Chipstead residents want Cane Hill plans put to Pickles

A residents’ association annual meeting tonight will demand that Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State, should call-in the Barratt’s development at Cane Hill to provide a more rigorous and strategic overview of the scheme, which has been granted planning permission by the Conservative-run Croydon Council.

Portnalls RoadJust across the county boundary in Surrey, Chipstead residents are very concerned about the traffic implications of the building of what amounts to a new town, of nearly 700 new homes, with only one access road on to Portnalls Road.

Under a battle cry of “It’s now or never”, an additional resolution has been put forward to the Chipstead Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting tonight which states: “This meeting asks the CRA committee to formally request the Secretary of State to call-in the planning applications for Cane Hill and Lion Green Road and to seek the support of our MP and others for such action.”

Those behind the motion are urging their neighbours and RA members to attend the meeting to push against a previous decision not to seek a Judicial Review, and also to seek to avoid discussions with the developers if it means that the RA is prevented from making further objections.

The meeting takes place at Chipstead Golf Club tonight at 8pm.

A piece on the CRA’s own website states, “Objections to the current planning applications are based on a belief that the impact of them on traffic has not been properly or independently assessed and that if implemented the damage done will be irrevocable.”

The article cites five development sites in Coulsdon which will impact the surrounding road network:

  • 94 residential units next to Coulsdon Town station;
  • a Waitrose distribution centre on the Ullswater Estate (expected to use 120 delivery vehicles);
  • a new Aldi on the Red Lion site;
  • the Waitrose supermarket which Croydon Council wants to build on its own land on the Lion Green Road Car Park as part of its CCURV scheme;
  • and Cane Hill, the site which is owned by the Greater London Authority.

The CRA does not even mention the potential impact on local traffic levels of those driving from Surrey into Croydon once the £1 billion Hammersfield shopping heaven is opened, and for which there is still no agreed transport plan from Transport for London.

The CRA website states: “Lion Green Road and its junctions with Chipstead Valley Road and Brighton Road are already congested in peak hours. This congestion contributes greatly to the rat-running in Chipstead that has increased so dramatically over recent years. These major projects will have the effect of extending the periods of congestion in Coulsdon throughout the full working day, thus further increasing the flow of traffic through Chipstead.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State: has been asked to call-in the Cane Hill development scheme

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State: has been asked to call-in the Cane Hill development scheme

“It is believed that the Lion Green Road development is too large and does not provide adequate parking. The Transport Assessment supporting the application is universally disbelieved and has been described as seriously flawed by the highway consultants engaged by CRA. Legal advice has confirmed that the application should have been supported by an Environmental Impact Assessment. If built, the supermarket will preclude any future opportunity to widen Lion Green Road to address the traffic problem and will therefore condemn Chipstead to an ever-increasing volume of traffic.

“With regard to Cane Hill, the only differences of opinion have been about the number, the footprint, the access arrangements and its ability, or rather its inability, to regenerate Coulsdon.

“From a transport and regeneration perspective, there is still no coherent rationale and justification for these two developments and the planning applications are being determined by authorities who have huge vested financial interests,” the Residents’ Association article states.

After a meeting with CRA, one resident has submitted their own request to the Secretary of State to call in the applications. If successful, the applications would then be decided by an independent inspector at a public inquiry. For the request to succeed, the Chipstead residents will need the support of their MP, Crispin Blunt, and he is unlikely to intervene unless there is strong support for the RA’s resolution.

As the CRA notes, “If the applications are not called-in, a Judicial Review would be the only option left.”

There is an alternative resolution is on the agenda that calls for the CRA committee to not seek a Judicial Review. If that is rejected and the additional resolution adopted, the battle for Cane Hill could be about to take yet another turn.

It was the threat of legal action by RAs in Surrey, including Chipstead, late last year which forced Croydon Council to withdraw its Coulsdon “meister”plan.

But residents’ associations in Coulsdon have effectively been stymied in their objections to the road schemes around Cane Hill, with various promises made regarding access roads by Croydon’s Conservative-run Council, but ultimately nothing wholly acceptable being provided by Barratt’s or the local authority.

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3 Responses to Chipstead residents want Cane Hill plans put to Pickles

  1. davidcallam says:

    Another storm in a teacup. Croydon needs housing : be grateful you’re not dealing with a more in-touch local authority that might have sought to lift planning restrictions and build even more homes on the Cane Hill site.

    • This issue has never been about the number of homes being built at Cane Hill, David.

      It is about the way the developers have been allowed to get away with providing none of the sort of amenities which could be reasonably expected of a community of that size: a primary school, for instance, a GPs’ surgery (being built at the expense of Croydon Council Tax-payers so as not to hit Barratt’s bottom-line), and roads that offer access to the housing and adequate parking spaces in the surrounding areas.

  2. There is very little affordable housing in this development. Traffic needs seem to have been completely ignored. There is no new school planned although some 2000 new residents will be moving in with children in these large family homes.

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