CROYDON COMMENTARY: This week BRIAN WATSON, a leading member of the Foxley Residents’ Association, vented his frustrations at the inappropriate building works and overdevelopment being allowed in his corner of the borough by writing a letter to the council leader, Hamida Ali, and CEO Katherine Kerswell.
He invited us to share the correspondence with you…
Sitting in the middle of a building site has become the norm for the residents of the south of the borough of Croydon.
The noise. The mess. The influx of commercial vehicles. The disruption. The inconvenience. The utter disrespect afforded to us.
Our incompetent, bankrupt council still favours the property developers over local residents, and we are paying for the privilege! How much longer will we be paying?
At this moment Higher Drive, Purley, is closed due to the fact that one of the developers, Appledorn, needed to lay a new sewer for yet another block of nine flats.
The road has been closed since early Friday morning, August 20.
At this precise moment, 5.30pm on Monday August 23, the closure is still in place.
Yet no work is taking place.
This closure is causing residents immense inconvenience and has done so right through the weekend, with noise and diversions to contend with.
Residents are yet again experiencing the “developers before residents” attitude of this odious, bankrupt council.
To my knowledge, not one local resident was notified of this road closure, apart from one scrappy little sign, placed at the Purley end of Higher Drive just days prior to the planned closure.
When the Foxley Residents’ Association called the council for further information, they were told that it was the responsibility of the developer to inform residents of the imminent road closure. When the site manager was approached, he of course denied that claim.
Along the length of Higher Drive, and in close proximity, there are nine building sites where blocks of flats are being erected and crammed into the spaces left by bulldozed family houses. The biggest of these, which is only just commencing, is to be a block of 40 flats, with all the disruption and road closures that goes with it.
I’m told there are more proposals to come. Right across the south of the borough there is barely a road unaffected by the arrival of the greedy, money-grabbing developers, all of whom have been welcomed and befriended by Croydon Council.
Rather strange bedfellows when you think about it: a poor, Labour-run council and rich property developers. I suppose there must be some explanation.
The state which this council, your council, has let this borough slide into is beyond compare. It’s a complete and utter chaotic mess. Central Croydon, now that is something to behold. That’s where the bulldozers should be. I expect soon to see tumbleweed blowing through the Whitgift Centre.
That central government haven’t got involved, the way they have in Liverpool, shocks me. But then I wouldn’t trust most politicians, local nor central government politicians. I wouldn’t trust them to stack the shelves in Tesco.
We residents haven’t been listened to, we still aren’t being listened to, and now we are being bulldozed right over the edge.
FOOTNOTE: The Higher Drive roadblock was still in place on Tuesday, again with no actual work going on to justify the inconvenience being cause. It was finally removed yesterday. Watson, though, has yet to receive a reply from either Hamida Ali nor Katherine Kerswell. An executive assistant in the chief executive’s office emailed to say that they had forwarded his complaint to… the planning department!
This is how he replied:
With all due respect, my original email was directed to the leader of Croydon Council and the CEO of Croydon Council. I do not wish to deal with anyone in your planning department, as it is all too obvious that no one in that department listens to a word we residents have to say.
For nearly 10 years we have made very valid and relevant objections to developers’ proposals, through the planning department, only to have them brushed aside and ignored in favour of their friends, the developers. Therefore I suggest that one, or both, of the addressees respond.
We hope to share those official responses with our readers once they are received.
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