VAL SHAWCROSS, Labour’s candidate for Mayor, has entered the row over the Local Plan review, opposing the proposed intensification and warning that something beautiful within the character of Croydon could be lost
Following a recent visit to the Whitgift Estate to meet representatives of the residents’ association there, I have made a representation against the intensification of that area in the Croydon Local Plan review.
But the issues go wider than this and I really feel that the council needs to take a firmer view of the importance of protecting settled communities, and protecting and building affordable and social family homes.
I am a long-term resident of Croydon, a former Addiscombe resident, former council leader and deputy mayor of London and am now the Labour candidate for elected Mayor of Croydon. I oppose the proposed redesignation of the area to the south of Addiscombe Road (which includes the Whitgift Estate) as an area of “moderate intensification”.
The Whitgift Estate is outstandingly attractive and adds significantly to the character of Croydon as a whole. It contains houses within the “Arts and Crafts” genre and the homes there are both individually and collectively irreplaceable. The area provides a well of quietness and calm greenery on the walk southwards from the densely populated Addiscombe area up to Lloyd Park.
If this area were to be opened up for intensification, something beautiful within the character of Croydon would have been lost.
I am also concerned that recent development in Croydon town centre and around our district centres are only providing homes which are one- or two-bedroomed – mostly in flats. The overconcentration of these properties creates instability and transience in the community, as people move elsewhere to find homes for families when they want to have children.
Croydon should also be focusing on the quality of life we offer to residents and the creation and protection of settled communities is vital.
The Whitgift Estate also provides homes for professional and high-income groups. Senior public service professional, medical and otherwise, business leaders and successful professional people are extremely important to the economy and life of our borough and we are in danger of overlooking the well-researched fact that having attractive homes to live in is a factor in business leaders’ investment decisions and in the retention of businesses.
There is a need for the strategies adopted by Croydon to be aligned together to meet important objectives. The planning decisions made within Croydon should support our aspirations for a greener environment, opportunities for healthier living, settled communities and the protection and promotion of a successful sustainable economy.
I object strongly to the redesignation of the area covered by the Whitgift Estate, and see it as a short-termist act of vandalism to the character of Croydon.
I believe that the technical objections which have been made by others also have merit.
These are :
- The introduction of the concept of moderate intensification is not supported by up- to- date evidence; it is not proportionate.
- The submission is contrary to national guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework.
- The Regulation 19 submission is not in conformity with the London Plan.
- Even if the designation could be supported, the delineation of the southern part of the area designated is unreasonable.
I hope the council will accept this submission from me as a Croydon resident.
- To view the council proposed changes to the Local Plan and to take part in the consultation yourself, click here
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This is a sensible and welcome response.
There are other areas of the borough that also deserve to have their character retained. The wanton demolition of beautiful Arts and Craft houses should be stopped. Many of the larger family houses accommodate higher earners who support the local economy as employers or spending locally in shops and restaurants etc. Many families move to the South of the Borough from the North to find larger homes with gardens.
The Whitgift Foundation has also bought up properties in Haling Park Road from Busy Bees towards the Brighton Road. It should make its intentions clear
There won’t be any larger homes with gardens left if this council planning dept is allowed to continue.
I most certainly agree on this subject with Val Shawcross, the Labour Mayoral candidate, and I respect her for this good judgement and putting the case well. The trouble is the current Labour Council just will not listen to residents and it seems they won’t even listen to their own candidate for the job of Mayor.
On this specific issue I gather that Jason Perry, the Conservative candidate for Mayor agrees as well and I doubt there is any other Mayoral candidate who doesn’t agree too.
So I challenge the Director of Planning, the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet and Labour Councillors to abandon this very silly and damaging plan that Val calls “ an act of short termist vandalism to the charactor of Croydon”. Have they got the guts, just for once,to correct a bad decision and show they can listen to residents and their own prospective Mayor?
We are told family homes are what is wanted, not more flats.
The poor quality infill to be found below Addiscombe Road destroys the complete character of a once intact area, and spoils social cohesion. Driving up through East London the other day, I saw the devastating results of poor overall planning, and mediocre architecture, which we are getting in the town centre.
Do we really need it to spread out and destroy what is still good? I really cannot see how Croydon can go forward without a proper plan and vision for transport and other services. So much of it just seems abandoned to its own devices and plundering developers.