the garage site was given before the new Local Plan came into force so there might be scope for a development with more flats.  This would inevitably mean a bigger building and this is a compromise that residents might be prepared to consider if the site is to be redeveloped. 

At the end of the meeting it was agreed that the developer would meet with the Planning Department to review the options available and see if there is a way that the project can be moved forward.

Just to be clear, as your elected representatives, the Selsdon Councillors will always act in the best interests of the residents of Selsdon.  We will not take the side of a property developer.  However, in order to try and move this forward we felt it appropriate to meet with the developer and try to establish why nothing is happening.  If a revised planning application is submitted to the Council, we will seek your views before deciding whether we will support it. 

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Council won't commit to comply with covenants
18/08/2019 12:11:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Put in a Question asking Council to commit to complying with covenants not to build on green spaces.  They did not give that commitment  This leaves green spaces at risk of development e.g. Foxearth Spinney



Croham Valley Road - saved from development!
13/08/2019 17:21:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard


I have heard from Brick By Brick that they have shelved plans to build on the green space next to 124 Croham Valley Road.  Apparently this is because of the "Extra High Voltage cables routed in the vicinity of the site meaning that there would be insufficient space to build new homes with these constraints."  It is slightly baffling that they even considered this site in the first place given the pylon which is clearly visible.

There is no mention of the fact that there is a covenant on the site stating the site should be "kept as open space, free from buildings of all kinds". 

It is worrying that they appear to ignore the covenant on the land as this implies that they might build on other land which has a covenant (e.g. Foxearth Spinney) but it is good that this green space has been saved.  Residents can continue to enjoy this green space for years to come. 



Sesdon Library re-opens on 10th August with a special event
04/08/2019 22:04:00.......Posted by Robert Ward


A special event is set to welcome residents and readers back into the refurbished Selsdon Library. Selsdon is the first of the borough’s 13 libraries to be enhanced and upgraded, and now features new IT equipment, furniture and books.

The library is also set up to trial new Open+ technology, which will allow residents with a library card out of hours access to the library. The system is due to begin being trialled towards the end of 2019.

The special event, which kicks off at 10am on Saturday 10 August, will offer children the chance to enjoy the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge 2019 in Selsdon as well as a range of fun activities.

The regular Rhyme Time session for children under five begins at 10.30am followed by two storytime sessions for children of all ages at 11.30am and 2.30pm and an arts and crafts activity starting at 1.30pm.

Young visitors will also have the chance to try out new interactive computer tablets which will be available in the library for the first time.

Hope to see you there.



Selsdon library update
27/07/2019 15:00:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

As you may have seen the library upgrade has started. The furniture has all been removed and the ceiling and walls renewed and refurbished. This phase of the work is still in progress. Replacement of the internal fittings will follow. 

The original plan was for the library to re-open on 3rd August. This has now been delayed to 10th August.



Croham Valley Road Covenant
24/07/2019 12:19:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard


Just found out there is a covenant on another of the green spaces the Council wants to build on.  An extract and the actual conveyancing document at linked to this blog.

I have asked Brick By Brick to confirm they will not build on this site.

Also asked the Council for its position on building on land where it is expressly stated they should not build.

Croham Valley conveyancing document



Covenant on Foxearth Spinney
16/07/2019 20:20:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

On 22nd June I submitted a Freedom of Information request about Foxearth Spinney:

"Please provide a copy of the deeds for the land know as 'Foxearth Spinney' or 'Foxearth Road green space', adjacent to 70 Foxearth Road. This is property that the Council appears to own.

Please also provide details of any covenants that apply to the space."

Today I received the response and there are covenants on the land preventing the Council building on Foxearth Spinney.

  1. No part of the said land nor any building thereon shall be used as a public house or beer house or for the sale or consumption of any intoxicating liquor.
  2. The Council shall forthwith erect and for ever after maintain at its own expense good and sufficient division of party fences on the sides of the land hereby conveyed marked with a “T” within the boundary on the said plan.
  3. The Council shall not make bricks or work the clay on the said land or dig excavate or remove the clay or soils except in so far as it may be necessary for the purpose of erecting buildings and making roads sewers and drains on the said land.
  4. No building whatsoever shall be erected on the said land except a Summer house Pavilion or Shelter.
  5. The land shall be maintained by the Council in a good and clean condition and the Council shall preserve the spinney included therein.

The full conveyancing document is attached.

I will send the Council this information and ask them to remove this site from the list to be developed by Brick By Brick.

I await the same information for the site at Croham Valley Road.

Foxearth Spinney conveyancing document



How you can request protection for green spaces - by 22/7/19
15/07/2019 21:02:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

There are many green spaces around the borough that have no protection against development.  This has become clear in the recent proposals to build on some of the green spaces in Selsdon and other areas in Croydon.  There is an opportunity to request protection for green spaces by putting forward evidence that might justify ‘Local Green Space’ status.  Residents can use the attached form to make a submission to protect a green space.  One form should be used for every green space.  The deadline for submissions is 22nd July 2019.

Alternatively, you can complete the online form on the Council website:

Click here to download



Speech to protect green spaces
15/07/2019 20:56:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Debate motion that was proposed by Conservative Councillors:

This Council recognises the vital role that green spaces, trees and gardens play in providing a sustainable and healthy borough and is committed to protecting Croydon’s green spaces that do so much for our environment, our health and our well-being.

This Council will use the Local Plan partial review as a means of protecting these vital spaces by changing policy to ensure their protection. This will include measures such as protecting garden space from encroaching backland development, and a greater protection for trees and biodiversity.

This Council will also use its development company Brick by Brick to lead the way and cease developing on green spaces. This Council will, therefore, remove its proposals to rip up and develop on valued land like the grass and trees on Shepherds Way where the community of Monks Hill holds its fun day, the green heart of the estate at Farnborough Avenue which was central to its original design and the green space at Covington Way in Upper Norwood that local residents are fighting to protect.

This Council also recognises that it was wrong to develop over green spaces and play areas in Montpelier Road, Heathfield Gardens, Longheath Gardens and Tollers Estate to name but a few.

Green spaces should not be destroyed as they provide a vital lung in our suburban environment and once they are destroyed they are lost forever.

Speech by Helen Pollard in support of the motion

When I became a councillor, I did so because I wanted to get more involved with the local community and to help shape the way the Council provides services for the people of Croydon.  And, in particular, in my case, Selsdon and Addington Village.  As their elected representative, I take very seriously my duty to act on behalf of residents and to represent their views.  

And that is why I am speaking about this motion tonight. 

The Council's approach to green spaces has been at best shambolic and at worst, disingenuous.

How else can you explain what has transpired over the last months and years.  

In the 2 years leading up to the adoption of the Local Plan for Croydon in 2018, the Council had the opportunity to make submissions about the green spaces it wanted to protect.  It failed to do so.  This meant that around 30 green spaces did not have any protection.  Unbelievably, many of these spaces are parks and they were left vulnerable to redevelopment. 

On 4th June the Council belatedly decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to try and protect these and other green spaces. However, they are relying on residents to do their job for them.  The implication being that if residents do not do this, perhaps because they are not engaged with the Council's procedures, these green spaces will be fair game for developers.

Around about the same time, at the beginning of June, a paper was published proposing the sale of green spaces to the Council's wholly owned subsidiary Brick By Brick.  Within a week, the current administration had approved plans to pass this land over to be developed. 

When I first saw the list of sites I was shocked.  I couldn't quite believe the Council would choose to concrete over areas that quite literally sit at the heart of their communities.  Only the weekend before, I had attended a community fun day on one of the sites on Monks Hill.

I quickly alerted residents to the threat and they were equally shocked and outraged that the Council would do such a thing without even attempting to talk to them.  I set up a petition and within a few weeks had the 1000 signatures required to prompt a debate at a Council meeting.   Cllr Butler has now said she will meet residents on Monks Hill to discuss alternative sites.  But only last week, letters were sent out to residents saying that work is about to start.  That's not a sign that the Council is going to change its mind.

So what about the petition?

I submitted this in good faith and was told that the Constitution says signatures must be from people who live, study or work in the area.   The Council has decided the petition is not valid because some of the signatories don't live in the area.  They have not allowed for the fact that many of them will study or work in the area.  This is a Council that is prepared to bend and flex the rules to suit themselves.  This is a Council that on the one hand asks residents to protect green space and yet at the same time sells off the very space they want to protect.

This weekend I had a call from a resident who lives in Foxearth Road, where there is a green space that will be concreted over.  She is here tonight with many of her neighbours.  They, and countless others who live in Croydon are completely fed up with the Council ignoring them.  They feel betrayed and have no trust that the Council is acting in their best interests.   Time after time they attend planning meetings, respond to consultations and sign petitions and it never makes any difference.  This is a Council that doesn't care and it's about time they started listening to the people who live in Croydon.

Thank you Mr Mayor





Save Selsdon's green spaces petition
14/07/2019 16:41:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

A month ago, in response to Council plans to build on green spaces in Selsdon, I set up a petition with the aim of getting the 1000 signatures which would prompt a public debate at Croydon Council.  The petition quickly exceeded the number of signatures required to prompt the public debate but the Council has decided that some of the signatories do not qualify so they have refused the debate. 

The constitution states that signatories must live, work or study in the area but the Council has chosen to exclude all those who do not live in the area.  This does not allow for those who work or study in Selsdon.  I am challenging this draconian application of the constitution.

It is important the Council's Labour administration explain why they think it appropriate to build on green spaces when there are many brownfield sites that have not been built on, for example the site of the demolished Edgecoombe community centre. 

In every Council meeting, including the one on 15th July at 6.30pm, the Conservatives are allowed to have one debate motion and, because I have been refused one for this petition, my colleagues have agreed that it can be about the Selsdon green space petition.  This means the petition will be debated after all so it will be worth coming along to make your feelings known (or watching on the webcam).  The meeting will be held in the Town Hall in Katharine Street - please come early to make sure you get a seat.

The petition is on - search for Selsdon.



Selsdon Litter Pick
15/06/2019 19:31:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard


Joined a happy band of volunteers for a litter pick in Selsdon.   Great that the other 3 Selsdon Councillors were there too.  Selsdon looks a lot tidier now!



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 Older Blog Posts
Save our Green Spaces!
Commemorative bench in Addington Village
Addington Village Conservation Area
Labour's secret plans to close libraries
New look for Selsdon Library
Sewer works at the Churchill site on the Addington Road planned for 8th April now delayed till Easter
Sinhala and Tamil New Year
Walking Football
Planning Objections
Road works on Addington Road near junction with Upper Selsdon Road
Cabinet Meeting
Road repairs in Farley Road, Selsdon
Site meeting in Huntingfield
Fairfield Halls
Addington Residents' Association
Council meeting
Labour's 'expired' parks funding
Community Room - Monks Hill
Cabinet Meeting
Energy Saving advice in Selsdon
New Parks Maintenance Contract
Selsdon Residents' Association
Selsdon 'Garage'
Winter Energy Advice event at Selsdon Library on Thursday 7th February
Winter Energy Advice
Monks Hill Community Room
Councillor surgery
Funds secured for playground upgrade
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