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 The Sanderstead Blog
Cllr  Lynne  Hale
Cllr  Yvette  Hopley
Cllr  Tim  Pollard

Two planning applications pushed through
30/01/2017 16:47:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

I normally try to avoid being excessively political in this blog, as I am conscious that it is read by people who support all political parties (and none). However, this post is going to have to be the honourable exception to that rule.

Last Thursday night the Labour-dominated planning committee approved a number of intensification schemes in the south of the borough including two in Sanderstead. Sadly for local democracy, there was never any question that these schemes would be refused – despite the fact that committee members are not supposed to be whipped or express pre-determination, in each case all six Labour members voted en bloc.

The first of the schemes in Sanderstead was 105-107 Purley Downs Road, currently occupied by two lovely and distinctive large detached houses opposite the golf course. The proposal is to demolish both and replace with two large blocks of nine flats. One block is to be for sale and the other to be ‘affordable’, in co-operation with a housing association. I spoke in opposition to this development, as did a representative of the residents in Hill Barn, who would be most affected.

Here is what I said:

105 and 107 Purley Downs Road are two of the finest detached properties in Sanderstead, one of which was built by a local builder whose works are characterised by the distinctive glazed green tiles. As such I deeply regret that the owners have opted to sell these beautiful houses to a developer only for them to be demolished. That’s a great shame, but sadly I have to accept that it is not unlawful to do this.

If they are to go, it would seem a great shame not to insist that the space is filled by the type of accommodation of which we need much more and which is found a few yards down the road in Maywater and Tindale Closes – namely small family detached houses.

Instead , advised by the council during an extended pre-application process, the committee is being asked to adjudicate on two large blocks of flats, of which there are no other examples on Purley Downs Road. The two blocks are derived from the blocks from a previous scheme on this location, which was treated as two separate schemes on each of the plots of 105 and 107, both of which were refused by Croydon, upheld on appeal. The Inspector determined that the previous scheme would ‘materially harm the character and appearance of the area’. He further concluded that the scheme ‘failed to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness, and to seek a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings, a necessary requirement of the National Planning Policy Framework.’

It is hard to see that these concerns have been substantively ameliorated in the new scheme. The buildings are still alien, do not promote local distinctiveness and offer poor amenity for residents of the buildings. They still materially harm the appearance and character of the area. The revised scheme does go some way towards reducing the bulk and massing issues with the first scheme, although it will still be significantly worse than the current buildings and more intrusive than any others on the road. In particular there will be significant dominance as seen from Hill Barn , along with a significant increase in the overlooking of the detached properties in Hill Barn which back onto the site. This will result in a loss of privacy to those residents, especially from the higher floors in the new blocks. Although some soft landscaping is proposed, the parking requirements mean that this is necessarily modest in scale. It does not offer much reassurance that the privacy of neighbours will be protected.

The new blocks have been brought forward significantly and now stand in front of the building line. This will increase the dominance as seen from the road. In the locality people accept that development on this site is probably inevitable. But this is the wrong development for this area so I would ask that the committee refuses the application.

Sadly all these arguments were in vain. The Conservative councillors present moved refusal, which was rejected by 6 votes to 4 and the committee chair, Labour’s councillor Paul Scott then moved approval which was agreed by the same 6 votes to 4.

The second application, for land between Church Way, Briton Hill Road and Arkwright Road, went the same way. Here a tiny access road was to be created which is too narrow for a fire engine to get access, to lead to three new two storey detached houses. A local resident spoke very eloquently about the good reasons for refusal. Again the four Conservative councillors on the committee chose to support the 35 residents who were against the development in this form. Again the Labour chair proposed approval and his five colleagues slavishly followed his lead. Six to four in favour.

The other applications in other wards had all gone the same way when I left. Perhaps I was an unlucky charm that night, because shortly after I left we had a rare success - in Croham ward. Cllr Jason Perry and Cllr Luke Clancy proposed and seconded refusal on a scheme to replace the Stag & Hounds pub with an over cramped development. Whilst there was nothing to protect the pub in planning terms, Jason and Luke argued it was an over-intensification and pointed especially to the lack of defensible space for the residential units fronting busy highways which showed the developer had built as close as possible to every boundary - in some cases by 0.2 metres. To Conservative members’ astonishment the chair of the committee agreed with them, Labour abstained and they overturned the officer recommendation. Doubtless it will soon be back in a slightly less awful form and will be agreed, but at least this was a small victory for local residents.

Even more alarmingly, the Chair nailed his colours to the mast in terms of setting out what the Labour Group’s policy is. He said – and I quote – “There is no area of the borough where it is inappropriate to build flats”.

He went on to outline that respecting the character of an area does not mean building dwellings that are broadly the same as the ones around them. Nowhere, apparently, has the right to be considered special. And our housing need is so acute that, according to Scott, ‘every part of the borough will require intensification’.

Isn’t democracy marvellous?

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 Other Blog Posts

South East Cancer Help Centre - Lunch for Volunteers
10/08/2019 08:28:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Every year the SECHC puts on a lunch to thank the many volunteers that help support the centre.  Some 80 volunteers assist with a range of activities without whom we would find it extremely difficult to exist.  The centre over the last year has been able to increase both the number of group and individual sessions provided to our members and continues to move forward with creative ideas to increase the range of in-house activities to around 40 different services on offier.  This includes our complementary outreach service provided to Croydon University Hospital to support those in the North of the borough.  To contact the centre call Lizzie our new centre manager on 0208668 0974 or email:



Legacy Onside Youth Zone - 125 Whitehorse Road
09/08/2019 20:04:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I met with Barnabas and Angela at the new Youth Zone to look at the facilities for young people.  For £5 annual membership and 50p per visit you have access to many activities such as indoor climbing, boxing, music studio, arts and crafts and many other sports.  The centre will be open seven days a week and will officially open on 7 September 2019.  Contact or call 020 3976 9990.

My only concern raised was access from South of the borough which will mean a couple of bus rides at least.

I hope everyone has fun.



Alan Brookes - Chairman Selsdon Centre for the Retired
09/08/2019 19:58:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I attended an open day event at Selsdon Centre for the Retired to meet residents and enjoy a cup of tea.  Alan Brookes, Chairman showed me around the facilities and the new freezers, two of which were purchased with the community ward budget funds by the Sanderstead Ward Councillors.  These freezers are important to the centre who stock food for many of the elderly, who rely on this service for a hot meal.  It is good that they can socialise and enjoy time together.



Sanderstead Road - Public Footpath 142 - Adjoining Purley Oaks Road
09/08/2019 19:53:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


The above public footpath between Purley Oaks Road and Sanderstead Road is overgrown with weeds and hasn't been swept for some time.  Part of the railing is broken and makes it difficult for residents to navigate the steep hill in the winter when it becomes slippery.  I have been promised by officers that the matter will be corrected and the weeds cleared and the rail restored.  Hopefully before the winter arrives - or has it already!!



Resurfacing on Rectory Park
07/08/2019 17:36:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

The ward team have today had notification of works to resurface Rectory Park. Details from the letter are pasted below.

I am writing to inform you that FMCONWAY , on behalf of Croydon Council, will shortly be commencing resurfacing at the location/s and date/s below:

Date: 22nd  to  24th     August  2019 between 20:00-05:00 

Location: Rectory Park                             

To enable the Contractor to undertake the works, on-street parking will be suspended during works hours.  We also kindly ask that with forward planning vehicular access to and from properties adjacent to the road are reduced to a minimum during the works hours. Pedestrian access will not be affected.


Advance driver / resident information boards will be in place before the works commence, advising of the precise dates and times of the road closure. 

Please however note that unforeseen circumstances (e.g. inclement weather conditions) may necessitate a change to the scheduled dates and information on road signs will be changed accordingly. Please check the road signs regularly for any updates

The resurfacing works will take place between  Westfield Avenue   and  Sanderstead Hill  . 

Due to the nature of these works it is inevitable that some disruption will occur. For this reason it is recommended that where possible you use alternative routes, or allow extra time to complete your journey. 

The on-street parking suspensions that will be in place within the works area are 19:30-05:00 on  22nd   to  24th    August   2019 . No parking for residents on the highway in the areas covered by the enforcement signs.

Please note that penalty charge notices (PCN’s) will be applied to vehicles parked within the suspended areas during the works hours and/or vehicles relocated. 

Due to the above we would urge all residents to ensure that their vehicles are moved from the suspended areas in order to avoid any delays to the works as well as incurring any charges.

If your vehicle is relocated please contact the LBC on 020 8726 6000 Ext 52816, who will provide you with an exact location of your vehicle. 

We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this may cause residents; however we want to ensure that all works carried out on the Croydon network are to the highest standards to ensure value for our residents.



Mitchley Avenue Bench
06/08/2019 14:25:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


The Sanderstead Councillors were pleased to fund the new bench outside Mitchley Avenue doctors surgery near the bus stop from their community ward budget.  The doctors surgery had said that many patients who were elderly, frail or very unwell struggled to stand at the bus stop whilst waiting to get home after their appointments.  We hope that this place of rest will help  We also requested a new litter bin which has also been installed.



Hamsey Green Pond - Work by the Downland Volunteers
01/08/2019 15:08:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I was pleased to see that a number of improvements have been made to Hamsey Green pond. Dead trees have been cut back and much of the ground around the pond has been cleared.  Some attempt has been made to soften the banks but this has not really been successful as a concrete base forms part of the pond on one side and a rockery leads into a four foot drop on the otherside.  Due to the extensive neglect over many years it is going to take some effort to return this important place of tranquility and biodiversity into a place for young children and elderly can enjoy.  The new benches are great and I am extremely grateful for all the efforts of the Dowland Trust who have worked so hard this week.



Hamsey Green Pond -1914
31/07/2019 21:10:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


A resident sent me this photograph of Hamsey Green pond in 1914.  It has changed quite a bit with the Limpsfield Road bringing one side of the bank much further in.  As you will all know I have spent a great deal of time working with members of the council to improve the pond which has been somewhat neglected.  I am still hoping that the banks can be improved so it has an educational purpose as well as its important biodiversity and ecological aspect.



BARROWSFIELD - Planning Committee this Thursday - 1st August
30/07/2019 07:14:00.......Posted by Lynne Hale



Re: 18/05157/FUL – 2-5 Barrowsfield South Croydon CR2 9BZ

Demolition of existing buildings and erection of 4/5 storey building comprising 33 self-contained flats (5 x one bed, 14 x two bed and 14 x three bed), vehicular access on Limpsfield Road, 26 car parking spaces (including two disabled car parking spaces), integral cycle store for 64 cycles, integral bin storage, hard and soft landscaping, boundary treatment and communal amenity space at roof level.

Thanks to everyone for all the further email correspondence advising that you have lodged your comments with the Council in relation to the amendments which were recently lodged.for this terrible scheme. (There were 495 additional sets of comments lodged).

Since then a further 19 revised documents were added to the Council website in relation to this proposal, however it appears that the Officer’s report had already been written ready for this Thursday’s Planning Committee meeting, so planning officers didn’t feel the need to re-consult any further with residents. The recommendation is to approve the application.

Cllr Tim Pollard and I have lodged a formal complaint with the Council about this.

However, as things currently stand the application is being heard this Thursday, 1st August. The meeting starts 6.30pm and it would be much appreciated if as many residents as possible could attend.

Thanking you in advance for your support.



Sanderstead Road closure at West Hill junction 403 bus diverted
24/07/2019 21:42:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

To allow for a new sewer connection to a development at Sanderstead Road / West Hill a closure of Sanderstead Road will be in place from 24th July to 02nd August. The Council will also be making the most of the opportunity and getting any other connections the site requires from Sanderstead Road completed.

Diversions will be in place and Tfl have put in place the following diversion route for the 403 bus:

Route 403 towards Warlingham: From Selsdon Road at Carlton Road, ahead Selsdon Road, ahead Upper Selsdon Road, right Addington Road, left at roundabout, 1st exit Limpsfield Road to normal line of route

Route 403 towards West Croydon: From Limpsfield Road, right at roundabout 3rd exit Addington Road, left Selsdon Road, ahead Upper Selsdon Road to normal line of route



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