Stronger protection for the way the Norbury area is developed has been called for by the local Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee in its comments on the Council’s Local Plan consultation. When finally adopted in 2017 the Plan will be the framework for the next 20 years.
The submission finalised after the 14 December public meeting includes a summary of the views of the 70 plus people who attended.
The main points made in the submission are:
· that given the decline of Norbury over recent years, and given the economic, the landlordand developer forces that are re-shaping it, the JPC is dubious about the ability of the Council to help achieve its vision for Norbury.
· that the summary of the general character of Norbury is only a partial description, which does not highlight the existence of the parks as important open spaces, understand the special character and heritage of the whole of the Pollards Hill area, not mention the importance of Norbury Brook which flows through the area.
While the submission deals with Norbury issues a number of them appear to be ones that have Borough wide application, as summarised below.
· Accuracy of the descriptions of the General Character of the Districts. There is a need for the officers to consult other Residents Associations, groups in the Local History Forum and the members of the Area Conservation Committees as to whether amendments need to be made to ensure more accurate descriptions.
· School Playing Fields and green spaces. There is a need for these to be protected in the Plan and added as a list.
· Local Heritage Areas. There is a need to ensure that the proposed list of Local Heritage Areas is complete. This can be checked by looking at past studies for potential conversation area status which were rejected may provide the basis for being Local Heritage Areas e.g. Pollards Hill.
· Flooding and excess surface water drainage. There is a need for a number of small areas in the Borough to be assessed for their problems of flooding and excess surface water drainage and the dangers of allowing more housing developments on green spaces e.g. as in Pollards Hill area. More work is needed on tracing the historic streams and tributaries that run off the hills in Croydon to determine whether there may be potential problems in the future.
· Protection of District Centre employment buildings and sites. There is a need for greater protection of District Centre employment buildings and sites to ensure that new jobs can be based across the Borough. More sites need to be added with the tag ‘retain use’ and not alternatives listed.
· Conversions. There isa need to control conversions so as not to lose three and four bedroom properties.
· Railway Stations. There needs to be improvements to the accessibility of some stations e.g. Norbury (with its steep ramps), and improvements to the surrounding environment. The Council can work with Network Rail to obtain such improvements plus the need for more frequent trains and the end of 4-6 carriage trains and replacement by 10-12 to ease passenger congestion.
· Buses. The Council should be working with TfL to increase the frequency of buses along London Rd given their heavy use , which often means that people cannot get on them. It can also work to obtain additional buses routes to better inter-connect parts of the Borough e.g. Norbury and South Norwood.
· Local Green Spaces. There needs to be greater protection for the small green spaces such as within the boundaries of church sites and on streets, and the small squares and triangles of land such as St Helen’s Green.
These general issues were included by GLA member Steve O’Connell in his comments on the Local Plan.
The submission contains detailed amendments to the Local Plan to strengthen the ability to improve the way Norbury develops.
A copy of the submission is available from the JPC by emailing email@example.com