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

Flood risk along the A22
05/02/2014 08:59:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

Although the majority of Sanderstead has relatively low flood risk (with the exception of an area on the Surrey border), I thought it would be worth passing on an update on the Caterham Bourne and the heightened risk of flooding along the Bourne catchment area (which runs along the A22 down to Purley). Although this area falls outside the ward, the knock-on effects of any road closures will affect Sanderstead, as those residents who lived through the Limpsfield Road traffic when the Godstone Road was last flooded will attest.

Groundwater levels in the upper Wandle area are high, causing the Caterham Bourne to flow. The Caterham Bourne is located to the south of the borough running through both Kenley & Purley Wards then into Croham, Waddon and then into Broad Green Wards as it makes its way into Wandle Park and then into the river Wandle. The Bourne’s origin is in the upper Woldingham area and then makes its way along the valley coming into the borough along the A22 corridor. The Bourne runs parallel with the Godstone Road in the main and is a combination of open ditch and culvert.

The intense rainfall received over the past couple of months has saturated the ground causing the flow of the Bourne to increase significantly. During January the area has seen some 220mm of rain which has raised the water table immensely, to illustrate this the water table during the summer months is usually 25metres below ground, readings taken today at Kenley Treatment works recorded the water table had risen to within 0.75metres of the surface, this means surface water flooding is already being experienced along the low lying parts of the valley, in particular the Bourne Park Close recreation ground and adjoining open space heading toward the Kenley treatment works up to Bourne View. It is expected that surface flooding is likely to increase as the levels rise, this in combination of the Bourne flowing has put the area at high risk of surface flooding.

Many residents will recall the adverse weather over the Christmas of 2000/1 where the area suffered severe flooding and the closure of the A22 for a number of weeks. As part of the improvement to the Bourne during that time the council created a Bund in the Allotments at Bourne View: this enabled the area to flood within, rather than putting residential properties at risk. This flood area has put us in good stead this time as we have been able to control the flow of the Bourne and use this area to relieve the flow. The area is now approximately 75% full and unless rainfall decreases we will need to put emergency measures in place to extract water via tankers and or over-pump into sewers: the equipment needed to do this is currently being organised to ensure we can react swiftly.

The council has provided sandbags to a number of residents along Bourne Park Close and the parade of shops between the Police Station and Hayes Lane.

The trash screens are being kept clear and the flow rate is high, the culverted sections appear to be flowing strongly and this is causing surcharging of water into the water treatment works. Sutton & East Surrey Water, who manage this site, have put measure in place to protect the pump rooms but surface flooding is occurring. Just outside the borough in Whyteleafe the A22 Godstone Road has flooding at the junction of Maple Road. At the moment the road remains open and we are liaising with Tandridge council on it.

Downstream into Purley the Bourne is flowing well with no flooding to note at this stage, the Bourne then comes into Purley Oaks Depot and the balancing pond is approximately 80% full. We are working with Thames Water to ensure this is managed, we are also investigating the possibility of over pumping back into the surface water system if there is capacity to do so.

In terms of the weather, unfortunately things are not improving in the short term - the theme remains heavy and persistent rain with strong to gale force winds. The accumulative effect of the rest of the week’s rain is likely to see a further (35mm – 75mm) of rain over the next three days and the accompanying strong to gale force winds (40–60mph) may lead to significant issues.

Operationally we are clearing the trash screens each day and having a presence in the area, along with working closely with the treatment works to ensure the flow of water is managed. Council officers have pulled together a multi-agency emergency meeting tomorrow with the Environment Agency, Thames Water, Sutton & East Surrey Water and neighbouring authorities to pull together the collective risks and develop a joint action plan. 

Going forward the council will continue to provide daily updates but in the meantime, the Environment Agency have advised that if residents would like to report rising groundwater levels or flooding they should call our Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or online via “my account” on the councils website.

In light of the recent severe weather, I have taken the opportunity to attach a link to information on the councils website setting out the Councils responsibilities for flooding. I would encourage members of the public to sign up to the EA’s free groundwater Flood Alert/Warning service by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or registering online at 

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 Other Blog Posts

Flooding in Audley Drive
01/07/2020 11:53:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard


I have had a couple of emails recently about surface water flooding in Audley Drive, which also accumulates down at the new development by Hamsey Green pond.

We did have significant flooding 10-ish years ago caused by surface water accumulating in the playing fields across the border in Tandridge. The ward team, lead on that project by Cllr Hale, lobbied Tandridge to put a large soaraway into one corner of the field with drainage feeds to it, which seemed to reduce the problem for a while. It seems likely that the cause is either across the border again or perhaps caused by blocked soakaways further up Kingswood Lane where the new developments are taking place. You often find that these sites generate a lot of clay soil which then gets washed into the drains and blocks everything up.

We need to get one of the council's drains officer out to look at this, so I have put in an urgent request for this.



Broken seat in The Gruffy
01/07/2020 11:52:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard


A resident has kindly let us know that one of the seats in The Gruffy has broken. We have asked council officers to either repair or replace.



Objections to the discharge of conditions on the awful Barrowsfield development
26/06/2020 08:38:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard


Cllr Lynne Hale has written a comprehensive objection to the application to discharge conditions on the dreadful Barrowsfield development, which our Labour council thinks is an appropriate structure to complement the adjoining Green Belt. Sadly this massive development has already been approved but there remain matters of detail to be resolved. Whilst sorting these out in a satisfactory way won't make the block any smaller or less incongruous, it will at least make some minor improvements to the lives of its own and neighbouring residents.

These are Cllr Hale's detailed comments:

Re: 20/02141/DISC | Discharge of conditions 3 (Architectural detailing), 4 (Building signage), 5 (Landscaping), 7 (Retaining walls), 8 (Children's playspace), 9 (Lighting), 10 (Screening), 14 (EVCP), 15 (Cycle store), 16 (Construction logistics plan), 20 (Protected and priority species), 21 (Construction environmental management plan), 25 (Remediation strategy), 26 (Remediation strategy verification report) and 30 (Piling) attached to planning permission 18/05157/FUL | 2-5 Barrowsfield South Croydon CR2 9BZ

I am writing to lodge my objection to the above application for the discharge of conditions attached to the planning consent for 18/05157/FUL – 2-5 Barrowsfield.

My reasons are as follows:

Condition 4

  • The change of name to Sanderstead Park and the proposed size and location of the signage are unacceptable: they will confuse visitors to Sanderstead Recreation Ground and misdirect people into Barrowsfield, a narrow driveway with very limited turning options.

Condition 5

  • The hedge to the eastern boundary of 1 Barrowsfield is a party hedge and provides a mature screen to allow privacy as well as habitat for local wildlife and birds. This hedge must retained. 
  • There are still unresolved issues around the boundary line so it’s too soon to sign off a condition around boundary treatment

Condition 7

  • The proposals as submitted are not acceptable. The retaining wall details show excavation works required to Barrowsfield which is a private driveway outside the ownership of the applicant. 
  • No details are provided of proposed works to make good the wearing surface to the roadway.
  • The line of the boundary wall is yet to be agreed.
  • The proposed boundary wall runs across land outside the ownership of the applicant and includes land which forms the right of way to Barrowsfield.
  • The proposed retaining wall and balustrade create a health and safety risk to residents and visitors to Barrowsfield; due to the proposed sunken pedestrian access and inadequate balustrade

Condition 8

Assurances were given at the Planning Committee meeting that planning officers would ensure any detailed proposals would meet or exceed Croydon Council requirements for external children’s play space in new residential developments. This submission fails on this really important condition due to:

  • Inadequate communal play space – nearly 40% below the minimum  required – this is completely unacceptable 
  • only a single piece of play equipment is proposed which is totally inadequate
  • the roof top area is isolated with no overlooking and no surveillance: there must be a serious concern over children’s safety and the potential for injury, abuse or bullying. 
  • Policy requires the area to be accessed by children and young adults independently. However, the proposal fails to meet the criteria and is inherently unsafe. Independent, unaccompanied access by children brings the real danger that a child may climb over the 1100 mm balustrade and risk injury or death by falling.
  • The developer must be required to meet policy obligations and provide a policy compliant play area of a high standard in a safe environment.

Condition 9

  • The information submitted is totally inadequate to allow planning officers to ensure the proposal ‘protects the visual and residential amenity of the locality’ as per the condition wording. 
  • Lack of information on light spillage into adjacent properties or Metropolitan Green Belt
  • The proposed floodlights are inappropriate, intrusive and non-domestic in scale and will be harmful to adjoining occupiers and existing wildlife

Condition 10

  • The proposed low level, open balustrade does not provide any privacy to the adjoining properties and does not safeguard the amenity or privacy of the occupants of the adjoining properties. 

Condition 16

  • The Construction Logistics Plan fails to recognise the busy use of the children’s playground at Sanderstead Recreation Ground which is immediately adjacent to the site; the CLP should confirm that safe access to this will be ensured at all times
  • Special care needs to be taken with the management of any dust arising from the site due to the location of the sheltered housing directly opposite where many of the elderly residents have health conditions, which would be aggravated by any increase in dust/air pollution arising from this site
  • CLP 3.6 Exact location of the cranes to be used need to be agreed with the local authority prior to commencement of any works
  • CLP 3.7 Details of the programme for co-ordinating the connection of services and sharing of excavations and traffic management proposals to be agreed with the local authority prior to the commencement of any works. Any closures or part closures of Limpsfield Road needs to be restricted to non-peak time/school drop off times
  • It is essential to keep Limpsfield Road open to traffic as much as possible – especially in view of any A22 Godstone Road closures
  • Information is required as to how any rat running through residential streets will be satisfactorily managed during any Limpsfield Road closure/part closure relating to the development works

Finally, regarding Informative Note 6: It is an offence under Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to remove, damage or destroy the next of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built. The buildings on site are likely to contain nesting birds between 1st March and 31st August inclusive. Nesting birds are present on the site in both buildings and the mature trees, shrubbery and hedgerows.

I would be grateful if my concerns could be fully taken into account when this application is being decided.



Cycling in Kings Wood
22/06/2020 15:37:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

I have been lobbied recently by groups of local residents who are both opposed to and for the use of Kings Wood by cyclists. For mny years, whilst usage of the woods was relatively low, the council turned a Nelsonian blind-eye to cycling in this and other spaces. However, walkers have recently been complaining via a variety of forums about the large increase in cyclists using the paths as a result of lockdown.

I have asked the relevant council officers for the official position, which is pasted below:

The current park bylaws can be found here.

In section 1 it refers to the discretion given to cycling in ‘parks’ as long as it is not to the detriment of the site or the enjoyment of other users. 

Recent complaints from woodland visitors about the large number of cyclist in the wood – a Covid-19  related increase - prompted the temporary no cycling signs. 

We are fully aware that most cyclists using King’s Wood are responsible and the complaints are about a small number of cycle groups, but with no enforcement capacity it is hard to get the ‘responsible cycling’ message across.

Horse riding in the wood is not permitted, like elsewhere in the borough, horse riding is restricted to designated bridleways.

I can see both sides of this. Given the restrictions of movement we have all been subjected to, it is entirely understandable that parents want to use the woods as safe spaces to cycle with their chldren. But, conversely, it shouldn't be treated as a mountain biking course by groups of adults. 

Although officers say 'no cycling' signs have been posted, there is no sign of these on at least some of the entrances, so there are still many cyclists present. But please, if you are cycling in the woods, bear in mind that they are primarily for pedestrian use and you must keep your speed down around people, be considerate to pedestrians and preferably stick to paths which are wide and with good sight lines. 



5G Telecommunications Mast - Hamsey Green
05/06/2020 14:19:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


An extremely large and unattractive mast has appeared in Hamsey Green on the grass verge outside the shops.  Whilst we understood that the mast would be replaced to give 5G transmission I don't really think it was fully appreciated by residents the impact on the area.  As councillors we didn't receive any objections from residents when the application was posted over the siting.  Many more of these are to be replaced thoughout the borough. 

The full application consists of: Installation of a 20 metre multi-operator monopole supporting 12 no antenna apertures, together with the installation of 9 ground-based cabinets, following the removal of the existing 11.7m single-operator monopole and 4 cabinets. at: MBNL Telecomms Streetworks Mast, O/S 338-350 Limpsfield Road, South Croydon, CR2 9BX.

Coupled with this they have now installed some very large bollards which didn't appear on the plan.  I have checked with the planning department to see if this is permitted.

The whole place is looking a bit of a disaster zone since last week the burst water main outside the Panahar has led to the verge the other end being dug up and left in a bit of a state.

This is all very disappointing given that we recently had some lovely trees planted on the verge to improve the outlook for the shops.  Sadly, it is all looking like a bomb site.

I am in touch with officers to see what we can do to improve matters.





Millennium Bench - Wettern Tree Gardern - Sanderstead Junior School
05/06/2020 13:53:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Some residents will remember the little Junior School in Purley Oaks Road - Sanderstead Junior School.  Sadly now a block of flats.  The children of the school donated a bench for the Millennium which is located in Wettern Tree Garden.  It is now in need of a little restoration by means of a coat of varnish to bring the wood back to its natural sheen.  The council have agreed to do this along with placing the memorial bench for Joy Gadsby by the hornbeam tree not too far from the monkey puzzle tree planted in her memory.  The cost of the bench in memory of Joy is being paid for from the Sanderstead Councillor's community budget.  Hopefully both will be ready for our summer to enjoy.



Purley Downs Road - Soil Erosion
05/06/2020 10:09:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Last year I met with officers as a decision had been taken not to maintain the bank and hedge on the corner of Purley Downs Road and Sanderstead Hill.  I was informed that due to Health and Safety they were not able to do any more than cut the grass to waist level at the bottom of the slope.  Not surprisingly this year with the weight of the hedge and weeds on top of a bank that is essential comprised of sand it collapsed.  I am now waiting, (some two weeks or more) for a decision to be made to clear the soil and grass from the pathway and decide how they are going to make the bank safe without actually undertaking any continued maintenance.  I have to say it is a mystery to me how this will be achieved but lets wait and see what happens.



Drain Cover - Addington Road
22/05/2020 14:59:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I am pleased to report that the extremely noisy drain cover on the Addington Road just before Sanderstead Plantation will be fixed this week.  Residents I am sure will not miss the dreadful din as heavy traffic passes along this route



Broken Handrail on Sanderstead Hill
22/05/2020 14:52:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Unfortunately, the handrail on Sanderstead Hill collapsed and upturned some of the tarmac.  I know that many elderly residents rely on the handrail, particularly in the Winter months to avoid falls.  I am pleased to say that officers have informed me that it has been replaced.  Keep safe everyone.



Neighbourhood Recycling Centres Closed
19/05/2020 13:43:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Many residents rely on the Neighbourhood Recycling Centres to dispose of much of their waste.  Particularly those living in flats above the shops without any facilities to dispose of waste other than on the pavement or grass verge.

Unfortunately, the council has taken the decision to close the centre at Hamsey Green along with others without providing an alternative serrvice for the residents.  The recycling centres have only just opened and the Purley Oaks Centre has extremely long queues for over an hour and is some miles from the area which isn't helpful, particularly if you haven't got a car,  

This is the response I received from the council, not that I have seen fly tipping at the site only a lack of service in emptying the bins and keeping the site clean and tidy.

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we made the decision to close the neighbourhood recycling centres as they were being contaminated and residents were not adhering to social distancing.  This was a separate decision to closing them when we introduce the flats recycling. The introduction of the scheme is now delayed until we can return to a more business as usual situation.  There is currently lots of messaging going to the public and now would not be the time to introduce a new recycling scheme.  

We appreciate this is not the best scenario as it does not allow the residents to recycle but it does take the pressure off Veolia to ensure kerbside services are maintained.  A decision on reintroducing sites until we can deliver the new recycling scheme is constantly being reviewed and we will let the public know as soon as things change.  We removed the all the bins we could so as to discourage fly tipping at the site."



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 Older Blog Posts
Red Gables 2 Beech Avenue, Sanderstead - Refused
Temporary Lights Limpsfield Rd/Orchard Rd
Poo bins in Kings Wood
Watch out for Coronavirus scams
Dumped mattresses
Coronavirus: getting help from your councillors
Site of the Old Good Companions - Lidl
Three way lights Wentworth Way
Riddlesdown School admissions criteria
Street trees
Leaf sweeping in Farm Fields
Christmas tree collections 'behind schedule'
The council needs to start again with its Local Plan update
Possible school 'school street' zone around Ridgeway School
Riddlesdown Station and Flats
Development on the Corner of West Hill and Sanderstead Hill
Disposing of Christmas trees post Xmas
St Edmund's Church - Riddlesdown
Cherry Trees and Litter Pick - Cherry Tree Green
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
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