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 The Selsdon & Addington Village Blog
Cllr  Helen  Pollard
Cllr  Robert  Ward

Speech to protect green spaces
15/07/2019 20:56:00......Posted by Helen Pollard

Debate motion that was proposed by Conservative Councillors:

This Council recognises the vital role that green spaces, trees and gardens play in providing a sustainable and healthy borough and is committed to protecting Croydon’s green spaces that do so much for our environment, our health and our well-being.

This Council will use the Local Plan partial review as a means of protecting these vital spaces by changing policy to ensure their protection. This will include measures such as protecting garden space from encroaching backland development, and a greater protection for trees and biodiversity.

This Council will also use its development company Brick by Brick to lead the way and cease developing on green spaces. This Council will, therefore, remove its proposals to rip up and develop on valued land like the grass and trees on Shepherds Way where the community of Monks Hill holds its fun day, the green heart of the estate at Farnborough Avenue which was central to its original design and the green space at Covington Way in Upper Norwood that local residents are fighting to protect.

This Council also recognises that it was wrong to develop over green spaces and play areas in Montpelier Road, Heathfield Gardens, Longheath Gardens and Tollers Estate to name but a few.

Green spaces should not be destroyed as they provide a vital lung in our suburban environment and once they are destroyed they are lost forever.

Speech by Helen Pollard in support of the motion

When I became a councillor, I did so because I wanted to get more involved with the local community and to help shape the way the Council provides services for the people of Croydon.  And, in particular, in my case, Selsdon and Addington Village.  As their elected representative, I take very seriously my duty to act on behalf of residents and to represent their views.  

And that is why I am speaking about this motion tonight. 

The Council's approach to green spaces has been at best shambolic and at worst, disingenuous.

How else can you explain what has transpired over the last months and years.  

In the 2 years leading up to the adoption of the Local Plan for Croydon in 2018, the Council had the opportunity to make submissions about the green spaces it wanted to protect.  It failed to do so.  This meant that around 30 green spaces did not have any protection.  Unbelievably, many of these spaces are parks and they were left vulnerable to redevelopment. 

On 4th June the Council belatedly decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to try and protect these and other green spaces. However, they are relying on residents to do their job for them.  The implication being that if residents do not do this, perhaps because they are not engaged with the Council's procedures, these green spaces will be fair game for developers.

Around about the same time, at the beginning of June, a paper was published proposing the sale of green spaces to the Council's wholly owned subsidiary Brick By Brick.  Within a week, the current administration had approved plans to pass this land over to be developed. 

When I first saw the list of sites I was shocked.  I couldn't quite believe the Council would choose to concrete over areas that quite literally sit at the heart of their communities.  Only the weekend before, I had attended a community fun day on one of the sites on Monks Hill.

I quickly alerted residents to the threat and they were equally shocked and outraged that the Council would do such a thing without even attempting to talk to them.  I set up a petition and within a few weeks had the 1000 signatures required to prompt a debate at a Council meeting.   Cllr Butler has now said she will meet residents on Monks Hill to discuss alternative sites.  But only last week, letters were sent out to residents saying that work is about to start.  That's not a sign that the Council is going to change its mind.

So what about the petition?

I submitted this in good faith and was told that the Constitution says signatures must be from people who live, study or work in the area.   The Council has decided the petition is not valid because some of the signatories don't live in the area.  They have not allowed for the fact that many of them will study or work in the area.  This is a Council that is prepared to bend and flex the rules to suit themselves.  This is a Council that on the one hand asks residents to protect green space and yet at the same time sells off the very space they want to protect.

This weekend I had a call from a resident who lives in Foxearth Road, where there is a green space that will be concreted over.  She is here tonight with many of her neighbours.  They, and countless others who live in Croydon are completely fed up with the Council ignoring them.  They feel betrayed and have no trust that the Council is acting in their best interests.   Time after time they attend planning meetings, respond to consultations and sign petitions and it never makes any difference.  This is a Council that doesn't care and it's about time they started listening to the people who live in Croydon.

Thank you Mr Mayor



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 Other Blog Posts

Wheelchair access to disabled parking space in Byron Road
08/12/2019 19:45:00.......Posted by Robert Ward


Earlier this year a resident who is a regular visitor to the Selsdon Park Medical Practice contacted me on a problem with wheelchair accessibility. The nearby disabled parking spaces in Byron Road did not have hard standing to enable a wheelchair user to easily get out of and return to a car.

With cooperation and support from the Council and their contractors this has now changed. Just one of the two spaces has this, the other has a mature tree preventing a similar arrangement but at least there is now one space suitable for a wheelchair user.



Council fails to respond to Brick By Brick FOI request
30/11/2019 08:46:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

In the near future the Council is likely to transfer parcels of land in Selsdon to its wholly-owned subsidiary company, Brick By Brick.  Brick By Brick are planning to build on these green spaces, despite opposition from local residents.  They did a similar thing in Fairfield Ward in 2017 so I requested details of the previous land transfer for Heathfield Gardens so I could give Selsdon residents an idea of the process.  I am often asked about timings and I thought this would help clarify the situation.  It should be noted that there was vehement opposition from local residents to the development at Heathfield Gardens, but the Labour Council went ahead regardless. 

I submitted the following Freedom of Information Request to the Council on 2nd November.

Dear Croydon Borough Council,

Planning application 16/06514/FUL: Land And Garages South West Of The Junction Of Heathfield Road And Coombe Road, Croydon, CR0 1EL. Permission granted on 23rd July 2017.

Regarding the above planning application and the subsequent build of the dwellings on the site, please answer the following questions:

- What date was the council's property transferred to Brick By Brick so they could commence development?

- How much did the Council receive from Brick By Brick for this land? I.e. what was the consideration?

- Please provide the deeds of transfer for the two pieces of land to Brick By Brick (i.e. the garages, and the green space by the tower block)

- When did Brick By Brick commence development of the site?

Yours faithfully,

Helen Pollard

The statutory deadline for a response was 29th November and, as yet, I have not received a response. 

What have they got to hide?



Selsdon Christmas Market 30th November 2019
24/11/2019 22:18:00.......Posted by Robert Ward


The day of our Christmas Market is approaching. Preparations are well in hand and I hope many of you will have seen our posters, leaflets and the banner all based around the great picture created by Angelo Rojas from The Quest Academy.

The market will be opened by the Mayor of Croydon at noon so do please try to be there to greet him and show Selsdon at its best.

We hope you all enjoy the market. We hope this will be the first of many.




Carriageway Surfacing - Tedder Road
16/11/2019 11:07:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Have received this email from the Council about resurfacing of Tedder Road on Monks Hill:

I am writing to inform you that FMCONWAY , on behalf of Croydon Council, will shortly be commencing speed cushion reconstructions  at the location/s and date/s below:

Date: 25th & 26th  November 2019 between 08:00-17:00

Location: Tedder  road

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 speed cushion reconstruction works will take place between Warren Avenue   and  Freeland Avenue    .

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 07:30-17:00 on  25th & 26th  November 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.

Beware Bogus Callers

Croydon Council does not permit its employees or contractors to undertake work on private property during the course of any scheme. If anyone offers such work they will not be a council approved contractor and should be treated with caution. Any scheme undertaken by a council approved contractor does not require cash payments.

Cold calling doorstep traders offering to carry out home maintenance work such as driveway repairs and roofing are a problem in Croydon. These traders can be very persuasive and can intimidate you into agreeing to have work undertaken. The advice from Croydon Trading Standards Service is to say “NO” to all cold calling traders – Every Time. If they will not leave or you get into difficulties, then call Croydon Trading Standards on

020 8407 1311

Thank you for your cooperation whilst we carry out this essential upgrade. If you require any further information do not hesitate to contact us by email: or tel: 020 8726 6000 Ext 52816.



Monks Hill - Green Space Building Plans
16/11/2019 10:56:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Brick By Brick will soon be commencing resident engagement events for those sites that have been identified as having the potential to provide new homes.

On Tuesday 26th November 2019 from 4pm—8pm and Saturday 7th December 2019 from 9am—1pm they will be hosting a drop in event for residents that live locally to the Monks Hill sites at St Francis Church Hall, 146 Tedder Road, South Croydon CR2 8AH.

The architects will be there along with the Council’s Resident Involvement team.




Rapid HIV testing at community venues in Croydon
16/11/2019 09:54:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

The national HIV Testing Week campaign starts this Saturday, 16th November. In the run up to World Aids Day on December 1st special community venues have been set up in Croydon especially to carry out rapid HIV tests.

Trained volunteers, many from Croydon College’s health and social care courses, will be out on the streets encouraging people to have a quick and painless finger-prick HIV test nearby.

The venue locations and times they are carrying out HIV testing can be found at

HIV testing is available all year at Croydon University Hospital, GP surgeries, other clinical venues and via online and postal test kits. Anyone diagnosed with HIV will get free treatment and support.

The campaign aims to get more people to take a test and reduce the numbers who are diagnosed late so that they can receive early treatment, live a longer, healthier life and reduce the risk of passing on the virus to others.

There are many simple things we can all do to improve our chances of living longer and happier lives. Getting vaccinated, and being tested for the many diseases that are treatable if caught early are some of those. Getting tested for HIV is another one. Why not take advantage of this easy, quick and free test this week?



Selsdon Community Plan Day
11/11/2019 14:06:00.......Posted by Robert Ward


The first Selsdon Community Day was held on 9th November 2019 to gather the thoughts and ideas of residents on how they see the future of Selsdon and the surrounding areas, including Forestdale, Addington and Monks Hill.

Well over a hundred people came along and there were lots of good ideas to get us started. The picture shows the video capture booth where people could give their thoughts and have them recorded as a video. There will be other opportunities to contribute, including via the Croydon Council web site.

We will be using all this information to help build a Community Plan which will then lead to actions to make a difference. We believe this is an important first step on a journey which will deliver a more prosperous and thriving Selsdon area as it enters the 2020s.

The day was supported from your local councillors ward budget. Thanks to everyone who came along, those who helped organise and run the event, and to Selsdon Baptist Church who kindly hosted the event.



Friends of Littleheath woods - cherishing one of our greatest assets
11/11/2019 05:59:00.......Posted by Robert Ward


The Friends of Littleheath Woods do great work to keep this well-loved and well-used community asset in sustainable good health for the residents of Selsdon and beyond to enjoy. Maintaining a healthy forest environment requires skills and a good deal of hard work. One important aspect of the work of the Friends is the need to clear fallen trees.

This work is made more efficient by using specialist equipment, in particular a chainsaw. To use this equipment safely, the operator needs to attend training to achieve City & Guilds NPTC certification. The Friends identified the need for additional trained resource so we were pleased to cover the cost of training from the Selsdon and Addington Village Ward budget.



Seldson Christmas Market - Sat 30th Nov 12-4pm
02/11/2019 17:30:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

The Selsdon Councillors have been working with community leaders, council officers and local businesses to support the development of the high street in Selsdon.  One of the 'quick wins' is the Christmas Market which is being held on:

Saturday 30th November from 12-4pm. 

It will the on the Broadway - the raised part of the high street. 

Come along and get into the Christmas spirit and support our local busiinesses.  You might even find some Christmas presents!




Selsdon Community Plan Day - Sat 9th Nov 12-5pm
02/11/2019 17:26:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Selsdon Community Plan Day 2019

The Selsdon Councillors have been working hard to try and kick-start investment in Selsdon high street.  In order to do this we need to have a community plan.  

A group of council officers. local businesses, councillors and community leaders has been working on the development of the plan and a key part of it is getting the views of local residents. 

A community plan day has been arranged on Saturday 9th November from 12noon to 5pm in the Selsdon Baptist Church (Small Hall).  Come along and tell us what you think!



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 Older Blog Posts
Road works in Farley Road on 4th October 2019
Automated External Defibrillator (AED) installed in Selsdon High Street
Brick by Brick timetable
Foxearth Spinney saved from development
Planned road resurfacing in Tedder Road postponed
Council won't commit to comply with covenants
Croham Valley Road - saved from development!
Selsdon Library re-opens on 10th August with a special event
Selsdon library update
Croham Valley Road Covenant
Covenant on Foxearth Spinney
How you can request protection for green spaces - by 22/7/19
Speech to protect green spaces
Save Selsdon's green spaces petition
Selsdon Litter Pick
Stop Croydon Council building on green spaces in Selsdon
Save our Green Spaces!
Commemorative bench in Addington Village
Addington Village Conservation Area
Labour's secret plans to close libraries
New look for Selsdon Library
Sewer works at the Churchill site on the Addington Road planned for 8th April now delayed till Easter
Sinhala and Tamil New Year
Walking Football
Planning Objections
Road works on Addington Road near junction with Upper Selsdon Road
Cabinet Meeting
Road repairs in Farley Road, Selsdon
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