Addington residents respond en bloc to save Green Belt

Block action: Addington villagers with the concrete slabs that were placed at Flaconwood last week to try to prevent further unauthorised road works on the Green Belt

Members of the Addington Residents’ Association took matters into their own hands last week, getting massive concrete blocks, looking like giant Lego bricks, installed at the top end of a once grassy lane to halt further unauthorised road works in the Green Belt.

Inside Croydon reported last week how a landowner had erected gates to block public access to a large field and started to build an access road, without any planning permission or agreement with the council.

Before: how the lane looked before the roadworks

The works have been going at the junction of Huntingfield, Falconwood and Lodge Lane. Land has been cleared, vegetation stripped bare, trees felled, hardcore bedded down, possibly to be tarmacked over.

Planning officers from Croydon Council attended the site last week to warn the contractors that work must cease, though residents claim that the council enforcement officials have done precious little else.

So they took matters into their own hands.

After: how the Green Belt was being despoiled

“The council’s enforcement team has visited the site. Meanwhile, other members of the council’s planning staff are also advising the field’s owners on their impending planning application,” one resident told Inside Croydon.

“The ARA has paid for concrete block barriers to be placed on what we think is the council-owned verge, but even that ownership title is disputed. We are trying to stop construction vehicles from gaining access to the Green Belt designated field.

“Some of the protesters (we have probably seen support from more than 150 local folk) are seen in the photograph with the blocks in place.”

The action was agreed at a residents’ association meeting last Tuesday, and the blocks were in place by Wednesday afternoon.

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This entry was posted in Addington, Addington Residents' Association, Community associations, Croydon Council, Environment, Planning, Selsdon and Addington Village and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Addington residents respond en bloc to save Green Belt

  1. James Sheridan says:

    Great story. Concrete local action in the face of the usual council inaction

  2. Ben Hart says:

    Great to see some direct action taken against environmental vandals

  3. Ian Ross says:

    The council should have pounced on this illegal development and enforced it with police as they would were the tables to be turned. For local people to have to do this is a disgrace but good for them in taking direct action against this vandalism.

  4. Lewis White says:

    The local residents are to be applauded for taking such action to spike the guns of the people who have carried out this illegal development.

    I hope that the Council put a special restriction on the land that defines what is and is not allowed.

    As far as I am aware, (and I am not an expert in this field) this is enabled as an “Article 4 Direction”, made by a Local authority under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

    It modifies “Permitted Development rights” . Typically, it could limit the type of fencing allowed, the height, materials and appearance. One hopes that it could stop fly tipping and despoilation by importation of hardcore and similar waste or road building material.

    I am wondering if the land owners intend to market and sell off the site as small individual plots aimed at people who are prepared to buy a plot of land at a price much higher than agricultural alnd value, but with the belief or hope that one day, sooner or later, the land will be taken out of the Green Belt, and designated by the Council as Land for urban development.

    The plot owner can then build their dream home–or sell the land on.

    The Home Counties are littered with such sites.

    I hope that the Council are proactive in stopping/ reversing the despoilation.

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