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

Local Plan
19/01/2020 17:26:00......Posted by Helen Pollard

Here is a copy of my submission to the Council in relation to the latest consultation on the Local Plan:

1. THE CROYDON PLAN IN RELATION TO THE LONDON PLAN

The decision to launch the consultation was taken on 21 October 2019. On the very same day, Inspectors delivered their report into the inspection of the London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s proposed London Plan. 

It seems a curious decision to launch a set of issues and options for Croydon on the very day that the plan immediately above Croydon’s in the hierarchy of plans was to be approved, or amended. As we now know, the changes the Inspectors required to be made the London Plan are substantial and have a huge impact on the residential housing targets which Croydon now needs to put forward its ideas on achieving.

As a result of the Inspectors’ report London Mayor Sadiq Khan has conceded a significant reduction in his new homes target from 65,000 to 52,000 per year across London as a whole. 

The inspectors’ report, published in October after some 12 weeks of public hearings, specifically rejected Khan’s proposals for almost 250,000 new homes on small sites, predominantly in Outer London, over the next 10 years. The London figure is then re-apportioned across the boroughs to produce new borough targets.

The London Plan overall housing target for Croydon for the next ten years was 29,490 homes. This has now been reduced as a result of the Examination in Public to 20,790 homes. Within that Croydon figure it is small sites that have been reduced from 15,110 to 6410, a reduction of 8700 homes.

However, all the options considered in the Croydon Local Plan partial review are predicated on the Mayor’s original, and now abandoned, targets. In his announcement at Cabinet on 21 October, the responsible cabinet member made it clear that the reduction in London-wide and Croydon targets based on the London Plan inspection were not going to reduce the administration’s desire to deliver the much higher targets contained in the Partial Review document it published on the same day. It is therefore clear that this is a political decision, rather than an evidence-driven planning policy decision.

If this decision is confirmed residents will see all the unnecessary approved applications for suburban intensification which will doubtless follow such a policy decision as the actions of an administration which is imposing such a level of change because it wants to, not because it has to.

Such wilful disregard for the now-accepted revisions to the London targets must surely discredit all the options for Croydon now under consideration.

Strategic Options 1 and 2 in the proposal document place significant reliance on ‘windfall site’ – that is to say, suburban intensification and back-garden sites. These are no longer necessary to anything like the proposed extent. Strategic Option 3 involves the de-designation and use of substantial tracts of Green Belt. The target changes render this option completely unnecessary and unjustifiable. The council’s own documentation confirms that the release of Green Belt will be harmful, and it is now in conflict with another part of the Mayor’s Plan: Mayor Khan is clear that Green Belt should not be used for this purpose in London and the Inspectors confirmed that part of his plan. Thus the loss of green belt will not be compliant with the London Plan or NPPF.

The three strategic options are at the heart of the review document. But all three have now been rendered obsolete by the accepted changes to the London Plan. 

The council should therefore go back to the drawing board and produce a new options paper which reflects the new reality and is consistent with the London Plan.


2. STRATEGIC OPTIONS

In relation to the various Strategic Options put forward:

Strategic Option 1
Should be amended as there is no need for ’windfall’ intensification as 8700 less homes needed.

Strategic Option 2
Should be amended to support the Purley Way transformation area as a focus for 12,000 new homes.  There is no longer the need for ‘windfall’ sites with the 8700 reduction in the London Plan.

Strategic Option 3
Should be rejected for the reasons outlined above.  Furthermore, 
-    It is incompatible with the Council’s stated aims in relation to climate change, biodiversity and the green grid.  
-    The Council’s own documents confirm that it will cause more than substantial harm to the setting of the green belt.  
-    The Mayor of London has re-stated his own commitment to protect the green belt. 
-    The loss of green belt will not be compliant with the London Plan or NPPF.
-    According to the letter from the Minister of State for Housing dated 2nd October 2019 and copied to all local authorities expressly states, “the Green Belt should only be altered in exceptional circumstances” and “to limit the pressure on undeveloped Green Belt” and ensure Councils bring “forward brownfield sites for development”.
-    In Addington the sites chosen run alongside tram lines which will restrict access/egress as well as a present safety concerns due to ease of unauthorised access/trespass.
-    The area off Lodge Lane represents a ‘green’ boundary between two housing conurbations in New Addington and Falconwood Rd and Forestdale.
-    The area in Gravel Hill has no obvious road access given the existing housing, the school premises and the tram lines.
-    The area off Lodge Lane will be limited by an access route off the existing main roundabout which is already very busy because of its exit routes to key parts of New Addington and Lidl supermarket.
-    The existing tram service doesn’t cope now at peak times with most peak services being overcrowded.


3. INTENSIFICATION

Individual developments tend to envelop the whole site, often encouraged by SPD2, meaning that too much biodiversity is lost.

Instead, I support the Purley Way transformation area which has high potential for mixed use development, improved public realm, greater potential for infrastructure and improved accessibility to the green grid.

Loss of green spaces and gardens will increase water run-off and therefore flooding in vulnerable areas.


4. PROTECTING GREEN SPACES

Local Green Space designation is still lacking with many of the borough’s parks and green spaces failing to achieve local protection through LGS designation, despite the tireless work of Friends’ Groups across the borough.

Small green spaces, such as the space at Covington Way, are just as important as large tracts of green space or local parks.  However, these spaces, together with some of Croydon’s parks do not have the protection they need to prevent development.  Recent experience indicates that this might actually be a deliberate policy by the Council to allow the sale of green spaces in order to enable development.  This policy should not be facilitated by the Local Plan, and the spaces should be protected.  The Council should be setting the example of preserving and enhancing green spaces, particularly those in its control, by not building on such spaces through its wholly owned development company Brick by Brick.

Green spaces on council estates, like Monks Hill, should be protected from development.  These areas are already intensively developed and they need these green areas.

Precious green areas such as Foxearth Spinney should be protected from land grabs by Brick By Brick, especially in the light of the Mayor’s reduction in the housing target.

5. PARKING

In planning terms, Croydon has very different characteristics from inner London boroughs, and yet, it is subject to the same parking policies.  Many areas of the borough, including many parts of my own ward of Selsdon and Addington Village, have poor access to public transport.  Removing parking spaces from development won’t mean there are fewer cars; it will mean that there are more cars parks on the street and inappropriate places.  This will change the character of the area, be dangerous and will not meet the needs of the residents living in these developments.  


6. TRANSPORT LINKS

The amount of development envisaged for Croydon will mean there is far greater demand for public transport.  A condition of moving ahead with the number of homes planned, should be the delivery of specific transport upgrades and enhancements e.g. upgrade the number of services at East Croydon and other local stations, improve bus services, more GP surgeries.


7. THE CHARACTER OF CROYDON

The impact on the character of an area will be significant where there are many HMOs e.g. in the Chatsworth Road Conservation Area.  This plan misses the opportunity to introduce policies around the cumulative impact of HMO’s in many areas across the borough. Whilst the introduction of an Article 4 Direction is helpful there are still minimal policies to deal with the many issues that HMO’s can create.

It is difficult to see how this document can ‘reinforce local distinctiveness, by responding to, and enhancing their context, character and heritage’ when such unjustified intensification is being encouraged and documents such as SPD2 deliberately undermine local character.


8. BUILD IN MORE GREEN SPACE

The Plan does not address the need to increase the amount of green space in the borough and to bring biodiversity even to build up areas.

There should be a coordinated approach to;
-    Include more trees and green spaces in all developments
-    Invest s106 money in green spaces and parks
-    Protect and enhance all green spaces.  After all, with more people living in the borough, there will be increasing pressure on all green spaces
-    Clear standards for the maintenance and preservation of these spaces

9. TOWN CENTRE 

This plan does not mention the long-desired Whitgift Centre upgrade as fronted by The Croydon Partnership. Most residents and businesses believe that this scheme is vital if Croydon is to regain its former position as a thriving retail and commercial centre, rather than becoming a dormitory town for London. The scheme is now clearly in significant difficulty and its delivery should be an absolute priority for the Council.

I support the work done on the Purley Way transformation and would like to see this area becoming a location for a wider diversity of uses, both residential and commercial. It will, however, need much more than shops and flats if it is to become a desirable place to live.

In District Centres, the Plan should give priority to Community Plans when making decisions about developments.  Any developments should be consistent with the plan for the area e.g. Selsdon Community Plan
 

 
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 Other Blog Posts
 

219 Farley Road
06/06/2020 12:06:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

I have put in a formal objection to a planning application at 219 Farley Road. Big, out of character and overlooking neighbours. One of the worst I have seen.  

 


 

PPE for businesses - advice, procurement and tips
03/06/2020 18:45:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

Guidance on the usage and procurement of PPE for businesses is available on the Value Croydon website including advice on how to source PPE, tips for purchasing PPE and key things to look out for and avoid http://valuecroydon.com/ppe-for-non-health-care-settings. It is really important people read the guidance before they buy any PPE to ensure they get what they need in relation to the type of business they operate.

You may also be aware that Croydon Council owns a company called YourCare which was set up to provide an equipment retail service. YourCare also stocks a range of PPE items and details of how to access YourCare is on the Value Croydon page.

The Council's own experience of sourcing PPE for Council staff showed how difficult and resource intensive it can be in such a volatile market, hence establishing a supply through YourCare should individual businesses find it difficult to source directly even with the guidance provided. The yourcare team can be contacted to discuss requirements on 0808 1962231 and at: wecare@yourcare.org.uk Please note that there are many other suppliers in the marketplace as well as yourcare.

 


 

Conservative Councillors in Croydon donate £9,200 to nurses in Croydon.
27/05/2020 22:30:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

 
 

Many will recall that nurse Dawn Bilbrough in York was brought to tears when she found herself unable to buy food and basic items in her local shop. Cllr. Bains was moved by this and contacted Chief Nurse, Elaine Clancy, of Croydon University Hospital to see how he might make a donation that would directly help nurses in this predicament. Nurse Clancy suggested that funding could be used to provide a kettle/coffee machine and refreshments for each clinical area in order to ensure that nurses can have drinks and snacks on the wards and clinical areas.

Following the initial donation of £4,100 from Cllr. Bains, he decided to coordinate a joint donation from other Conservative Councillors in Croydon. The donation is now being used to:

·Support NHS staff with hot meals and drinks, as well as supermarket essentials – this allows them to provide lunch, dinner, hot drinks and essentials for medical staff to take home at the end of their shifts i.e. pasta, tinned food, fresh fruit and veg, toilet rolls.

·Treat nursing teams to a little luxury to help them relax after a busy shift - including hand creams, spa treatments and toiletry packs for staff staying in accommodation away from home.

·Help to keep medical staff healthy, happy and safe – for example, through counselling drop ins, staff wellbeing and chillout areas.

Nurse Clancy continued: “Thank you again for your incredible donations and supporting nursing colleagues and their own health and wellbeing during this pandemic. Your donation has helped us to support the health and wellbeing of our staff, as well as helping to keep them well fed, energised and ready to respond to the challenges that COVID-19 has brought us.”

Cllr. Jeet Bains said “In this time of national and global crisis, we all need to play our part to help the vulnerable and those who are on the front line. I am pleased that we have been able to make these donations, and it’s great to see that nurses are benefiting directly.”

 


 

Selsdon Gazette update
15/05/2020 18:17:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

The Selsdon Gazette has been a regular feature of life in Selsdon for decades. Like everything else the Covid19 pandemic has meant the Gazette has had to adapt so this month's edition is not being delivered to resident's in paper form.

However a pdf version is available, attached here, and there is also the Selsdon Residents Association Gazette web page You can also find them on Facebook.

Click here to download

 


 

Open Days for Golf Courses?
03/05/2020 15:35:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

During lockdown the only exercise many people can take is to go for a walk in their local area.  We are fortunate in Croydon to have many green spaces and these include parks, woods, commons, greens and sports grounds. 

As people venture into their local area they have discovered green spaces that had not visited before.  Residents near golf courses have seen these large, beautifully maintained areas without any one using them.  Now people have found these spaces, and observed how beautiful they are, it would be wonderful if they were allowed to visit them even if they are not golfers. 

Croydon's golf course owners should consider having regular open days for the public.  They could open, perhaps once a month, so people can walk round and see these secret green oases and observe the wildlife that reside in them.  To minimise damage to the course, there could be clearly marked paths.  Who knows, once people see these spaces, they might decide to join a golf club.

As one of London's greenest boroughs, Croydon has many golf clubs and it would be great for more people to have access to these green spaces.  

 


 

Museum of Croydon VE Day Celebrations
03/05/2020 13:54:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

A 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 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:  https://museumofcroydon.com/events/vedaycelebrations

 


 

Covid-19 mobile testing unit coming to Croydon 
30/04/2020 10:47:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

A government mobile testing unit will be in Croydon for the next three days for key workers, members of their families and over-65s, to be tested for Covid-19.

Appointments must be made to attend and are only available to key workers - those who have to leave home to go to work - members of their household, and anyone aged over 65.

Members of these groups must have symptoms of coronavirus to be eligible to be tested at the mobile unit.

The unit, which will be staffed by members of the Army, will be located in the car park behind Fairfield Halls in the town centre. It does not provide a walk-in service open to the general public.

The site will be open on the following dates between 10.30 and 15.30 for booked appointments only:
•    Thursday 30 April 2020
•    Friday 1 May 2020
•    Saturday 2 May 2020

Appointment times will be available when choosing a time slot using the booking portal. To book an appointment visit:- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested
 

 


 

Brilliant butterflies project
25/04/2020 20:15:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

 
 

Before the coronavirus disrupted our lives I was talking to several organisations about how we can increase enjoyment and appreciation of the history and environment of the Selsdon area. One of these was the London Wildlife Trust and their Brilliant Butterflies project.

The project is working with local communities to create wildflower habitat in greenspaces across South Croydon and Bromley. They produce a newsletter which provides links to family activities to do at home, competitions and local wildlife information, photographs and resources such as ID charts. Good things to keep everyone entertained during this difficult time.

You can sign up to the #BrilliantButterflies newsletter for great wildlife content and fun family activities to do at home here: https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/brilliant-butterflies

 


 

Cultural Relief Fund
22/04/2020 20:20:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

I welcome the Council's decision to support Croydon's creative community with a fund to help cultural organisations that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Croydon’s £135k Cultural Relief Fund will provide emergency funding to support cultural organisations in danger of closing, and also programme funding for cultural activity during the health crisis.

Cultural organisations were hit early by economic impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, with theatres and other entertainment venues among the first to close their doors.

Grants will be available to groups who are based or work in the borough, with most bids expected to be around £2-5,000. Applicants can find out more by contacting the council’s culture team at culturegrants@croydon.gov.uk to discuss their application.

 

 

 


 

An update from Chris Philp MP
15/04/2020 18:51:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

 
 

Dear all
 
The global Coronavirus outbreak will be one of the biggest challenges we face as a community and a country - we need to work together to get through this.

Croydon
I have been in regular and ongoing contact with the Chief Executive and Chairman of Croydon University Hospital (Mayday) and the Chief Executive of Croydon Council to make sure that we have the resources locally which are needed to fight this epidemic. Croydon University Hospital has substantially increased the size of its Intensive Care facility to respond to the situation (and has not reached the new expanded capacity). The brand new expanded A&E which opened last year is helping a great deal too. The Government has already provided Croydon Council with £60m to support businesses here via the grant schemes and further financial support to deal more generally with helping vulnerable people and the Coronavirus situation. The NHS is continuing to receive all the resources it needs. A substantial, multi-billion pound package of financial support is in place nationally to help employees, self-employed, smaller businesses with business premises, retail and entertainment businesses (pubs, restaurants etc) of all sizes and charities who are being financially affected by this situation.

In Croydon, the most vulnerable people in the community are being actively contacted to see what help they need. Finally, I have written to Tony Newman, the Leader of Croydon Council, asking him to put on hold the very contentious panning applications by Brick by Brick (which is 100% owned by the Council) during the Coronavirus crisis. I feel it is inappropriate for the Council itself to bring forward contentious planning applications to video-based planning committee meetings during Coronavirus, when the public cannot attend the planning meeting in person, cannot protest at the Town Hall, cannot gather petition signatures and cannot attend public meetings. I am sad to say that my request was flatly refused.

Ministerial Work
I have been playing my part in the national response by working flat out in my areas of Ministerial responsibility in the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office. This has included keeping courts operating where safe to do so, and we have succeeded in moving a huge number of non-criminal hearings online in the last three weeks. We are also ensuring that people being arrested and charged by the Police are still being bailed or remanded into custody as appropriate (although Crown Court jury trials are not currently taking place). At the Home Office, this work has included maintaining Border Security while ensuring that freight continues to come in and out without impediment.

Government Advice
As you will be aware, the Government is now asking for everyone to only leave their homes when absolutely necessary.

We should only leave home to: shop for basic necessities (as infrequently as possible); for one form of exercise a day; for any medical need; to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

People with symptoms of Coronavirus should self-isolate completely. It’s important for anyone with a high temperature or a new, persistent cough to self-isolate for 7 days or as long as they have a high temperature. People should self-isolate for 14 days if someone in your household has symptoms. You don’t need to phone 111 or see your GP if you have mild symptoms. Only contact your GP or call 111 if your symptoms become more serious. Only call 999 in an emergency.

Full Government advice is at:
www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
10/04/2020
Keeping parks open
27/03/2020
Watch out for coronavirus scams
27/03/2020
Resuscitation Council UK Statement on COVID-19
21/03/2020
Selsdon and Addington Village Councillor surgeries during the Coronavirus crisis
12/03/2020
Corona virus update as at 11th March 2020
24/02/2020
Cabinet Meeting
21/02/2020
Corona virus update 20th February 2020
18/02/2020
Consultation on Fair Field
11/02/2020
Tour of Fairfield Halls
10/02/2020
Scrutiny of Fairfield Halls
04/02/2020
Hawthorn Crescent
01/02/2020
Councillor surgery
27/01/2020
Council Meeting
23/01/2020
Selsdon Community Plan - Your contributions are needed
19/01/2020
Local Plan
08/12/2019
Wheelchair access to disabled parking space in Byron Road
30/11/2019
Council fails to respond to Brick By Brick FOI request
24/11/2019
Selsdon Christmas Market 30th November 2019
16/11/2019
Carriageway Surfacing - Tedder Road
16/11/2019
Monks Hill - Green Space Building Plans
16/11/2019
Rapid HIV testing at community venues in Croydon
11/11/2019
Selsdon Community Plan Day
11/11/2019
Friends of Littleheath woods - cherishing one of our greatest assets
02/11/2019
Seldson Christmas Market - Sat 30th Nov 12-4pm
02/11/2019
Selsdon Community Plan Day - Sat 9th Nov 12-5pm
13/10/2019
Protecting our green spaces
21/09/2019
Road works in Farley Road on 4th October 2019
07/09/2019
Automated External Defibrillator (AED) installed in Selsdon High Street
06/09/2019
Brick by Brick timetable
02/09/2019
Foxearth Spinney saved from development
 
 
 
 
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