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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
 

Watch out for coronavirus scams
27/03/2020 13:55:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

It's a sad reflection on modern life that in the midst of the current Covid-19 crisis there are still people whose first instinct is to try to con their fellow citizens. There is a police postcard which outlines some of the latest ways the scammers are trying to con people which you can access by clicking here.

There are many authentic offers of real help out there, and we thank those people who have volunteered to help out. Just be careful when accepting help that it is from someone you know and trust, or a reputable organisation.

 


 

Resuscitation Council UK Statement on COVID-19
27/03/2020 13:49:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

As you may be aware we have a public access defibrillator on the wall of the Selsdon Village Club. The Resuscitation Council UK has issued a relevant statement on COVID-19 in relation to CPR and resuscitation in first aid and community settings.

The statement is for anyone who is performing CPR/defibrillation in an out-of-hospital setting. 

Whenever CPR is carried out, particularly on an unknown victim, there is some risk of cross infection, associated particularly with giving rescue breaths. Normally, this risk is very small and is set against the inevitability that a person in cardiac arrest will die if no assistance is given. The first things to do are shout for help and dial 999. 

Because of the heightened awareness of the possibility that the victim may have COVID-19, Resuscitation Council UK offers this advice: 

  • Recognise cardiac arrest by looking for the absence of signs of life and the absence of normal breathing. Do not listen or feel for breathing by placing your ear and cheek close to the patient’s mouth. If you are in any doubt about confirming cardiac arrest, the default position is to start chest compressions until help arrives. 
  • Make sure an ambulance is on its way. If COVID 19 is suspected, tell them when you call 999. 
  • If there is a perceived risk of infection, rescuers should attempt compression only CPR and early defibrillation until the ambulance (or advanced care team) arrives. Put hands together in the middle of the chest and push hard and fast. 
  • Early use of a defibrillator significantly increases the person’s chances of survival and does not increase risk of infection. 
  • If the rescuer has access to personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g. FFP3 face mask, disposable gloves, eye protection), these should be worn.  
  • After performing compression-only CPR, all rescuers should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water; alcohol-based hand gel is a convenient alternative. They should also seek advice from the NHS 111 coronavirus advice service or medical adviser.

Further information, including an instructional video, can be found at https://www.resus.org.uk/media/statements/resuscitation-council-uk-statements-on-covid-19-coronavirus-cpr-and-resuscitation/covid-community/

If you have a specific questions in relation to CPR/defibrillation then please email defib@londonambulance.nhs.uk

 


 

Selsdon and Addington Village Councillor surgeries during the Coronavirus crisis
21/03/2020 20:00:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

Dear residents,

We hope you are safe and well in these difficult times. If you need any advice on Council services or help on any local issue we and the Council are here to help.
 
Although our ward surgeries are cancelled until further notice, you can contact us by telephone or email. Our contact details can be founded by clicking on our names below. If you prefer a video call then please email us first to arrange.

More generally for up to date information the council has information on its website here and there is also the government website here.

Do please stay safe during these difficult times. Many neighbours are coming together and looking after one another which is wonderful. Sadly, there are some scammers out there – so do be careful.

Best wishes.

Councillors Robert Ward and Helen Pollard.

 


 

Corona virus update as at 11th March 2020
12/03/2020 06:04:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

You may have heard on the news that the WHO have now assessed Covid-19 as a Pandemic.  This allows Governments to activate plans and release funds. Croydon is well prepared for Pandemics and has activated its pandemic plans.

The Government is regularly updating local authorities about the evolving situation. Their websites have current information about the coronavirus, symptoms and advice for returning travellers from China and the other countries here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

You may have heard that we have had one confirmed case in Croydon. The council receives information from Public Health England on the numbers of confirmed cases in each London Borough every day. 

PHE will inform the Council directly if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 for a person working in a setting where there may have been multiple contacts, such as a school, so that the appropriate action can be taken to minimise the impact.

The latest Government update at 11th March 2020 has recorded that a total of 27,476 people have been tested, of which 27,020 were confirmed negative and 454 patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus. Six patients who tested positive have died.

In London, there has been 104 cases.  There is a dashboard tracking the current situation which can be accessed here.

The patients receive specialist NHS care, and are being treated using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. Experts at PHE continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases.

On 3 March 2020, the Coronavirus Action Plan was published. It describes how the UK Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Strategy of 2011 has provided the foundation for contingency planning for the current epidemic.

Croydon’s response

Croydon Council and the NHS have reviewed and activated the multi-agency and the Croydon Council pandemic plan and the relevant structures to manage the local response.  This includes twice-weekly meetings of the Council Coordination Group which has representation from all service areas.   Croydon Council’s resilience and business continuity plans have now been activated to deal with any local related incidents, if needed.

The key messages from the public information campaign to inform people about the virus and steps we can take to protect ourselves and others can be found here.

The Council has shared the above information as follows:

  • Community groups - An email letter has been sent to community groups in the borough, with the Catch It. Bin It. Kill It. poster for them to display.
  • Schools - Information has been sent to local schools and the Government is also updating all schools in the country.
  • Council newsletter - Information on the council’s online newsroom is referenced in the council’s weekly newsletter - Your Croydon. This is emailed to residents and stakeholders who have signed up to receive it
  • Council staff - Information posted on the staff intranet and shared in internal newsletters. Handwashing posters have been placed in staff toilets, kitchen areas as well PHE campaign video currently playing on digital screens.
  • Social media - We are sharing the Government’s messages about the coronavirus on the council’s Twitter feed @yourcroydon

 


 

Cabinet Meeting
24/02/2020 21:09:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a meeting of Croydon's Cabinet where the Labour administration presented the budget for 2020/21.  Asked questions about unexpected capital costs for Fairfield Halls and also tried to find out how many people are actually working on Parks.  

 


 

Corona virus update 20th February 2020
21/02/2020 08:06:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

The Government regularly updates local authorities about the evolving situation with the coronavirus. The government's websites have current information about the coronavirus, symptoms and advice for returning travellers from China and the other countries listed on their website www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The latest Government update records a total of 4,501 people have been tested, of which 4,492 were confirmed negative and nine patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus. Eight of these have been discharged and one person remains in hospital.

The patients receive specialist NHS care, and are being treated using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. Experts at Public Health England continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases.

The World Health Organisation has declared that this is a public health emergency of international concern, and the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals remains low.

Croydon Council’s resilience and business continuity plans will be actioned to deal with any local related incidents, if needed.

To date, the Government and Public Health England have asked local authorities to share the key messages from their public information campaign to inform people about the virus and steps we can take to protect ourselves and others.

The Council is also promoting the PHE /NHS general hygiene campaign in Croydon - Catch It. Bin It. Kill It, which has been reinstated to remind the public to regularly wash their hands, and always sneeze into a tissue, to help slow the spread of almost any germs, including coronavirus.

 


 

Consultation on Fair Field
18/02/2020 21:09:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Went to see the plans for the public realm outside Fairfield Halls - the area known as 'Fair Field'.  Pleased to see there are plans for a major water feature.  Hope it opens up the space and makes it family-friendly.

 


 

Tour of Fairfield Halls
11/02/2020 21:08:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Had a tour of Fairfield Halls with Chris Symons, Chief Executive of BH Live.  Good to see that some of the problems that existed when it opened, have now been fixed.  The Ashcroft seats have now been reupholstered and there are plans to put in carpets.

 


 

Scrutiny of Fairfield Halls
10/02/2020 21:07:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a meeting where there was scrutiny of the Fairfield Halls refurbishment project.  Hard to get straight answers to questions about how much the project has cost.  Looks like the project cost will exceed the already inflated £42m cost.

 


 

Hawthorn Crescent
04/02/2020 21:07:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended the Brick by Brick consultation about building on green space at Hawthorn Crescent. Minor change in the plans but houses still crammed in to the site. Lots of residents very unhappy about their loss of green space

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
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
30/08/2019
Planned road resurfacing in Tedder Road postponed
18/08/2019
Council won't commit to comply with covenants
13/08/2019
Croham Valley Road - saved from development!
04/08/2019
Selsdon Library re-opens on 10th August with a special event
27/07/2019
Selsdon library update
24/07/2019
Croham Valley Road Covenant
16/07/2019
Covenant on Foxearth Spinney
15/07/2019
How you can request protection for green spaces - by 22/7/19
15/07/2019
Speech to protect green spaces
14/07/2019
Save Selsdon's green spaces petition
15/06/2019
Selsdon Litter Pick
12/06/2019
Stop Croydon Council building on green spaces in Selsdon
 
 
 
 
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