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
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.
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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