THREAT TO STAMBOURNE WOODS AND BEAULIEU HEIGHTS – But you only have until tonight (Tuesday) to object.
Stambourne Woods and Beaulieu Heights are among almost 90 green open spaces across the borough of Croydon which could be under threat, say campaigners – and at least one council officer.
The list also includes Upper Norwood recreation ground which lies between Chevening Road and Eversleigh Road; Westow park (behind Sainsbury’s Westow Street; Biggin Wood; Grangewood park; College Green; Convent Wood; All Saints church – and even the Beulah Hill pond.
In their borough plan under the heading Croydon said: “M27: Metropolitan Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and Local Green Spaces DM Croydon said:
27.1 The council will protect and safeguard the extent of the borough’s Metropolitan Green Belt and, Metropolitan Open Land and Local Green Spaces as designated on the policies map by applying the same level of protection afforded to Metropolitan Green Belt in national planning policy to Metropolitan Open Land and Local Green Spaces in the borough.
This now reads:
M27: Metropolitan Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land (DELETED: and Local Green Spaces) DM27.1 The Council will protect and safeguard the extent of the borough’s Metropolitan Green Belt and, Metropolitan Open Land (DELETED: and Local Green Spaces) as designated on the Policies Map by applying the same level of protection afforded to Metropolitan Green Belt in national planning policy to Metropolitan Open Land (DELETED: and Local Green Spaces) in the borough.
In a letter – a copy of which has been sent to News From Crystal Palace by a third party – Meike Weiser, community partnership officer, district centre regeneration with Croydon council says:
“The designation of Local Open Space was proposed by the council as a way to offer added protection to spaces that fall under the definition of LOP (Local Open Land) or currently have no protection at all.
“Most of the open spaces listed as LOP do already have other designations, such as Historic Garden, MOL (Metropolitan Open Land), LNR, or sites of Nature Conservation Importance, but some have no designation at all.
“LOP’s are defined amongst other things by ‘how demonstrably special they are to a local community, or if they hold a local significance’
“Local plans undergo close inspection before they are finalised.
“The inspector dealing with Croydon’s Local Plan de-classified the LOP’s, saying that the council did not provide sufficient, demonstrable evidence that these places are of importance.
“You can examine the inspectors comments here:
“Although time is short and we have no clear guidance as to what evidence is required to prove their importance – can I ask you that if you want to write to the Spatial Planning Team that you add
· Why any/all of these places are special,
· What makes them special, plus add
· Why a de-designation and possible loss of these spaces would be detrimental.
“You can send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the council’s website (which has more details of the whole process)
“Deadline for comments is Tuesday 10 October 2017. “It might be worthwhile to copy your local councillor into the reply.”
Further information: http://www.cpneighbours.org website
UPDATE: COUNCIL CALL ON PLANNING INSPECTOR TO RECONSIDER
Croydon council have called on the local plan inspector to reconsider his recommendation for the borough’s local green spaces.
“Councillors were disappointed to find it recommended that Local Green Space protection be removed from the local plan, as part of the inspector’s proposed main modifications which are currently being consulted on” said a council spokeswoman.
If the inspector’s recommendation was to proceed, there would be no significant impact on the protections already granted to some of the borough’s green spaces, she said.
“But the designation of land as Local Green Space as proposed by the council would provide additional protection – beyond existing conservation, heritage, ecology or national policy protection – to green areas around the borough deemed to be of particular importance to Croydon’s community.”
Upper Norwood ward Cllr John Wentworth, in an email to Norwood Society chairman Stuart Hibberd, says there appears to have been a misunderstanding over this issue.
“The following email from Cllr Alison Butler may help to clarify the matter.”
The email from Cllr Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, says: ” Any protection currently given to ‘green’ space will remain
“For instance Upper Norwood recreation ground, Beaulieu Heights and many others still remain protected
“Croydon council had recommended additional designation of ‘Local Green Space’ to add to current designations that will recognise the importance of green space in local areas
“The Government-appointed Inspector is minded not to support this additional designation and has suggested this as a ‘modification’ to the Local Plan.
“Those areas remain protected by their previous designation and there is no suggestion that they be built on.
” If you are concerned by a particular site, please let me know and I can advise you of how they are protected.
“Croydon council will not support any type of development in our parks, nor would the Mayor’s London Plan.”
“Our open areas and green spaces make Croydon special and the envy of many other London boroughs. “We want to reassure our residents that whether we get the extra protection or not their much loved parks are safe.”
The Croydon Local Plan sets out the borough’s growth and development vision over the next 20 years and the inspector’s proposed changes must be consulted on before the plan can be adopted.
If you’d like to comment on the inspector’s Main Modifications you have until midnight today 10 October to do so.
The representation form and the main modification documents can be viewed by downloading from the council’s website http://www.croydon.gov.uk/localplanone and http://www.croydon.gov.uk/localplantwo (Source: Croydon council press release)