For some time, Croydon’s Labour-run council has been granting planning permissions indiscriminately. Over 90% of all applications are getting approved by the Planning Committee. In particular, they are routinely allowing family housing to be destroyed and replaced with small blocks of flats. Neighbouring Boroughs Bromley and Sutton do not allow this. We do need more homes, but blocks of flats should go on brownfield sites and in Croydon town centre. Buildings like the old Royal Mail building next to East Croydon station are derelict, and you could build hundreds of flats on that site. The council would then have no reason to destroy houses in suburban areas, which changes the character of the area and removes much-needed homes for families. They should not destroy any family homes until all the brownfield sites in the Borough have been used – which we are at least 10 years away from doing. It is time for the council to stop destroying family homes and pursue a Brownfield First policy.
One way to make planning decisions more accountable would be to have local “Area Planning Committees” where you divide Croydon up into three areas (say, north, central and south) and only councillors that area sit on its planning committee and decide for smaller applications – say less than 50 units – in that area. At the moment, councillors from distant parts of Croydon who do not understand our area decide applications in our neighbourhood – often imposing very bad schemes. Many other councils including the London Boroughs of Kingston and Barnet, and Wiltshire and Durham amongst others have Area Planning Committees. Croydon should have Area Planning Committees too.
It is time for us to stand up to the council on behalf of residents across the Borough and demand change. Please join me as our local MP by taking the following steps:
1. Sign a petition here calling for the council to stop destroying family homes (instead pursuing a “Brownfield First” policy) and calling for Area Panning Committees: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CroydonPlanning
2. There is currently a review of Croydon Council’s Governance run by Dame Moira Gibb. Please email her directly explaining your views about how the council currently handles planning applications (i.e. often ignores residents etc) and asking Dame Moira to recommend Area Planning Committees in Croydon. Her email address is: email@example.com. Please do cc me.
3. Tell the people responsible for planning in Croydon how angry we are about what they are doing. Email them directly at:
- Leader of the Council, Cllr Tony Newman (Labour): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chair of the Planning Committee, Cllr Toni Letts (Labour): email@example.com
Do cc me as well.
4. Attend a demonstration at the Full council meeting on the steps of the Town Hall on Monday 1st April from 600pm-630pm and then the council meeting afterwards in the public gallery of the Council Chamber. From around 830pm onwards planning will be debated and Area Planning Committees will be proposed and voted on. The Town Hall address is: Town Hall, Katherine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX
5. Forward this email to all your friends and neighbours
What the council is doing is totally unacceptable. Please join this campaign to stop them.