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 The Purley & Woodcote Blog
Cllr  Simon  Brew
Cllr  Oni  Oviri
Cllr  Badsha  Quadir

A visit to Kenley Revival mini-museum
14/12/2019 15:29:00......Posted by Simon Brew


After the all election furore, it was a pleasure to visit the mini-museum at Kenley Airfield this afternoon. It is now a glider station but during WW2 it was one of three key fighter bases defending London from Luftwaffe attacks - the others were Croydon & Biggin Hill. 

The pop-up museum was only there for the day but it contained lots of interesting artefacts, posters and videos which illustrated what life was like in the dark days of the war. I also learned that on Christmas day 1926, PO Arthur Holden who was based at Kenley flew his Gloster Grebe plane between the towers of London Bridge! Sadly he died in a flying accident in 1927 and is buried in St Luke's Kenley. 

A date for your diaries: the next mini-museum event at Kenley is scheduled for Saturday 25th January 2020.

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Two very different planning committee outcomes last night: 2/2
19/06/2020 12:21:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


There were two Purley planning applications up for decision at last night's committee meeting, and this is the second of two blogs about them:

2) 1 Higher Drive

This was another depressingly familiar type of application for the replacement of an attractive early 20th century cottage by an ugly modernist block of nine flats, with inadequate parking. I spoke against this application on the grounds of cumulative impact, out of character, overdevelopment and parking, but my concerns were ignored by the Labour members of the committee on the grounds that Croydon needs more homes. This is true, but it should not be at the expense of the destruction of the local streetscene.

I was particularly unhappy about cumulative impact, given that three other blocks of flats have been approved within 100 yeards of this site, and inadequate parking provision; the survey assumed that it was possible to park on BOTH SIDES of Foxley Hill Road and Higher Drive - how crazy is that?!



Two very different planning committee outcomes last night: 1/2
19/06/2020 12:08:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

There were two Purley planning applications up for decision at last night's committee meeting, and this is the first of two blogs about them:

1) 71-73 Pampisford Road

This was a truly horrendous application to replace 71 & 73 Pampisford Rd by an enormous five storey block of 23 flats with only 12 car parking spaces between them. It was totally out of keeping with the area, occupied a large proportion of the plot, and required the removal of several fine trees. I was absolutely delighted that the officers recommended refusal of this application; this should normally have been the end of the matter, but for some strange reason, it was nevertheless brought before the committee, perhaps in the expectation that the Labour majority on the committee would follow its previous pattern of approving almost anything in the South of the Borough. To my surprise and delight, the committee unanimously accepted the officers recommendation and refused the application. 

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Helping property guardians
18/06/2020 12:32:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

I had an interesting and unusual meeting with a resident yesterday. We're all familiar with the three basic tenures as they're called, of freehold, leasehold & tenancy which can be public or private, and shared ownership has also appeared on the scene relatively recently. 

There's another class of occupation called guardianship, which is sometimes applied to former commercial properties which have plans for redevelopment sometime in the future, but meanwhile they are standing empty and therefore likely to be vandalised or worse. Guardianship allows people to occupy the property under very strict conditions which include an absolute right to terminate the occupation with about 28 days notice, and the maintenance obligations on the landlord are less strict than for normal tenancies. 

The Council owns one such building which is occupied under licence by several couples. The Council granted control of the building several years ago to a company to which the occupants paid a license fee, but this company.has been dissolved following several criminal prosecutions against it, The directors of the old company are now asking the occupants to pay their fees to a newly formed company, but the occupants are very unhappy about the way the old and new companies operate. I'm hoping to persuade the Council to terminate their relationship with the new company and instead deal direct with the current occupants.



Parked motorhome causes concern to local resdients.
09/06/2020 11:58:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Several residents in a Purley steeet have complained to me about a motorhome which has been stationary for several months, and was allegedly occupied by a family with connections to a nearby address. Residents reported seeing people enter and leave the vehicle at all hours of the day and night,  and seeing the motorhome’s toilet contents being emptied down the rain-water gullies followed by some disinfectant, which smelled for hours afterwards. 

It was possible that vehicle, vagrancy, public hygiene & public safety offences were all being committed here, and I also had concerns about safeguarding of whoever lives in the motorhome. I arranged that a Neighbourhood Safety Officer should call both on the house and on the motorhome; at the time of the call, surprise surprise it was being thoroughly cleaned, and there was no evidence of anyone living in it. 

The problem is now unlikely to recur, but I hope that the very act of launching an investigation will have alerted the owner to the regulations applying to motorhomes parked in the street. 




The sad passing of a stalwart PWRA supporter
05/06/2020 11:18:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


Beryl Gascoigne had lived in Purley Knoll for nearly 50 years until she died recently, and the extended family arranged that the cortege should stop outside her home yesterday. The event was beautifully arranged, with nearly 100 people lining the pavement to celebrate her life and to hear some reading, poems and eulogies. It's sad that it's not yet possible for friends and family to celebrate the lives of loved ones in the usual way, but this was an innovative alternative way to commemorate her long and happy life. RIP Beryl - we'll miss you. 



The BID is helping Purley businesses re-open after the lockdown
05/06/2020 10:56:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

I joined a short Business Improvement District meeting earlier this week and was delighted to hear about the BID's role in helping local businesses to re-open after the lockdown. The BID has procured lots of PPE and sanitisers etc which are being distributed to the local businesses, and here is a small sample! Let's hope that customers will eventually return to the High Street in their previous numbers, though the biggest change will come when bars and cafes can re-open. 

Click here to download



SESW A22 roadworks POSTPONED till 2021
22/05/2020 14:56:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


For some weeks , the threat of an eight week closure of the A22 from the railway bridge to Dale Road (northern junction) has been hanging over a large number of residents and local businesses. This was because SESW wanted to lay a huge pipe from the Tesco site to a connection point in Dale Road.

I'm sure many residents will remember the very severe floods which closed the A22 for seven weeks in 2014 because the Godstone road waterworks were nearly inundated by the river Bourne bursting its banks. While accepting that the works might need to be done at some time in the future, I was appalled that, until earlier this week, there was no attempt to engage with local residents, businesses, the Purley BID or any other local organisations to consider the impact that such a closure would have, particularly as we all struggle to come out of the Covid-19 crisis. I and my colleagues asked lots of questions along these lines over two weeks ago, and we never got any coherent answers.

I'm delighted that the sensible decision has been taken to postpone these works for now; when they try again in the future, it will  hopefully be with a MUCH better communications plan, and with prior engagement with all local stakeholders. 



Serious delays in handing over Government COVID grants to businesses
20/05/2020 12:34:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Purley BID has alerted me me to four or five cases where local businesses applied many weeks ago for COVID grants, but they have yet to see any cash in their bank accounts, even though HMG paid the money to the Council in late March. 

I've chased them all up with the LBC Director of Finance and I understand that things are at last moving. I was told that The Council didn't know how to contact one business even though it has been tradig in Purley and paying business rates for at least the last thirty years to my certain knowledge! I suggested Googling the company's name, and sure enough the contact details were found in a few seconds..... 



A novel way to celebrate VE-day on Friday 8 May
06/05/2020 20:59:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


It's a great shame that all the official celebrations of VE-day have had to be cancelled, but the enterprising residents of at least one street in Purley are organising a commemoration in their own way as on this poster.



VE-day (virtual) celebrations in Croydon on Friday May 8
04/05/2020 10:24:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

A treasure trove of films, photographs, art and artefacts revealed from the borough’s archive and museum collections will be available to view online and on social media from next Friday May 8 under the Museum of Croydon’s 75th anniversary celebration of VE Day.

After almost six years of war with Germany, Victory in Europe was declared on 8 May 1945, and the borough archivist and staff from the Museum of Croydon will celebrate 75 years

The online event, which will run from 11am to 1pm on Friday 8 May, includes:

• Two films charting Croydon’s wartime life in general and VE Day itself

• An exhibition including works from Croydon Art Collection by artists such as Norman Partridge’s Croydon Courageous, a war memorial from the Second World War and illustrations by John Harris Valda 

• A question and answer session on Twitter where residents can find out about what Croydon people did, ate and even wore on VE Day 1945

• An online handling session of wartime artefacts

• A recording of events in 1945 from the official history of the Second World War edited by the-then chief librarian W.C. Berwick Sayers, which included a VE Day thanksgiving event on the Croydon town hall steps

The Museum of Croydon has been a partner in the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Home Front project which has remastered historic footage of Croydon during the Second World War and recorded wartime childhood memories narrated by Croydon residents to create a nine-minute feature called Home Front Croydon. This film includes scenes of recognisable Croydon backdrops such as Surrey Street market, trams in North End and the town hall.

The online event will end with the première of a new five-minute film focussing on VE Day itself.

More info on the Council website:



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 Older Blog Posts
> 200 flats in Whytecliffe Road South?
Flytipping in Smitham Bottom Lane
2 More Close - invalid planning application
Carehomes and COVID-19
67 Higher Drive - replacement by 17 flats ?
Two more one-bed houses in front garden of an approved scheme :-(
Mindless vandalism at Croydon Airfield :-(
Council tax and housing benefit: new reliefs announced
All parking charges suspended
Warning - COVID-19 Fraud alert
Transport difficulties? Try renting an (e) bike
Covid-19: Help is at hand OR Thanks for volunteering
Purley Rotary Swimathon - 80 lengths completed!
Purley Masjid (mosque) presentation
Croydon Community Consortium meeting at St Michaels, West Croydon
Retirement of Richard Pacitti, CEO of Mind in Croydon
FOUR more large family homes bite the dust :-(
IT advice to SECHC
SWLLC celebrates its 45th birthday
Packed meeting in Sanderstead to launch DEMOC campaign
Young Croydon seminar
Purley's Iron Horse project: Commemorative mugs on sale!
Mayoral celebration of Purley's Iron Horse Sculpture
Abandoned rentabike reported
Celebrating the Chinese new year of the Rat
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day
Only one week to the launch of the Iron Horse in Purley's Rotary Field
Croydon Community Consortium (CCC) - an interesting meeting
Pension committee - totally unnecessarily loss of 300,000.
Panto has returned to the Fairfield Halls :-)
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