South Norwood residents rally to under-threat shops

Inside Croydon‘s report about the threat of closure of two long-standing shops in South Norwood has seen concerned residents set up a petition calling on Croydon Council to drop its 1,700 per cent increase in street trading licensing fees.

Sam Patel and his greengrocers in South Norwood. He may be forced to shut up shop as a result of the council's licence fees

Sam Patel and his greengrocers in South Norwood. He may be forced to shut up shop as a result of the council’s licence fees

Emerton’s the Ironmongers, on Station Road, and Clock Tower Fruit and Veg have both been served with licence fee demands from the Labour-controlled council of £1,500 – up from £90 or less just two years ago.

More than 200 people have signed the petition since it was set up on Change.Org on Friday evening. As well as a withdrawal of punitive levels of licensing fees, the residents’ petition also calls for a moratorium on the conversion of houses and over-shop premises into too-small, ill-serviced flats.

“We live locally and are desperate to see our community thrive and are motivated by a deep affection for our local streets,” said one of the petition organisers. “We are concerned that many properties in this area that were once busy shops, are now lying empty, in disrepair and being converted into flats.

“Quite simply – our community high streets are disappearing and as a group, if we work together we might be able to change this. If we don’t try, who knows what the outcome will be?

“We are not planning experts, we are not activists, we are not politicians, we are not working on behalf of any local group – we are just an independent group of local people who want to join forces for South Norwood’s well-being.

“We are very sympathetic to the fact that there is a housing shortage. However putting families in tiny bedsits often with no outside space, no soundproofing with living room front doors that open on to busy high streets, poor drainage and inadequate rubbish disposal facilities and even rooms without windows is not the sort of housing we want to provide for families – they deserve better.

“Right now there are a number of applications for such conversions in with Croydon Council and we are waiting to see the outcome of these.

Please sign our petition to stop any more commercial properties on our SE25 high streets from being turned in to flats. This petition will be submitted to council and other relevant individuals.”

To see the petition for yourself, click here.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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1 Response to South Norwood residents rally to under-threat shops

  1. Lewis White says:

    The increase in the street trading fee seems way too much as a reasonable percentage.
    Sadly, councils are being forced to do outrageous things like this due to a reduction in government support.

    With regard to street improvements, it’s very easy to knock this, but the evidence is clear–go to South End Croydon now, and you will enjoy a better environment. Wallington just over in Sutton was given a street makeover some time back, and it looks so much better.
    Likewise, p\art of Purey, and now London Road Croydon.

    People may not be conscious that they feel better in a renewed street, but the evidence of improved shops and a feeling of renewed vitality is felt about 3 months later–and from then on. More footfall and optimism.

    The story is very different if one goes to Brighton Road Purley–an unrenewed street of greasy asphalt pavements. It looks and feels very sad. Worse in fact.

    Likewise, South End Croydon from Katherine Street , under the flyover, past Leon House, and down to the traffic lights where the restaurant quarter starts.
    This is the gateway to Croydon from the South, and looks very down at heel and shabby.
    I hope that Croydon Council turn their attention to this area very soon.

    And the improvements need to be backed up by improved maintenance.

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