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

Addington Village Conservation Area
16/05/2019 17:44:00......Posted by Helen Pollard

The Council is reviewing Addington Village Conservation area.  Here is my response to the public consultation.  NB: Three is still time to submit comments as the deadline is 30th May 2019.

Addington Village Conservation Area Review - Comments 15th May 2019

I welcome the fact that the Council is carrying out this review as it's important the Conservation Area is kept up to date and relevant.  The Draft Planning Document is well researched and considers, in depth, the nature and character of the area.

I also welcome the inclusion of Addington Palace, Addington Park and ancillary buildings.  Both these areas are part of the historic estate in the Addington Village area and it is right that they form part of the same conservation area as Addington Village.  The inclusion of Roxton Gardens is a good proposal as it protects the area around the church.

I do, however, believe that some of the proposals in the Draft Supplementary Planning Document should be changed. 

1.       Firstly, the name.  I have been the elected representative for Addington Village for a number of years, and one of the noteworthy characteristics of the area is the strong sense of identity as a village.  The village area is clearly defined and surrounded by green space.  By adding in the new areas, the Council will simply be including parts of the village that should always have been part of the conservation area.  They were all part of the same estate.

Dropping the word 'village' from the name of the conservation area shows a lack of awareness of the strong identity of the area and the strength of village community spirit.  The area looks like a village, residents feel that they live in a village, and it has always been known as a village.  The addition of more buildings to the Conservation Area doesn't make it any less of a village.  Furthermore, the removal of the word 'village' and calling it Addington Conservation Area will lead to confusion with New Addington which is a completely separate area. 

The old title of 'Addington Village Conservation Area' should remain unchanged.

2.       Secondly, three areas that are intrinsic parts of the village are to be removed.  Whilst the buildings in these areas are not as historic as some other buildings in the village, they are still part of the village and part of the community. 

a.       In terms of Boundary Way and the Wicket, surely it would be better to include both these roads rather than chop off one more bit?  They are part of the ancient estate and it would harm the conservation area if they were subject to major redevelopment.  Better to protect them than leave them vulnerable to a greedy developer especially as they surround the country's oldest Cricket pitch and other historic buildings.

b.       The removal of the houses at the end of Addington Village Road by the cricket pitch, seems a bit petty.  The houses are stated to have a 'neutral' impact on the conservation area so it makes no sense to remove them.  The people who live in these houses, who are very much part of the village, feel they have been unfairly targeted and are being kicked out of the village. 

c.       Removing the triangle of land at the other end of Addington Village Road also seems unnecessary.  It opens up for development an area that is next to historic buildings and an area of beautiful parkland.  It makes no sense to remove it. 

The three areas proposed for removal should be kept within the Conservation Area.

3.       In the ‘Development Guidelines’ part of the document it is particularly disturbing that point 8.1 of the document says it is acceptable to demolish the homes of people who live in 'neutral' buildings as well as those detracting from the area.  It is also worrying that point 8.2.2 seems to open the door to infill development on back gardens. 

4.       The report points out that the buildings within the Conservation Area are still vulnerable to uncharacteristic minor developments because some of the changes do not need planning permission.  Is there not a case to have more of the buildings listed or locally listed?  This would give the Council more control of the iterative changes that might undermine the character of the area. 

5.       I am concerned that the Council Planning Department's approach to Conservation Areas is not aligned to the intent of the Supplementary Planning Document for the Addington Village Conservation Area.  The document clearly states that the marquee at Addington Palace is out of keeping with the host building and yet the Council has allowed it to remain in place for a number of years.  This is already inconsistent with protecting the character of a listed building.

Addington Village has a very strong sense of community.  It has a strong and active residents' association that has invested significant time and money in the protection of the character of the area.   And this means the whole of Addington Village including the areas that the Council is proposing to remove from the village.  By taking some areas out, it sends a message that they are not considered important enough to protect.  This will make it even harder for residents to protect the character of their village.   The Council relies on the help and support of Residents' Associations, and the dependence on these local organisations is likely to increase, rather than diminish, in future.  By cutting off some of the village, the Council undermines the work the Residents' Association has done in Addington Village in the last 40 years.

The lack of consistency in the decisions about which of the more modern houses should be removed from the Conservation Area leads to the obvious conclusion that they are being removed for another reason, namely to open up the areas for intensive development.  If this happens, the character of Addington Village will be irreparably changed for the worse. 

I ask that the Council listens to the concerns raised by residents in relation to the proposed changes to the Conservation Area.

 
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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 https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s17289/16%20August%20Responses.pdf.  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

GOOD NEWS!!!

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:

https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk/kms/dmart.aspx?strTab=ConsultationTimeline&PageType=item&filter_SurveyId=571

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 Change.org - 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!

 


 

See older blog posts

 

 
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 Older Blog Posts
04/06/2019
Save our Green Spaces!
02/06/2019
Commemorative bench in Addington Village
16/05/2019
Addington Village Conservation Area
08/05/2019
Labour's secret plans to close libraries
25/04/2019
17/04/2019
New look for Selsdon Library
15/04/2019
Sewer works at the Churchill site on the Addington Road planned for 8th April now delayed till Easter
13/04/2019
Sinhala and Tamil New Year
12/04/2019
Suffragettes
04/04/2019
Walking Football
01/04/2019
Planning Objections
30/03/2019
Road works on Addington Road near junction with Upper Selsdon Road
25/03/2019
Cabinet Meeting
19/03/2019
Road repairs in Farley Road, Selsdon
11/03/2019
Site meeting in Huntingfield
06/03/2019
Fairfield Halls
05/03/2019
Addington Residents' Association
04/03/2019
Council meeting
03/03/2019
Labour's 'expired' parks funding
26/02/2019
Community Room - Monks Hill
25/02/2019
Cabinet Meeting
24/02/2019
Energy Saving advice in Selsdon
19/02/2019
New Parks Maintenance Contract
11/02/2019
Selsdon Residents' Association
11/02/2019
Selsdon 'Garage'
03/02/2019
Winter Energy Advice event at Selsdon Library on Thursday 7th February
03/02/2019
Winter Energy Advice
02/02/2019
Monks Hill Community Room
02/02/2019
Councillor surgery
01/02/2019
Funds secured for playground upgrade
 
 
 
 
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