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

Purley Beeches is NOT being cleared for housing
02/05/2014 09:30:00......Posted by Tim Pollard

At the Sanderstead Residents' Association AGM last night, a number of residents raised concerns over the felling of many mature Beech trees before Easter.

The concerns fall broadly into three areas:

  1. A concern that the trees did not actually need felling
  2. A worry that it was done in order to clear the land for later redevelopment for housing
  3. Annoyance that the trunks and canopy from the trees felled has not been removed.

Dealing with the second of these first, there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that this work is all about clearing the way for a housing development. Purley Beeches is protected in our planning policies and there is no prospect at all of that changing. Certainly the ward councillors would be implacably opposed to any future attempt to build on this land and I can see no prospect of any future council administration seeking to do this.

I won't cover the third of these concerns in this post, as this is covered in earlier blog posts, except to say that we willl maintain the pressure on officers to clear the debris until it is broadly at a level which park users are happy to live with. It is important that some trunks are allowed to slowly decay in situ, as they would in an unmananged woodland, because of the benefits this brings as a habitat for various species. But at the moment, there is too much and it is spoiling park users' enjoyment, and that's not right.

So this brings me on to the first of the residents' concerns - the theory that the trees didn't actually need felling. I am not an arboriculturist and nor would I claim to be an expert on trees - but the council employs people who are, in the team led by Mr Browning. He has recently written to a resident, copying me in, explaining why the signs of decay are not necessarily visible to the naked eye and I reproduce the majority of that letter below. I hope this reassures residents that the works were necessary, although very regretable.

Thank you for coping me into your letter to Cllr Pollard regarding the above.

If I may, I would like to answer some of the concerns that you have raised in this letter;

Firstly, let me assure you that we are as upset as you are to fell these trees. However, the trees were not felled simply because they were over mature. They were felled because they were found to be hazardous.

With respect to yourself, and other people that have raised concerns, signs of a tree being hazardous may not be apparent to the untrained eye ( please see attached notes on Ketzschmaria deusta as an example of a fungal pathogen that can render trees extremely dangerous).

As a land owner we have a clear duty of care and simply cannot ignore trees that we find to be hazardous, especially in an areas such as Purley Beeches, which are both heavily used by the public and surrounded by residential properties. It should be noted that, in recent years, The Royal Parks, The National Trust and Kew have all been involved in court cases as a result of fatalities caused by fallen trees on their land.

The most recent felling is particularly noticeable because Purley Beeches, from an aesthetic viewpoint, is a pale shadow of its former self. Fifty years ago it was a magnificent woodland of mature Beech trees. Unfortunately, though, it was absolutely devastated in the1987 Hurricane and since then we have had to periodically remove trees that have become hazardous.

The problem has been compounded by the fact that the woodland was of a single age class and so there was not an understorey of young trees there to come through and replace the trees that blew over. To answer your question about planting, we have, in fact, already  planted several hundred replacement Beech trees. Unfortunately though, all of these trees have been ravaged by Grey Squirrels and the only long term answer to this problem is to cull all the squirrels from the site which, again, is a very emotive issue for the public.

Ironically, although the park has suffered aesthetically, it now improved ecologically as there is a far greater diversity. Ash, Hazels and other tree species are far more common and there is a greater variety in age structure, dead wood and habitat.  

Whilst understanding the criticism that the recent work has caused, I must point out that notices were put up at the entrances to the park some three weeks before the work started, explaining that we would be carrying out the work and inviting people to contact us if they had any concerns about this work. No one came back to us but, if they had, then we would have been happy to meet them on site, before the work started, and explain why the work was necessary.

Finally, can I say that, as well as managing some 33,000 street trees (one of the highest numbers of street trees in London), and trees in Parks, we also manage some 450 Hectares of woodland.We have active management plans in place for most of these woodlands and are proud to have achieved the high standards of woodland management required to receive Forestry Stewardship Council accreditation and to meet the UKWAS (UK Woodland Assurance Standard) standard.  We have also set up “ Friends of” groups for a lot of the woodlands and our woodland management is widely cited as being best practice both London and U.K wide.

I hope that I have addressed your concerns on this matter but please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any other points that you wish to discuss.

 

For the sake of completeness, I also paste below the excerpt from ‘Principles of tree hazard assessment and management’ referred to in mr Browning's text:

 

The significance of the decay fungus Kretzschmaria deusta (formerly Ustulina deusta): 

Extract from ‘Principles of tree hazard assessment and management’ by David Lonsdale 1999: 

“….U.deusta induces a brittle ceramic-like fracture. This can occur in main stems or root systems, since the fungus is exceptional amongst ascomycetes in being able to grow in the central wood of very large trees. 

Fracture often occurs before an advanced white-rot has developed, so that the fracture surface can be quite hard. 

The seat of the decay within the tree is usually at the stem base, where in some cases the fungus appears to have entered through a wound. In such cases, it can extend 4m or more up the stem, as well as into the roots. It can also enter via the roots, eventually causing windthrow. 

This is a particularly dangerous decay fungus, partly because its fruit bodies are often overlooked, also because of its very common occurrence and wide host range, and finally because of the type of decay that it causes. The brittle fracture associated with this decay often occurs with no warning of incipient failure, and without the compensatory thickening that can occur with fungi which cause selective delignification (e.g. Ganoderma spp.). Except in very advanced cases, this decay cannot be detected with a stress wave timer and may also escape detection by certain kinds of mechanical probe.” 

Other texts: 

K.Weber, C.Mattheck – Manual of wood decays 2003 

F.Schwarze – Fungal strategies of wood decay in trees 2000

 

 
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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.  These applications are non-referrable so sadly we have little control as councillors over their 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."

 


 

Litter bins on Sanderstead Rec
17/05/2020 08:17:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

I've had reports that the waste bins on Sanderstead Rec are overflowing so I have put in a request for these to be emptied. I guess in these unusual times some local amenities are going to need attention on a different cycle from normal, so if you do notice anything like this around the ward, please let us know and we will get it sorted.

 


 

Red Gables 2 Beech Avenue, Sanderstead - Refused
15/05/2020 20:27:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

As residents will know I objected to the application on the site of Red Gables in Beech Avenue.  I believe that the application was out of character with the area and would be harmful to the character of the locality and the visual amenity of the surrounding landscape namely The Beeches.  I am pleased to see that the application has been refused siting some of the reasons I put forward but also the lack of affordable homes.  For now residents can breath a sigh of relief but sadly I am sure another application will be forthcoming.   There follows the official wording from the council:

Red Gables, 2 Beech Avenue, South Croydon, CR2 0NL

Reason(s) for Refusal:

1 By reason of its scale, form and design the development would not be of high quality would be harmful to the character of the locality and detrimental to the visual amenity of the surrounding townscape. The development would thereby conflict with Policies SP4.1, SP4.2 and DM10 of the Croydon Local Plan (2018), Policies 7.1, 7.4, and 7.6 of the London Plan (consolidated with alterations since 2011) and the Croydon Suburban Design Guide (2019).

 2 The development would fail to adequately contribute to addressing London's and the borough's need for affordable homes and would therefore be contrary to Policies SP2.4 and SP2.5 of the Croydon Local Plan (2018) and 3.10, 3.11, 3.12 and 3.13 of the London Plan (consolidated with Alterations since 2011).

3 The application has not demonstrated that the flood risk from the site has

been adequately addressed or provides an adequate scheme of sustainable

drainage. The proposal would fail to meet the requirements of the NPPF and

PPG, Policy 5.13 of the London Plan (consolidated with alterations since

2011) and Policy SP6.4 of the Croydon Local Plan (2018).

4 Insufficient information has been provided to demonstrate that the

development would not result in unacceptable harm to protected species or

habitats. This would be contrary to Policies SP7.4, DM27 and DM28 of the

Croydon Local Plan (2018) and Policy 7.19 of the London Plan (consolidated

with alterations since 2011).

5 The development would result in the loss of or the putting at risk of valued

trees. The loss of these trees would be detrimental to the character of the

area and the proposal is, therefore, contrary to SP7, DM10.8, DM27 and

DM28 of the Croydon Local Plan: Strategic Policies 2013 and 7.4 and 7.21 of

the London Plan (consolidated with alterations since 2011).

 

 


 

Temporary Lights Limpsfield Rd/Orchard Rd
01/05/2020 13:52:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

To enable some gas mains replacement works it is necessary to install temporary multi way lights at Limpsfield Road j/w Orchard Road. The works are planned to take place between 4 and 17 May. Should anything change I will post an update.

I guess the good news about the timing is that this sort of road work is less of a problem during lockdown, with so much less trafic on the roads.

 


 

Poo bins in Kings Wood
30/04/2020 08:40:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

 
 

Under lockdown I have been enjoying the fact that my local walk - strictly the one I am allowed for exercise - is through Kings Wood, where the bluebells this year have been fabulous. Not so lovely has been the sight of the overflowing poo bins in several places, most particularly at the Kingswood Lane end. Having noticed this over the weekend I have brought it to the attention of the appropriate team, so hopefully it will be dealt with soon.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
25/03/2020
Dumped mattresses
23/03/2020
Coronavirus: getting help from your councillors
28/02/2020
Site of the Old Good Companions - Lidl
25/02/2020
Three way lights Wentworth Way
14/02/2020
Riddlesdown School admissions criteria
02/02/2020
Street trees
02/02/2020
Leaf sweeping in Farm Fields
02/02/2020
Christmas tree collections 'behind schedule'
19/01/2020
The council needs to start again with its Local Plan update
10/01/2020
Possible school 'school street' zone around Ridgeway School
20/12/2019
Riddlesdown Station and Flats
19/12/2019
Development on the Corner of West Hill and Sanderstead Hill
13/12/2019
Disposing of Christmas trees post Xmas
03/12/2019
St Edmund's Church - Riddlesdown
30/11/2019
Cherry Trees and Litter Pick - Cherry Tree Green
27/11/2019
Fire - 3 West Hill - New Flats
25/11/2019
Cherry Trees for Cherry Tree Green
22/11/2019
Christmas Light Switch On - The Gruffy - Saturday, 30 November 2019 - 4.30 pm
19/11/2019
Hamsey Green Pond
13/11/2019
Solar Powered Bollard - Court Hill/Brian Avenue
05/11/2019
SES Water - Poor Road Repairs - Mitchley Avenue
31/10/2019
Berlin Wall - Fronting Sanderstead Road - Corner of West Hill
25/10/2019
Cherry Tree Green - Hamsey Green Pond
23/10/2019
Raw Sewage - Back of Sanderstead Court Avenue
17/10/2019
Dementia Friendly Film Screenings at David Lean Cinema
17/10/2019
New Posts and Repairs to Railings - Sanderstead Shops
17/10/2019
Churchgate - 1 Addington Road - Consultation
29/09/2019
Possible care home opposite All Saints
25/09/2019
Cressey College - Special School (5-19) Off Orchard Road
25/09/2019
West Hill Development Site - Disruption
 
 
 
 
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