Threat to Croydon’s green spaces is of council’s own making

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Croydon is the only local authority in the whole country that had all of its open space protections rejected by the Planning Inspectorate. So if you hear certain councillors talking up their green credentials, says SEBASTIAN TILLINGER, don’t believe them

Paul Scott: coming to a front door near you, soon

Councillor Paul Scott is the gift to Croydon that just keeps on taking.

The council cabinet member for planning is the primary reason Croydon’s protection of green spaces is the worst in the UK. Yes, the very worst in the whole country.

Scott has long been shaping our local planning policies to ignore the community and social importance of shared community green spaces.

And when Croydon Council’s professional planners, micro-controlled by Scott, finally submitted their list of green spaces to be protected to HM Planning Inspectorate, every single submission was rejected.

Croydon Council is the only local authority in the UK to have every one of its green space protection applications rejected. Such is the disarray of planning in Croydon and such is the incompetent meddling of Paul Scott.

Croydon planners, now in a state of panic, wrote to the borough’s numerous and active residents’ associations and other community groups pleading with them to help get at least some our green spaces protected from development, in a desperate second application to the Planning Inspectorate. The council had six months to get their application right. They gave residents’ associations and the community just two weeks to help bail them out.

Hawthorn Crescent is another green space that Scott and the council want to concrete over

It is just one further example of the confused, broken condition of planning in Croydon.

At the time, I asked the council what they were playing at.  They eventually got back saying, “We did not expect a blanket rejection. We are now considering what to do next.”

I interpreted this as code for: “We are waiting to hear what Councillor Scott’s next harebrained suggestion will be.”

We are probably about 12 months away from when Croydon’s Town Hall politicians will start knocking on your doors and pushing leaflets through your letterboxes, all in the hope that they might borrow your vote in the local elections to be held in May 2022.

When that all begins, if you hear Scott repeating Jamie Audsley’s New Labour green environmental Eureka moment, don’t be fooled – neither Scott nor his mate and council leader Tony Newman have ever given a shit about Croydon’s green spaces, and they are only pretending to be doing so now, in limited parts of the borough only, because it suits them personally to do so.

Bring on the next polls.

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5 Responses to Threat to Croydon’s green spaces is of council’s own making

  1. Kat Gleenford says:

    How are Croydon Council managing to get away with the destruction of Croydon. Is everyone asleep at the wheel in Westminster?

  2. Helen Benjamins says:

    In a country where people can admit to having snorted cocaine regularly (Nigella Lawson), hitting someone over not getting what they want, (Jeremy Clarkson) only to be then given regular tv space and treated as though they are above the law, are we surprised?
    The divide isn’t Between North and South or rich and poor, it’s between those that make the rules and those that have to live with them.

    • Sebastian Tillinger says:

      That’s a very pertinent observation.

      A lot of local politicians get a fulfilling sense of self-credence in their involvement and influence in how people lead their lives and this is often necessitated by gaps or flaws in their own personal or professional lives.

      But Scott operates on the next level up; at the centre of his local government shenanigans is a deep rooted desire to impose will over others and to never to admit to being wrong – that’s just about the power.

      Combine that with some wobbly sixth form left wing politics and very questionable architectural taste/ability and you have someone who’ll derail a borough’s planning policy rather than be seen to step back and see sense.

      I have no time for Scott; it’s Newman who needs to sort this mess out and he’s the one who will be punished for this at the polls.

  3. Helen Benjamins says:

    Totally agree with you Sebastian. Although what’s the betting that some few weeks prior to the polls, Tony Newman will see what’s coming and bow out before and on a nice fat golden handshake.

    • Newman is not an employee. He receives councillor allowances. So if or when he loses his position, that’s it. Sidling off into the shadows to be forgotten, just like Mike Fisher.

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