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

Street trees
02/02/2020 08:37:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

Whilst out meeting residents in The Windings yesterday I spoke to family about a street tree which used to be outside their property. Apparently some years ago the council appeared one day and chopped down the perfectly healthy street tree. Apparently the council finally told them that it had been removed because their neighbour, who was renting the next door property, was concerned it might damage his car. They went back to the council to ask whether the hole could be filled with a new sapling, but instead it was tarmaced over.

Now that we have a budget for street trees again, I have asked that they be considered as a site for a new street tree, as it seems a shame to have families who actively want a street tree unable to have one. Street trees are both attractive and helpful in absorbing greenhouse gases to combat climate change, but over the years we have lost many which have not been replaced. If you are in this situation and would like to be considered for a replacement tree, please let me know.

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Riddlesdown School admissions criteria
14/02/2020 15:38:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

I hear that a letter has been distributed to parents at at-least one primary school in Sanderstead confirming that the Board of Directors at The Collegiate Trust has decided to approve the admissions criteria upon which they recently consulted parents, for entry to Riddlesdown Collegiate after September 2021. The key affect of this is that the Feeder School criterion and the Ability criterion will be removed and the main admissions criterion will be the distance from the school gate that you live.

The current criteria have always had an odd effect on where the children admitted lived. What mattered was not how close the apllicant lived to Riddlesdown Collegiate, but rather how close they lived to one of the feeder schools. This had a secondary effect that the traffic levels are high because of the distance that some of the qualiying children live from the school. These new criteria should open the Collegiate up to more local families and hopefuly reduce traffic over the next few years.

There will be some families in Sanderstead who had relied on the feeder status of Gresham and Atwood for places at Riddlesdown and they will now be understandably concerned. However, I am expecting that the 'catchment' settle down over the next few years as a consequence of these new rules and hopefully these families will still be able to gain a school place.



Leaf sweeping in Farm Fields
02/02/2020 08:34:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Yesterday I was out meeting residents in The Windings and The Woodfields. I noticed that down by the library exit onto Farm Fields the street sweeping has been poor, and as a resulted there are semi-mulched leaves all over the pavement, which must get very slippery for the library users in the area on rainy days. I have asked for it to be dealt with.



Christmas tree collections 'behind schedule'
02/02/2020 08:31:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

On Tuesday night I almost killed myself tripping over a Christmas tree which was on the pavement in a poorly lit area of Lime Meadow Avenue. That tree has been there since about 5 Jan, along with several others in other properties on the road. Next morning I checked up on my earlier post about the scheduled service dates and found 'Real trees will be collected and recycled between Monday 13 January and Monday 27 January 2020 inclusive’ in the council press release. Over the previous weekend I noticed trees everywhere in several other wards. It looks to me like Veolia have not been clearing these properly in lots of areas, and for sure they haven’t done my road and a number nearby.

I reported this to a senior officer who said 'I am aware there are some locations where Christmas trees are still to be collected and as such Veolia are doing a mop up this week. I will double check Lime Meadow Avenue is on the list long with the surrounding area.' 

As of Saturday 1st Feb it is, of course, still there, so I have reported it again.



The council needs to start again with its Local Plan update
19/01/2020 08:39:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Monday 20 January is the revised date for submissions of comments on the council's Local Plan, Partial Review. As has been widely publicised by Residents' Associations and Friends Groups, the revisions to the plan proposed will have wide ranging consequences in our suburbs, and particularly on the loss of more Green Belt (to add to that land the Labour Council freed up for development in 2018). If residents want to protect their area from further damage, now is the time they must stand up for their local area, working with Conservative councillors.

I have made my submission to the consultation today, covering both borough-wide and issues more narrowly relating to Sanderstead ward.

The full text of my submission can be found here.

You can view the documentation the council has produced here.

You can let the council know your views using the online tools on their documentation page or simply by emailing




Possible school 'school street' zone around Ridgeway School
10/01/2020 14:42:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

The council has announced that it is considering extending its 'school street' scheme to include Southcote Road, where it fronts Ridgeway Primary. Under this scheme the street is closed to vehicular traffic in the morning and afternoon drop-off/collection times during term time. It is writing to members of the public living in the immediate area to consult them on their views (I have attached a copy of the letter below). If live in the affected area and have a view, it is important that you fill in and return the consultation form.

So what is a 'school street'? In present context, it is a street with a school entrance, which is restricted to use by pedestrians and cyclists, with most motor vehicle traffic prohibited, between the hours of 08:00 to 09:30 and 14:00 to 16:00 on weekdays. In accordance with the Highway Code for the School Street signs, the restriction applies to the act of driving into the road during the stated hours. Vehicles arriving outside these hours will be permitted to remain parked in the road and can drive out of the road at any time. In practice, the restrictions are not enforced during school holidays. Exempted vehicles can drive in the road at all times.

What if I need to drive my car in the street during the restricted hours? Motor vehicles belonging to the following groups of drivers are eligible for an exemption permit, to enable them driving into the School Street during the hours of operation:

  • Occupier within the zone, with a registered vehicle or a hire, company or courtesy car agreement.
  • Vehicles used in the transport of children and adults with special access needs, including private vehicles, taxies and minicabs declared for such use.
  • Business and school employees with allocated parking on their premises inside the zone.
  • Essential health and care visitors, including relatives of residents with care needs.
  • All day commercial operators, such as builders, decorators and heavy goods suppliers, are eligible for a temporary permit covering the duration of their necessary activities.

The exemption permit is simply an electronic record in the compliance system and there is no need to physically affix anything to a vehicle.

Motor vehicles belonging to the following groups and situations are automatically permitted to drive in a School Street, without first obtaining an exemption permit:

  • Emergency services.
  • Statutory public services, such as gas/electricity companies and refuse collectors.
  • Universal postal service providers, such as the Royal Mail.
  • Breakdown and recovery vehicles (the so called 4th emergency service).
  • Exemptions stated in the Highway Code, such as at the direction of a police officer.

What about our visitors?

Other drivers who wish to access the School Street must arrive outside the hours of operation, or they can temporarily park outside the zone and then move the vehicle once the restrictions end. The vehicles that are not eligible for a permit notably include those of:

  • General visitors to residents and businesses. 
  • Home deliveries.
  • Business and school employees without access to on-premises parking (the scheme is not intended to free up the road to substitute for workplace parking). It is pragmatically accepted that on-site parking facilities may occasionally create an over-spill into the public road.

How much will an exemption permit cost? The permit is free (£0.00) and requested by email to

How can it be ensured that motorists driving in the School Street zone are entitled?

A traffic camera with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and a contravention detection algorithm will operate during the controlled hours. To prevent false triggers and to permit a driver correcting a turning mistake, the alleged contravention trigger point is a small distance into the road. The Penalty Charge Notice is £130 (discounted to £65 if paid within 14 days) and issued to the registered keeper of a vehicle. This penalty charge is set by a London-wide authority, to reflect a level deemed necessary in deterring driving contraventions. Drivers have the right to appeal any penalty, stating a legally valid reason for driving in the School Street.

To fairly enable drivers realising the changing conditions in the street and to give them the opportunity to find another mode or route of travel, the scheme would not be enforced during its first month of operation. Parking enforcement officers would show heightened presence in the surrounding area.

The full consultation letter can be read here.



Riddlesdown Station and Flats
20/12/2019 12:08:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I thought it worth posting the picture of Riddlesdown Station and the newly built flats.  As you can see the water level is considerably high with commuters having to take their shoes and socks off to tread through deep water to get to the station.

This used to be in the Sanderstead ward and  I think it is also worth noting the comments by the RRA in respect of the serious problem which remains unresolved and has only got worse since the construction of the flats.  As well as Riddlesdown residents many Sanderstead ward residents use or should I say try to use this station to get to and from work, shops, local hospitals, take children to school etc.

So what changed in 2013/2014? The new 10 flats called Riddleah Court were constructed in circa 2014. Previously when highway flooding occurred here, the surface water use to overflow into the woodland and drain away and the carriageway and footway were passable. When the planning application was submitted in 2010 I think, the RRA made strong representations to the Planning Dept about flooding as one of our objections (as well as the three current Sanderstead Cllrs also objecting) but the Planning Officer recommended granting approval. However the Planning Committee thought otherwise and refused the application. This was then overturned on appeal by the Planning Inspector after a Local Public Inquiry at which the RRA attended and made strong representations.  For clarity this location is now in the PO&R Ward.

The flats were constructed, land levels were raised and a boundary brick wall was constructed at the back of the footway. This now acts like a dam and water can no longer overflow into the woodland. In addition there is also run off onto the highway from the footways, driveway and car park of Riddleah Court despite SUDs being in place. The photos 3rd, 4th and 5th show flooding here, the deepest I've ever seen it on 24 August 2015.

So what have the Council done since? Yes, they have gully sucked and cleaned out the sumps and soakaways on a few occasions after flooding and installed a couple more gullies (which I believe drain into the existing soakaway). But it is not working and flooding is getting much deeper and more often since 2014.

Drastic measures should be taken to address this issue.  Sadly the council don't seem to take into account representations in respect of flooding in their quest to build flats regardless of the impact.





Development on the Corner of West Hill and Sanderstead Hill
19/12/2019 17:16:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


It is extremely disappointing to see that after conditions were applied to ensure mature trees replaced those hacked down during the demolition of the house on the corner of West Hill and Sanderstead Road pencil thin planting has been considered suitable by the developer.  I was assured that mature trees would be planted to form the natural arbour over Sanderstead Road.  Officers at the council are going to investigate what has gone wrong and how the matter can be rectified.  The current planting scheme which include holly branches and other stick thin whips is not acceptable.



Disposing of Christmas trees post Xmas
13/12/2019 16:35:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

It may seem a bit early to be talking of how to dispose of your shiny new Christmas tree, but the council has just published detals of its January tree disposal programme.

Real trees will be collected and recycled between Monday 13 January and Monday 27 January 2020 inclusive.

Trees should be placed as close as possible to the front boundary of residents’ properties on Monday 13 January. It must be visible from the kerbsidewithout blocking access or the pavement.

Decorations must be removed from the trees, which should also be taken out of any pots.

Residents should note, their tree will probably not be collected on the same day as normal recycling and refuse collections.

Alternatively, residents subscribed to the council’s garden waste collection service can cut up their tree and put it in their bin and it will be collected as part of the normal garden waste collection.

Residents in properties with communal bins should leave trees outside the bin store but make sure they do not block access. Flats above shops and other homes with no frontage should put trees out on normal collection days.

If your real tree is missed during this two-week period you can:

  • Take it to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre at Factory Lane, Fishers Farm or Purley Oaks. Trees must not be left outside the recycling centre.
  • Put it out next to your rubbish bin on your next collection day, although your tree will not be recycled on the same day.
  • Cut it up and put it in your garden waste bin if you have a subscription.



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.



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020 8660 0491
 Older Blog Posts
Fire - 3 West Hill - New Flats
Cherry Trees for Cherry Tree Green
Christmas Light Switch On - The Gruffy - Saturday, 30 November 2019 - 4.30 pm
Hamsey Green Pond
Solar Powered Bollard - Court Hill/Brian Avenue
SES Water - Poor Road Repairs - Mitchley Avenue
Berlin Wall - Fronting Sanderstead Road - Corner of West Hill
Cherry Tree Green - Hamsey Green Pond
Raw Sewage - Back of Sanderstead Court Avenue
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
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