Cane Hill reserved matters
23/09/2016 12:52:00......Posted by Luke Clancy
At planning committee last night a report was presented on Cane Hill reserved matters, for noting only by the committee.
Residents strongly believe this development, without direct access onto the A23 Coulsdon Bypass, will have a detrimental effect on traffic in both the town centre and surrounding roads - and because underlying traffic conditions have changed a fresh transport assessment is warranted.
The original hybrid application was passed with an informative that allowed reconsideration of measures to mitigate any significant impacts on the highways network should there be material changes to traffic congestion. Officers clarified on the night that this informative, however, would apply only when the development is complete.
Many residents believe the withdrawal of the proposed supermarket on Lion Green Road - along with other developments - constitute one change in circumstances meaning the original traffic assessments are no longer valid. Further, since the original planning application the Council has increased the size of local schools leading to a perceived knock-on effect for traffic using local roads. Residents have also drawn on various traffic figures, from the Department for Transport and Transport for London (TfL), to support the case that traffic has increased in the area and a new Environmental Impact Assessment should be carried out.
However, TfL said that the transport assessment associated with the Cane Hill development was not required to be reconsidered as part of the reserved matters applications. The chair of the planning committee went on to say that traffic could increase by 50% in Coulsdon and it would still not warrant a fresh assessment of the traffic conditions affecting the viability of the Cane Hill access and highways arrangements.
I for one find this disappointing, but I was at least pleased to hear Cllr Scott add that he is very much in favour of seeking a solution to provide an access onto the A23 from Cane Hill and that he would like to see various stakeholders “get around the table.”
On the subject of the precise location of an access to the A23, Thursday night’s report referred to local residents calling for an exit from the southern roundabout and this being expensive and taking a large amount of green belt. However, residents associations I have spoken to say they have never asked for this.
What residents associations have proposed is a more elegant solution: using Footpath 744, which would be fairly easy to construct. This is around 7 metres from the Cane Hill main drive and would take no green belt land and would not be visually intrusive, and likely be far less expensive.
Croydon South MP Chris Philp spoke to Mayor Sadiq Khan about this proposed exit at the end of July and reports he is sympathetic about TfL consent. Indeed, the GLA’s support in this matter is vital as essentially City Hall can exercise a veto on the idea. Cllr Steve O'Connell, our Greater London Assembly Member, is lobbying for this exit to be realised.
Croydon Council officers have been tasked with dealing with the reserved matters and last night agreed to publish their delegated decision making report online. I did request that they include the latest figures available to the Council that would show traffic trends in localised roads near to the development – as I thought open and transparent publication of this data might once and for all settle any concerns about increased traffic - but unfortunately my request was turned down.
Lastly, the original approval for Cane Hill also contained a requirement that alterations be made to the Lion Green Road/Chipstead Valley Road junction. These are yet to materialise. Condition 2 of the Cane Hill planning permission, advises that no more than 187 dwellings can be commenced until the improvement to this junction has been completed.
In an email received yesterday, Croydon Council chief executive Jo Negrini says: “We have been advised that TfL are currently discussing the final details of the proposed junction layout with [highways consultant] WSP and hope to conclude the design and modelling of the revised layout within the next few weeks.”