All the green spaces in Upper Norwood have special features, say local planning, conservation and history group the Norwood Society. 

Their comment comes in a letter to Croydon council’s director of planning in response to a Government inspector’s response to Croydon council plans (please see story immediately below this one) which says:

“We understand that following the recommendations of a government inspector  Croydon council are considering downgrading all the green spaces in Upper Norwood which are currently designated as local green spaces.

“In our view, all these green spaces have special features which justify the existing designation.

“In the case of the Stambourne Way Wood and Beaulieu Heights, we understand that these areas have recently, with the support of the Mayor of London, been the subject of a grant of around £700,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to the Wildlife Trust to launch a Great North Wood project, in view of the particular importance of these sites, which once formed part of the Great North Wood from which Norwood takes its name, to the preservation of wild life habitats.

“In our view therefore, both of these sites ipso facto qualify as possessing the special quality and character which justifies their designation.

“To these should be added the Convent Wood, which is also a surviving part of the Great North Wood.

“Moreover, Convent Wood, the Upper Norwood recreation ground, Westow park and the Stambourne Way wood are important to walkers since they form part of the so-called “Capital Ring” (or “Green Chain”) around London.

“All Saints’ churchyard is the burial place of a number of important local people from the Victorian era, in particular Admiral Fitzroy, the captain of the Beagle during its historic voyage with Charles Darwin to the Galapagos Islands, and the founder of modern weather forecasting; and Dr. Frederic Hetley, the husband of Lady Charlotte Braybrooke, who built Norbury Lodge (demolished, sadly, in the 1960s), and after whom Hetley Gardens and Braybrooke Gardens are named.

“The mother of Lady Charlotte’s first husband was the granddaughter of Charles 1st Marquis Cornwallis, who surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown and later became Governor-General of India.

“The inspector’s report is also, in our view, defective inasmuch as it examines each green area on a site by site basis, without considering the consequences of depriving the whole of Norwood of all its local green spaces.

“We appreciate that this approach is probably the result of a defect in his remit. “But we would urge Croydon council, in coming to a decision on this matter, to take into account the larger picture.”

Yours faithfully, Philip Goddard, chairman, Norwood Society planning sub-committee


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