CROYDON COMMENTARY: Having worked to establish a community organisation for East Croydon, ROD DAVIES finds it disappointing to find developers planning to introduce divisive “Apartment Apartheid” locally, and suggests further inequalities in which parts of the borough fund other areas
This news of segregated entrances is a disappointing development just as the East Croydon Community Group (now to be called ECCO) has just held a very inclusive and positive first public meeting last week.
I can understand how it adds to the marketing to people abroad who have fixed ideas about social housing tenants, and who will never live in the properties themselves and want to ensure the best return on their investments.
But I find it disappointing because the last thing we need is any more division at a time when we are trying to come together and support each other to make the whole community better.
The problem is that land and property owners have a free hand to limit supply to the market by driving up asking prices and impeding development through planning consultation.
In addition the scope for responding to the desperate need for large quantities of social housing construction is severely limited by planning guidelines that restrict developments outside the centre of Croydon to nothing higher than three storeys. While this does preserve the 1920s and 1930s environments of the leafy streets, it means that there is inevitably an insufficient supply of space to provide decent housing for the poor (actually, the average person in Croydon today).
Further, it concentrates social problems into very small areas that lack the capacity to cope with them, and requires the residents in the areas adjacent to the high density developments and concentrated social housing to live with and accept enormous social change, unlike the majority of Croydon. Yet they receive no recompense for the impact.
A resident of central Croydon, whose life is blighted by all the exploitative private sector developments that are marketed abroad and the increasing density of occupation of rented houses by the economically marginal, might well ask what justification does Croydon Council spend any money in beautifying the outer areas when it can’t even keep the streets clean in the centre.
What is desperately needed in Croydon is a detailed analysis of how and on whom the council spends its funds in relation to the very different population density between the centre and the edges of the town, and the actual cost of delivering those services.
I rather suspect that we’d find that inner Croydon has been subsidising outer Croydon for decades and the imbalance is getting worse.
- ‘Apartment Apartheid’ arrives in Croydon via the back door
- Londoners being priced out of London by social cleansing
Coming to Croydon
- Upper Norwood Library meeting, Oct 13
- David Lean Cinema: Grand Central, Oct 14
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- David Lean Cinema: Finding Vivian Maier, Oct 16
- 21st annual Croydon and Sutton Beer Festival, Oct 16-18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- South Croydon business breakfast, Oct 18
- Purley War Memorial Hospital health fair, Oct 18
- St John’s, Shirley, charity concert, Oct 19
- David Lean Cinema: Mood Indigo, Oct 23
- This Was The World and I Was King, Spread Eagle, Oct 23-25
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, 2.30pm, Oct 25
- David Lean Cinema: Ilo Ilo, Oct 28
- CODA’s Wind In The Willows, Charles Cryer, Carshalton, Oct 29-Nov 1
- David Lean Cinema: Belle, Oct 30
- NHS free health fair, Central Parade, New Addington, Oct 31
- St Giles School opening morning, Nov 5
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- Coulsdon Yulefest, Dec 6-7
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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