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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

St Edmund's Church - Riddlesdown
03/12/2019 09:48:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


STATEMENT TO LOCAL COUNCILLORS AND RIDDLESDOWN RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION ON THE FUTURE OF ST EDMUND’S CHURCH                                                                           

The Community of St Edmund’s has concluded, with much sadness, that continuing as an independent worshipping congregation within the parish of Sanderstead is no longer viable and that a new future must be found for the building. Regular Sunday worship will cease at Christmas.

But St Edmund’s is NOT CLOSING. Christian worship and other activities will continue, the former in a different form to be determined as soon as possible.

The buildings will continue to be available for community use, as now. Contacts and administrative arrangements will change but otherwise things will remain unchanged. Indeed, we are hoping for an enhanced community role, as well as the continuing religious one, for St Edmund’s following the refurbishment of the William Goddard Room, generously financed by our local councillors.

We are holding a celebration of the past – and future – life of St Edmund’s on Sunday 16th February, to which all in the community will be welcome. Details will follow but, if you would like to come, you may wish to make a note in your diary.

Richard Wragg

Chris Babbs




Cherry Trees and Litter Pick - Cherry Tree Green
30/11/2019 11:55:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


It was great to see the newly planted cherry trees on Cherry Tree Green.  Local residents led by Marianne Daniels from the newly formed Friends of Green Spaces organised a litter pick and was joined by membrs of the Sanderstead Residents Association, Mandy Ashton from Priscillas, local scout leader Janice and local councillors to ensure the green and area looked ship-shape.  I can't wait to see them in the spring.



Fire - 3 West Hill - New Flats
27/11/2019 10:00:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


A fire broke out this morning at the site of 3 West Hill, the new development on the corner of Sanderstead Road.  The fire started in the basement of the building and a crew from four fire engines quickly extinguished the fire.  The cause of the fire is being investigated.  I am pleased that no one was hurt.



Cherry Trees for Cherry Tree Green
25/11/2019 15:41:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Sanderstead is marking a week-long national celebration of trees by planting 20 new cherry trees. Ten new trees have been planted on Cherry Tree Green in Hamsey Green, as part of an initiative to plant 3,500 trees in the borough by 2023, and a further ten are set to be planted in coming weeks.

The site was suggested by local resident Marianne Daniels, who is part of the new Friends of Green Spaces Group.  She has been working with me and council officers on a number of initiatives in the locality.

They were planted just ahead of National Tree Week which sees a nationwide campaign to plant 1,000,000 trees.

Marianne said: “I am really delighted Croydon Council has supported my request to plant trees on Cherry Tree Green. The four different colours of cherry trees will be a welcome splash of colour.

“We will be holding a community litter pick on Saturday 30 November at 10.30am in order to tidy up the green followed by an informal photo at 11am. Litter picking equipment will be provided.

Do come and join the litter pick and see the newly planted trees on the green.  Whilst the rain may not be ideal weather for a litter pick the trees will certainly enjoy it!



Christmas Light Switch On - The Gruffy - Saturday, 30 November 2019 - 4.30 pm
22/11/2019 15:21:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


The Xmas Lights Switch On will take place on Saturday, 30 November 2019 at 4.30 pm on The Gruffy around the Xmas Tree.  The star and the tree will be the first to be lit with the rest of the lights in the high street following.  It is hoped that santa, even though extremely busy, will be able to do this alongside All Saints Church choir who will be singing carols around the tree.  It is the start of the festive season and we wish everyone a Merry Xmas.  The Sanderstead councillors have funded the lights and switch on from their community budget.



Hamsey Green Pond
19/11/2019 13:20:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I was pleased to meet with The newly formed Friends of Sanderstead Recreation Ground and Green Spaces alongside The Conservation Volunteers to look further at how the pond can be improved.  There is still much work to do around the boundary which is full of ivy.  The pond itself is now quite over grown with plants and parrot weed.  The edges need to be reformed and planting needs to be reintroduced in some locations.  I am pleased that both the volunteers and TCV are taking action and look forward to seeing the fruits of their work.



Solar Powered Bollard - Court Hill/Brian Avenue
13/11/2019 19:35:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Residents may be interested to know that the council is no longer repairing solar powered bollards.  I only found this out after reporting a broken solar powered bollard on Court Hill and Brian Avenue.

This is the response I have received:

Our investigations shows that the above Solar self-righting traffic bollard was installed over 5 years ago, however, since then the Department of Transport in 2016 has relaxed the lighting requirement for traffic bollards and some other signs.  The motivation for this was in a bid to reduce energy usage and light pollution at a national level. 

It is useful to note that all self-righting traffic bollards installed in the last 10 years are made up of retroreflective (reflect light back to the source and thereby increase visibility to approaching vehicles) materials.  For this reason there is no requirement for the highway authority to reinstate the solar illumination part of the traffic bollard.

To replace or repair the existing solar traffic bollard the Council has to pay nearly £600 per unit which is difficult to justify because of the current economic challenges.

I appreciate that this is not the answer your constituent may be looking for on this matter, however, we need to apply a stricter control over finances and prioritise the resources available to us in a way that achieves the most benefit for the borough.

Notwithstanding this I have instructed our cleansing team to thoroughly clean the traffic bollard to ensure its retroreflectivity is maximised.

All I can say is it is very disappointing.





SES Water - Poor Road Repairs - Mitchley Avenue
05/11/2019 07:20:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Residents in Sanderstead are extremely fed up with the poor quality road repairs undertaken by utility companies.  So much so that one has written to the MD of SES Water to elevate their complaint in respect of repairs in Mitchley Avenue.  I too have taken up the issue with the director at the council and asked that they ensure that any company undertaking is of good quality and that the roads and pathways are reinstated to a good quality.  A number of potholes here in the pictures are attributed to the utility companies.



Berlin Wall - Fronting Sanderstead Road - Corner of West Hill
31/10/2019 20:18:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Many residents will have noticed a very large concrete wall appear on the corner of Sanderstead Road and West Hill where one of the new blocks of flats has been built.  It appears that there has been no approval given for this retaining wall which is close to the very narrow footpath.  Not only is the dreadful "Berlin" wall ugly but it prevents the planning condition applied to plant large trees along the boundary.  This is extremely distressing and not appreciated by residents who have already had to contend with a number of issues such as a blocked road, noisy work over the week-end and dirt and filth spilling onto the pavement.  I am assured by the head of planning that he is going to take action to rectify this matter.  The loss of the tree lined canopy, a natural characteristic of Sanderstead Road must be replaced.



Cherry Tree Green - Hamsey Green Pond
25/10/2019 16:03:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I have been working with the newly formed Sanderstead Friend's group in respect of the tree planting for Cherry Tree Green.  A variety of white, pale and darker pink Cherry trees will be planted in the last week of November.  We held a recent meeting in Priscillas to see how we could take forward through the council some of the brilliant ideas put forward by residents at the recent community day.

Also a meeting is pencilled in to see how work at Hamsey Green pond can be further progressed with local residents and the Conservation Volunteers.

It is all very exciting and I am pleased that residents are so enthusiastic about our important green spaces.



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 Older Blog Posts
Dementia Friendly Film Screenings at David Lean Cinema
New Posts and Repairs to Railings - Sanderstead Shops
Churchgate - 1 Addington Road - Consultation
Possible care home opposite All Saints
Cressey College - Special School (5-19) Off Orchard Road
West Hill Development Site - Disruption
Scam callers pretending to be Thomas Cook liquidators
Temporary closure of street as a 'Play street'
Bridge works on Sanderstead Road requiring road closure
Sanderstead Road - Public Footpath 142 - Adjoining Purley Oaks Road
Resurfacing on Rectory Park
Mitchley Avenue Bench
Hamsey Green Pond - Work by the Downland Volunteers
Hamsey Green Pond -1914
BARROWSFIELD - Planning Committee this Thursday - 1st August
Sanderstead Road closure at West Hill junction 403 bus diverted
Ashdown Gardens - Hamsey Green Sanderstead
Act quickly to protect your local green spaces
Barrowsfield planning application deadline tomorrow
Amendments to Barrowsfield proposal received
Third consecutive missed green waste collections
Grass Cutting of Sanderstead Hill
Sanderstead Horticultural Society - Summer Show
Fallen Tree Across Mitchley Hill and Limpsfield Road
Potholes in Sanderstead
Active Ageing Event - All Saints Church Hall
Cherry Tree Knocked Down - Purley Oaks Road
Another bad planning night for Sanderstead
Mature Tree on the Corner of Ewhurst Road Chopped Down
Sandhurst Close - Condition of Street Cleansing and Pavements
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