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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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 Other Blog Posts
 

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: info@sechc.org.uk

 


 

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

PLEASE ATTEND - PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING – THURSDAY 1st AUGUST 6.30pm

THE TOWN Hall, CROYDON CR0 1NX

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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 Older Blog Posts
18/07/2019
Act quickly to protect your local green spaces
18/07/2019
Barrowsfield planning application deadline tomorrow
03/07/2019
Amendments to Barrowsfield proposal received
03/07/2019
Third consecutive missed green waste collections
27/06/2019
Grass Cutting of Sanderstead Hill
27/06/2019
Sanderstead Horticultural Society - Summer Show
27/06/2019
Fallen Tree Across Mitchley Hill and Limpsfield Road
14/06/2019
Potholes in Sanderstead
07/06/2019
Active Ageing Event - All Saints Church Hall
07/06/2019
Cherry Tree Knocked Down - Purley Oaks Road
31/05/2019
Another bad planning night for Sanderstead
25/05/2019
Mature Tree on the Corner of Ewhurst Road Chopped Down
25/05/2019
Sandhurst Close - Condition of Street Cleansing and Pavements
25/05/2019
Talking to Residents in Sanderstead about Local Issues
20/05/2019
Matt Hancock Minister of State for Health and Social Care Opens New A&E in Croydon
03/05/2019
West Hill - Development and Loss of Trees
01/05/2019
Green waste bins splitting
01/05/2019
Fly tipping in Hillsmead Way
30/04/2019
Bromley & Croydon Women's Aid - Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse
30/04/2019
Bromley & Croydon Women's Aid - Raising Awareness of Domestic Abuse
17/04/2019
The Active Ageing Event - All Saints Church, Onslow Gardens - 28 May 2019 - 12pm
15/04/2019
Roadworks on Addington Road
12/04/2019
Japanese Cherry Tree - Sakura - A Wave of Blossoms Across the UK
12/04/2019
Sutton Wheelie Bin - Sanderstead Road
12/04/2019
Wettern Tree Garden - Planting of Monkey Puzzle Tree in Memory of Joy Gadsby
04/04/2019
Awarding the Sanderstead Councillors Cup!
02/04/2019
Sanderstead Councillors Support Holi Event
27/03/2019
Heathhurst Road - Residents Desperate Cry For Help
26/03/2019
Dementia Friendly Screenings - Free Admission
23/03/2019
Selsdon Half Marathon in Aid of South East Cancer Help Centre
 
 
 
 
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