No building on green spaces, please Croydon Council!
Responding to Croydon’s Local Plan consultation, we have today 9 February 2022 registered our concerns about the inclusion of green spaces as sites to build.
In our response we said:
We support Croydon’s plans to establish a Green Grid structured around a network of strategic blue and green corridors across the borough which will interconnect with adjacent boroughs’ green spaces.
However, having reviewed the list of site allocations we do not support allocation of Sites 1, 16, 128, 152, 502 and 504 for development for the following reasons:
1. CPRE London does not support the developments of green space in London as it provides four vital ecosystem services: carbon sequestration, habitat for wildlife, managing rain water and air temperature. This applies in Croydon as much as anywhere in London.
2. There is substantial previously developed and brownfield land in Croydon which can provide space for the new homes that are needed.
3. The loss of green space for what is a relatively small number of new homes is not justified, especially in the context of the very large numbers of homes which will be built in the borough elsewhere.
4. The green spaces which are identified for development are mainly in areas which have poor public transport accessibility and will be car dependent, so increase congestion and pollution.
The comments above apply to all the sites, however we also have the following specific comments:
Site 1 – Land Fronting North Downs Road and & Overbury Crescent:
This important green space should be enhanced and improved so the local community can enjoy it as an area for exercise, play and relaxation. The site should also be designated as a Local Green Space to protect it from inappropriate development that could cause harm to its qualities.
Site 16 – Heath Clark, Stafford Road:
This large area of green space and provides important benefits for local wildlife and should be maintained as part of the adjacent recreation ground. We would also like to see it designated as a Local Green Space.
Site 128 – Land at Poppy Lane:
This site is part of a green chain, is clearly distinguishable from the built-up area surrounding it and contains features of nature conservation and habitat interest. The site therefore does meet the criteria for designation as Metropolitan Open Land.
Site 152 – Parklife, Purley Way Playing Fields
We broadly support the introduction of multi-purpose leisure facilities at this site but would like to see the loss of green space minimised. The council should consider using the section of Waddon Way adjacent to the park to accommodate any buildings to avoid building on green space. This would also have the added benefit of incorporating the small triangular green space into the park (see photo).
Site 502 – Coombe Farm, Oaks Road:
We believe the Council should not be making any changes to the Green Belt boundaries, on the basis that there is enough previously developed land in the borough to accommodate new housing needs. We do not support this car dependent development which will be sited well away from sustainable public transport facilities.
Site 504 – Stroud Green Pumping Station, 140 Primrose Lane:
This site forms part of a green chain and contains features of nature conservation and habitat interest such as mature trees. The site therefore does meet the criteria for designation as Metropolitan Open Land.
We also believe the Council could demonstrate greater ambition for increasing the amount of green space in Croydon. For example, new parks could be created in areas of the borough with not enough green space by converting ‘grey space’ (roads, parking, hardstanding) into ‘streetparks’. Finally, we would like the Council to ensure any new housing developments or estate regeneration ‘infill’ schemes do not leave residents with inadequate provision of green and communal open space (as of course a higher population density means more green space is needed per head).