Gypsy and travelller site 25/05/2017 17:35:00......Posted by Tim Pollard
Today the local plan inspection in public was dealing with the highly emotive issue of the location of a gypsy and traveller site. You will recall that the Labour council consulted in 2016/6 on perhaps designating Coombe Farm, Coombe Lodge Nurseries or Peartree Farm as the site.
Then having discovered, apparently to its surprise, that the owners of these three sites did not wish to see them used for that purpose, in 2016 the council chose Purley Oaks Depot instead. The issue for local residents was that the switch was made so late in the plan-making process that residents had no real opportunity to make their views known. Interestingly, none of the sites the Labour administration has seriously considered are in wards they represent. What a surprise!
So today’s session consisted largely of legal argument between QCs representing the council and local residents/businesses. Cllr Simon Brew represented the interests of Purley ward residents and I was there to represent Sanderstead. Although the site itself is in Purley, it is only a short walk from the edge of Sanderstead. For the avoidance of doubt, the site the council wants to use is not the recycling centre, but the highways depot immediately between it and the railway line.
The key points of the argument revolve around whether the council has provided adequate objective evidence to inform its choice. Was its assessment of the relative merits of different sites sufficiently robust and objective? Does it take into account the limitations of the site in terms of noise, contamination and pollution? Should it keep the site instead for future expansion of the recycling centre, which is already groaning at the seams? Is it fair that this site should be chosen predominately because the council owns it and it is therefore ‘easy’? Is it right that the council should exclude all sites in wards with a high deprivation because it believes the travellers there would put intolerable strain on key services?
I chose not to rehearse the entire argument, as much of it had already been outlined very articulately by the QC acting for residents. So the points I made were:
That the site selected is protected in the South London Waste plan for potential future use for waste disposal: using it for travellers precludes that
The scoring matrix used to initially grade potential sites had very subjective weighting given to different criteria. For example the council upscored any site it owned, making those sites much more likely to be selected.
Even with its strange criteria, the scoring matrix put Purley Oaks only 15th best of the possible sites, so the council then chose to re-grade using a much cruder measure, which essentially ruled out all sites on Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land, any site is a deprived ward and any site it didn’t own. Having effectively put a line through all the sites above Purley Oaks that left Purley as the only possible option. How convenient!
The council has made no effort to find out whether any of the owners of sites in positions 1-14 would actually be interested in selling.
Because the council had previously consulted on other sites and only picked Purley Oaks at the last minute, residents were denied a proper forum to have their views heard
The council choosing to exclude all wards which are in the top 15% by deprivation was a very arbitrary decision and one which is arguably wrong. If a ward has low deprivation it is unlikely to be home to high-intervention council services which are most likely to be required to support traveller families. Most of these services are actually only available in high deprivation wards. So to use this to rule wards out is extremely perverse.
The site proposed is surrounded by busy roads on two sides, a railway line on another and a recycling and waste facility on the fourth. It also features a contaminated pond required to alleviate the regular flooding of the Caterham Bourne and the land is contaminated after years of industrial use. It is noisy and dangerous, with regular surface flooding and poor air quality. Not, I have to say, somewhere I would personally want to bring up a family.
Like so many other session in the local plan hearings, many residents told me they had come away with the distinct impression that the council’s evidence base was very wonky and that the evidence used was post-rationalised to support a decision made for entirely different reasons. I hope the Inspector has taken the concerns on board, but we will have to wait several months to find out.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 legacyyouthzone.org 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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