Welcome to Norbury Watch

I  created this blog as a way of bringing together details of news and issues about the the Norbury area of the London Borough of Croydon, given the growing number of community and other types of organisations active in the area and the events they run, and the wide range of issues of concern to residents. See more in the About section.

Sean Creighton: sean.creighton1947@btinternet.com

I am a member of the Norbury Village Residents Association and  Love Norbury Committees and Chair of the Norbury Community Land Trust. I am also a member of the Council’s Norbury Regeneration Steering Group with the local Councillors and representatives of the Residents Associations and other local groups . I research and publish on aspects of Norbury’s history and co-ordinate with David Clark the informal Norbury History Group. I also run a blog site on Croydon event, issues and news:

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com

Residents Associations

There are five Residents Associations:

whose areas are on both sides of London Rd,

and Norbury Park Residents Association which runs from the railway line across the Covington Way, along Norbury Ave and Green Lane.

https://norburyparkresidentsassociation.wordpress.com

Love Norbury Partnership

The four London Rd area Residents Associations set up the Love Norbury Partnership to work together on common issues and to organise joint events like London Rd Clean Up days, a summer festival, the ‘Xmas’ lights on the lamp posts, and the Xmas Fayres.

Since May 2019 the Partnership has been opened up to other local groups such as the Friends of Norbury  and Norbury Hall Parks, the Bowling Club in Turle Rd, the Cassandra Learning Centre above Loyd’s Bank and the Land Trust.

Knitting Norbury Together

This group is linked in with Love Norbury. It decorates the streets and events.

Friends of the Parks

With the help of the Love Norbury Partnership Residents Associations the following Friends of the Parks groups have been set up:

Friends of Norbury Park: fnorpark@outlook.com

Friends of Norbury Hall Park: http://norburyhallpark.org.uk

Other groups and activities

Local faith groups

Allotments Society

Manor Farm Reserve group

Norbury Community Land Trust

British Legion club

Norbury Bowling Club

Norbury Park Lawn Tennis Club: https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/NorburyParkLTC

Cassandra Learning Centre

Darby & Joan Club

There are also small groups and initiatives by individuals such the residents of 1-6 Semley Close, the residents in Radnor House,   David Clark who organises the planting and the book cases at the Railway Station, gardening groups, the reading group at the Library, and Street Champions.

Norbury and the Council 

Norbury is divided into two electoral wards along the railway line with two Councillors each:

Norbury & Pollards Hill:

leila.ben-hassel@croydon.gov.uk

They hold a surgery on the second Saturday of the every month at the Norbury Methodist Church – while the Library is refurbished.

Norbury Park:

sherwan.chowdhury@croydon.gov.uk

Norbury Regeneration Steering Group

In March 2019 the Council set up the Norbury Regeneration Steering Group comprising the four Councillors, the five residents associations, the two Friends of the Parks groups,  Community Land Trust and Cassandra Learning Centre. Other local groups wishing to may also become members or ask to speak to the Committee.

Norbury’s MP

Norbury is in Croydon North Parliamentary constituency. The MP is Steve Reed re-elected in the General Election in December 2019.

https://www.stevereedmp.co.uk

Updated 14 December 2019

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Norbury Update 24 May

Overview

The Norbury Bowls Club has re-opened under strict guidelines  for ‘roll ups’ only, every day from 1pm. New players are welcome to come and give it a try. The Planners have rejected the proposed flats and gym scheme for the Co-op building in Fairview Rd. They have also approved some technical drawings to do with the refurbishment and installation of the lift in the Library. COVID issues of concern have been noise in gardens and the delivery motorbike riders along London Rd between Superdrug and Fairview Rd who do not socially distance from each other, are very close to passing pedestrians and who have been seen spitting. St. Philip’s Church is seeking financial donations since it has lost revenue from not being able to hire out its hall and run fund raising events. David Clark has submitted details of the origins of some of Norbury’s streets names to the London Street Names website team. Details of the Hobbs family who owned Norbury Hall Estate buried at Queens Rd Cemetery have been posted on the website set up earlier is month by the Cemetery’s Friends Group.

Planners Refuse Co-op Building Proposal

The linked planning applications for the conversion of the Co-op building at 2-10 Fairview Rd into flats and a gym has been refused by the Planners (20/01236/FUL).

‘The proposed development would not provide a satisfactory mix or quality of accommodation to meet the needs of future occupants and the wider community, contrary to Policy 3.5 of the London Plan, Policies SP2.7 and DM10.4 of the 2018 Croydon Local Plan, and the Council’s 2019 Supplementary Planning Document titled “Suburban Residential Design”.’

In his review report the Planning Officer states:

‘7.20 However, the remaining 9 units are substandard in conflict with adopted policy and guidance. There are also further issues with the quality of the units, particularly those on the ground floor. For example, unit 4 suffers from poor light, outlook and privacy and a convoluted/impractical L-shaped layout. Several units are also single aspect.

7.21 Given the above, the proposed development would not provide a satisfactory mix or quality of accommodation.’

‘8.1 The proposed development would result in the loss of some retail employment space, but this would be replaced (to a lesser extent) by the proposed gym use, in addition to 8 new market residential units. However, the units provided would not provide a satisfactory mix or quality of accommodation to meet the needs of future occupants and the wider community. As such, on balance the development is considered to be unacceptable and therefore recommended for refusal.’

The full assessment report can be read here.

20_01236_FUL-OFFICER_REPORT_WEB_-_FINAL-2868189

The background can be read here:

https://norburywatchblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/the-plans-for-the-co-op-building-at-2-10-fairview-road

Slow Progress with Norbury Library

While work has been underway to repair the Library, there has been a delay in being able to progress the refurbishment works and installation of the lift because the project team had to submit a drawing showing how technical details to full one of the conditions of the planning approval given in January would be met. This was submitted in March (20/01210/DISC) and was approved last week.

COVID-19 Lockdown Problems

Two sets of problems with the COVID-19 lockdown have been raised on the Next Door West Norbury website: noise in gardens and delivery motor cyclists parking along London Rd and spitting.

Garden Noise

‘Can we all please try and enjoy the warm weather in our gardens without keeping neighbours awake with very loud conversations late at night? In Benett Gardens, we have had to close all our windows on this warmest of days and nights because of noise nuisance from a few local residents and frankly it’s unfair – it’s now past midnight, the shouted conversations are continuing and my husband (who is a key worker) has to get up at 3.30am to start his shift. Being forced to close all the windows in this hot weather because of noisy neighbours and yapping dogs is really not fair on the rest of us! A little more respect for each other would be much appreciated. Please and Thank you’.

  • Delivery Motor Cyclists Spitting

‘Is there any way that something can be done about the food delivery bikers that park up in the layby near Superdrug in Norbury? I was queuing for the pharmacy in Superdrug at the weekend and the fact we have to stand so close to them at a time like this is bad in itself, but one of the drivers lit up a cigarette directly in front of my 1 year old, smoke blowing in his face, and then began spitting all over the place right next to us, he spat next to us on the pavement and into the road, he didn’t stop. Absolutely shocking and disgusting.

Several suggestions were made in response: report to police, and ask the Council to ban parking there. The issue was discussed with Super Drug and things improved for a short while, but they were back parking without social distancing and very close to passing pedestrians on Saturday.

St Philips Fund Raising Appeal 

Father Younis of St Philip’s Church HAS emailed as follows:

‘As you know the churches had been locked down since the beginning of this pandemic (from mid March). I have been live streaming services from the vicarage. If you are interested in following the service online you can do so on my facebook page – Younis Francis – The Sunday service is usually at 11.30am and weekday services are Tuesday – Friday at 5.00pm daily. As you also know due the pandemic we had to close our church and the hall, therefore we are losing our regular income. In addition we also had to cancel our fundraising activities such as Quiz Night and Summer fair. In order to raise some funds I have set up a fundraising page. If you are able to make any donations towards St Philip’s you can do so by clicking on the link below or alternative write a cheque payable to: St Philip’s PCC and post it to: Younis Francis, 22 Beech Road, Norbury. SW16 4NW. Even a little amount will help immensely. www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stphilipsnorbury?

God bless you all and stay safe. Hope to see sometime soon.’

020 8764 9619; 07504721294;  revd.younis@gmail.com

http://www.stphilipsnorbury.org

Planning

Planning Applications

39 Crown Lane (20/02139/FUL). Conversion of dwelling to form a 2 bedroom flat and a 9 bedroom HMO for 14 persons.

20 Hillcote Avenue (20/02116/HSE). Erection of single storey rear extension.

Planning Approvals

206 Norbury Crescent (20/01531/CONR). Variation of Condition 1 (approved plans) of planning permission 19/03768/FUL to facilitate the use of the existing garden building for the purpose of ancillary accommodation in connection with approved Flat 2.

12 Springfield Road (20/01350/HSE). Single storey rear extension with timber decking to the rear and alterations to the existing side addition.

Origins of the Norbury Road Names  

In response to a London wide request from the team running the London Street Guide website, our local historian David Clark has provided the origins of the names of some of Norbury’s road names, many of which are linked to land owners from the past.

Stanford Road: Named after the earlier land owner Eleanor Stanford.

Bennett Gardens: Named after Vere Benett (only spelt with one ‘n’) the husband of Eleanor Stanford.

Bavant Road, Norton Gardens, Hatch Road, Semley Road and Tisbury Road: All are named after the area surrounding the village of Tisbury in Wiltshire where Eleanor Stanford and her husband Vere Benett were living in 1894.

Bishops Park Road: Named after early Norbury landowners, the Archbishops of Canterbury.

Croindene Road: Named after the Saxon Name for Croydon.

Darcy Road: Named after Lord Darcy, a former Lord of the Manor.

Lloyd Avenue: Named after David Lloyd George (1863 to 1945) who was Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922.           

Northborough Road: The name Northborough came from an earlier name for Norbury of North Burgh, with Norbury being in the north of  the borough of Croydon.

Palmers Road: Named after 18th  Century land owners in this area the Palmer family.

Colebrook Road: Named after William Cole the first tenant of Norbury House with the ‘brook’ coming from the Norbury Brook.

Southbrook Road: Named after its position, south of Norbury Brook.

Craignish Avenue, Melfort Road, Dunbar Avenue, Ederline Avenue, Kilmartin Avenue,

Melrose Avenue, Ardfern Avenue, Dalmeny Avenue and Strathyre Avenue are matched with the names of towns and castles near to Loch Craignish in Argyle. Members of the family of the local Architects and land agents’ Chestertons’ came from this area of Scotland.

Isham Road: Named after Susan Isham the wife of the third Nicholas Carew a former Lord of the Manor of Norbury.

Beatrice Avenue: Named after the daughter of the house builder of this Road and a former Mayor of Croydon George Allen.

Beech Road: Named after the maiden name of the wife of George Allen although her name of Martha Beach was spelt with only one ‘e’.

Elgar Avenue: Named after the music composer Sir Edward Elgar (1857 to 1934) who was knighted in 1904.

This list will be posted in due course on the London Street Guide website:

www.londonstreetguide.com

The Hobbs and Norbury Hall Estate

The Friends of Queens Rd Cemetery have contacted Norbury Watch to say that their new website carries details about the Hobbs family that owned the Norbury Hall estate, which are buried in the cemetery. The estate now comprises Norbury Hall Park, Norbury Hall care home, the industrial estate along Craignish Ave and the shops fronting London Rd.

https://fqrcc.wordpress.com/2020/05/17/j-w-hobbs-and-family

David is currently finalising a  pamphlet on the history of Norbury Hall estate, including the Hobbs. The Hobbs also owned other land. The following court case against the Hobbs will therefore not appear in the pamphlet.

In the Kings Bench Division of the High Court. Walter Henry May of 1 Station Parade. Took a case against V. Arthur Thomas and James William Hobbs of Norbury Hall, ‘claiming damages for alleged fraudulent representation in the sale of a baker’s business in NORBURY’ . (27 June 1908. p. 7) Judgement was for the plaintiff for £150, and a stay of execution refused. (Croydon Advertiser 27 June 1908. p. 7 & 4 July 1908. p. 6)

Croydon Crisis Update

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/croydon-crisis-up-date-23-may

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Norbury Crisis Update 17 May

Overview

There is little to report this week. School staff have been making scrubs for NHS staff, Councillor Ben-Hassel has been tweeting on the crisis. The local Safer Neighbourhood Teams’ newsletter reports on police action during lockdown. A fly-tipper was caught on camera. There were no new planning applications during the last week. There have been two new planning approvals (10 St Helen’s & 183 Tylecroft Rds) locations and the one for 191A Green Lane has been refused.

Norbury Manor Girls Staff Make Scrubs For NHS

www.thorntonheathchronicle.co.uk/teachers-make-masks-and-scrubs-for-nhs

Cllr Leila Ben-Hassel Tweets on COVID

https://twitter.com/leila4norbury

Norbury & Thornton Heath Safer Neighbourhood Newsletter

‘The last few weeks have been demanding and the dynamics of everyday policing have been a challenge but we have managed! The team have been incredibly busy where much of our time has been spent dealing with Covid-19 related issues. We have patrolled the green spaces moving on and educating people not complying with the current rules and making sure that the public are generally safe. We have also attended calls from residents who had concerns regarding gatherings within private properties. The teams have conducted various reassurance patrols in and around Croydon University Hospital making sure our NHS colleagues are safe and prevent thefts of personal protection equipment. Whilst out on patrol the team stopped two males smoking cannabis in a bin area. The males were issued fines and one has been summonsed to court. The team arrested a male for domestic related offences and another for theft of parcels from a communal block of flats. Weapons sweeps have also been conducted in our open spaces to help in the fight against knife crime. The teams would like to thank all the residents of all three wards for your consistent support and adhering to the current Covid regulations. We hope that you and your families are safe and well throughout these difficult times.’

Fly-tipper Caught On Camera

Fly tip vehilce

A resident caught a fly-tipper on camera. Elsewhere and blatantly during the day another fly-tipper sumped broken furniture in Oakhill Rd, but not caught on camera.

Virtual Iftar

Pollards Hill resident Nouman Ahmad invited people on West Norbury Next Door to join in the Virtual Iftar organised yesterday

‘I’m really pleased to invite all my neighbours to a very special event hosted by my community known as the Big Virtual Iftar. It’s open to everyone, so doesn’t matter if your religious or not. Our #BigVirtualIftar series of events will excite, enlighten and engage, so get ready for: – Interactive live webinar Talks – Virtual Tour of the Biggest Mosque in Britain – Ramadan Lockdown Video Diaries – Live Q/A session – Fasting Challenge – Breaking of the Fast Our next event is being held on ‪Saturday, 16 May at 7.50PM and we would be delighted to have you attend. Follow the link to register to receive the YouTube Live stream link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-big-virtual-iftar-registration-102618797586

www.bigvirtualiftar.co.uk

bit.ly/bvi-poster

Pollards Hill’s John Bartholomew Publishes New Book

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/13/ordinary-lunchtime-new-book-by-pollards-hills-john-bartholomew

Croydon Up-date 17 May

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/17/croydon-covid-crisis-update-at-17-may

Thornton Heath News

For residents living along Green Lane and Norbury Ave whose focus is Thornton Heath centre rather than Norbury’s London Rd, Thornton Health Chronicle has published a comprehensive isssue for May. See link in Croydon Up-date 17 May.

Planning News

Planning Approvals

10 St Helen’s Road (19/05164/HSE). Construction of a front fence/garden wall, to be constructed of brick with railing elements, including provision for a vehicle gate and pedestrian gate. Widening of the existing vehicle access/crossover.

183 Tylecroft Road (20/00142/HSE). Alterations, including replacing windows and doors and erection of a new porch.

191A Green Lane – Planning Refusal

The application (20/00527/FUL) to build a single storey extension, outbuilding, alterations to the roof including erection of a rear dormer and roof lights and alterations to the side elevation fenestration to facilitate the conversion of a dwelling house in three self-contained residential units has been refused by the Planners for the following reasons:

  1. ‘The proposal by reason of poor landscape design along the front of the building would have a negative impact on the street scene and the character and appearance of the building’.
  2. ‘The proposed development in its current form fails to demonstrate sufficient details to achieve safe and secure cycle storage without impacting adversely upon the visual amenity of future occupiers or the character and setting of the street scene’.
  3. ‘The local authority is not satisfied that sufficient detail has been provided to ensure that the proposal would provide adequate refuse storage facilities without impacting adversely on the visual amenity of the streetscene’.
  4. ‘The proposed development fails to demonstrate sufficiently the creation of the single off street parking space would not lead to highway safety issues in terms of access and egress form the site and that the proposal on the whole would not lead to a demand for on street parking or increase visitor parking in this location’.
  5. ‘The proposed development would result in poor outlook and a lack of privacy to the two bedroom windows of the ground floor flat and would therefore provide an inadequate standard of accommodation’.

 

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Norbury Crisis Up-date 10 May

Overview

Norbury Knitters commemorated VE Day yesterday with bunting in public places. A small group gathered at 11am keeping safe social distance. Cassandra Learning Centre continues to deliver meals to the vulnerable who are under lock down. It not too late to put your view in on the plans for the Co-op block in Fairview Rd whether you support, oppose or have just have questions or concerns you want addressed. If lockdown is relaxed then life will begin to get back to some kind of normality for some. However as discussed on my Croydon blog of 6 May there will be public transport problems, there may be an increase in the use of cars and therefore air pollution and reducing air quality, a particular problem along London Rd.  The Council is beginning to think about how Croydon can recover (as indicated in my Croydon blog posting on 8 May). If you are still going to be fully or partially continuing to self-isolate, and you want something to read see my for books and pamphlets list on my Croydon blog.

Cassandra Learning Centre Food Deliveries

Local COVID News

Every area of the country has been identified by the Office of National Statistics by the number of deaths from all causes and from COVID. Interpreting the data is difficult as it treats Norbury in two parts: East and West. As at 17 April there were 17 deaths in hospital by all causes in Norbury East of which 10 were COVID, and in Norbury West 11/5.

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/london-coronavirus-croydon-neighbourhoods-more-18210399

(See my Croydon blogs 6 & 10 May.) A resident tells me that 4 residents in the Council’s Freeman Court have died in Hospital but no other residents are known to be infected.

Steve Reed’s A-Z of Covid-19 Related Support Services

Local MP Steve Reed has compiled a list of charities, organisations and relevant links to Government guidance that may be of use to you. This has been posted on the Pollards Hill Residents Association website at:

www.phranorbury.co.uk/coronavirus

Other News

People C Waste Time Leaving Bags For Cancer Research

London Road & Semley Road May 9 004

(Thanks to David Clark)

As the shop is closed, the Council’s contractor takes the bags left outside the Cancer Research shop in London Rd away.

Northborough Rd Post Office Closed Again

After re-opening the Post Office is closed again. It is reported on Next Door West Croydon: ‘There is a notice on the shutter stating it is due to unforeseen circumstances and doesn’t say when it will be reopening.’

Plans for the Co-op Building

Only 3 residents have made comments on this application: one supporter, one objector and one neutral. It is not too late to put your views in at

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=Q752WHJLKXM00

For my analysis see:

https://norburywatchblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/the-plans-for-the-co-op-building-at-2-10-fairview-road

New Planning Applications

300 Norbury Avenue (20/01948/HSE). Erection of two-storey side extension and erection of part single/two storey rear extension.

115 Briar Ave (20/01932/HSE). Demolition of existing conservatory and erection of single-storey rear extension.

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application

Planning Refusal – 2-4 Green Lane 

This application (20/01143/FUL) was for erection of a new three storey terrace comprising 3  3-bedroom homes and ancillary works. The grounds for refusal are:

‘1     The proposed development by way of its excessive scale at a back land location and insensitive design would result in an obtrusive appearance which would harm the character and appearance of the site and wider area. …

2      The proposed development by way of its excessive scale and close proximity to neighbouring windows which serve habitable rooms would cause harm to neighbouring living conditions through the creation of a sense of enclosure, loss of light and outlook…

3      The proposed development would have no off street car parking and create additional and unacceptable on street parking pressures which would contribute to a lack of availability for existing residents in the local area.

This is an important refusal and the grounds may be relevant to other planning applications residents are concerned about.

Croydon postings since last Norbury Posting  2 May

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/06/croydon-crisis-up-date-6-may

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/07/greatness-in-a-time-of-covid-poem-by-tayo-aluko

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/08/croydon-covid-action-and-cabinet-11-may

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/croydon-crisis-up-date-10-may

Previous Postings Reminders

  • Reading

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/are-you-running-out-of-books-to-read

  • Norbury Chronicle 4

norburywatchblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/08/norbury-chronicle-4-now-on-sale

  • Norbury History – Free reading

https://norburywatchblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/22/norbury-history-something-to-do-from-home

  • Debating Borough of Culture 2023

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/04/20/time-to-debate-croydon-borough-of-culture-2023

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Crisis Up-date at 2 May

Rainbows

Overview

Norbury Hgh St remains busy every day with people shopping, getting take-away meals and with through traffic.  Speeding along roads like Stanford, Bishops Park and Oakhill Rd continues, and littering side roads with take-away food packaging shows how selfish and inconsiderate many people still are despite the crisis. The closure of Northborough Rd Post Office due to racist abuse shows the worst side of some people and has been the subject of debate on the Next Door West Norbury network. On the positive side look out for Norbury Knitters’s  crocheted and knitted rainbows with their message of hope. Norbury & Pollards Hill CV19 Mutual Aid Group continues to arrange shopping, picking up medicines and other jobs. If you or others need help here is the WhatsApp address: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GvjPigXHZUdlFt6zEMLiX. Cassandra Learning Centre continues to do its free lunch meals delivery.  Norbury Muslim Centre is running a support line. Religious believers can access prayer resources from some of the local religious websites. The Norbury & Pollards Hill Councillors have been busy behind the scenes. Planning applications continue to be processed, and Pollards Hill Residents has particularly alerted its members to the proposals for 6 Pollards Hill East.

Up-date on Croydon: https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/croydon-crisis-up-date-1-may

Looking for something to read? https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/are-you-running-out-of-books-to-read

What Are Norbury & Pollards Hill Councillors Doing?

Councillor Leila Ben-Hassel has told me what she and Shafi Khan have been doing as Councillors for Norbury & Pollards Hill Ward during the crisis.

Apart from dealing with missed waste collections and fly tips reports, and keeping in contact with residents at Freeman Court to keep an eye on service there and potential issues, they have been trying to get improvements to the way the Government shielding list operates, and issues relating to transport. If anyone who has registered for some support re-Council tax, business rates, food, housing etc. who are not getting a timely response should contact them so they can champion their cases.

The Government Shielding List and the Supermarkets

Leila says that there is poor management by Government of the shielding list. It gave clear guidance that one needed to self-register. However people that meet criteria listed on the Government guidance page, are being rejected. This means that their details are not shared with the local authority nor with supermarkets for priority slots. 

The advice given by Government is to liaise back to the local GP practice but they have to carry out an “assessment” if one hasn’t been flagged up automatically by their system. Many people, including herself are still waiting for as assessment.

Steve Reed, Croydon North MP, has agreed that people should contact his office about getting on to supermarket priority lists as they can contact the head office effectively.

Leila has taken the matter up with Council Leader and the Director for Social Care, hoping that the Council can encourage GP practices to better coordinate and assess their patients that should be on the “shielding” list.

She is  concerned that when an exit strategy is put in place, people on the shielded list will likely have to follow different steps than the rest of the population. Therefore in her opinion, it is paramount that we get anyone who should be on that list onto it.

The Government guidance on shielding can be seen here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Registration on the shielding list – although it isn’t a registration – GP practice have to confirm. One can register someone else too – best to have the person’s NHS number though.

If one wants to be on the supermarket priority list – they have to tick the box for support for food even if they don’t need food parcels. All it is that the Council would contact them asking if they need food parcels and one can say no but it means that supermarkets would have their names on the priority list.

www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

Organisations Delivering Free Meals

Cassandra Learning and Norbury Muslim Centres are both doing free meal deliveries to vulnerable people. They could use ward budgets to help them, but instead she has argued with the Council leadership that the organisations providing the meals are alleviating pressure on the Council’s response/efforts and that the Council ought to support them. As a result a £100k emergency fund for small organisations who help with the Covid response has been set up. The approval process takes 7 days max – although they are still working to try and narrow that down.

The Councillors can help organisations apply to the funding.

www.croydon.gov.uk/community/advice/tsfunding/funding/coronavirus-covid-19-supporting-the-voluntary-and-community-sector

Befriending Vulnerable People

Leila wanted a befriending scheme set up at the beginning of the lockdown at Freeman Court with a view that it could be extended to elderly people or people feeling isolated elsewhere in the ward. However at the time, the Government relaxation of GDPR (data protection rules) was not passed so it was thought it would be easier to contain it within one care home administered by the Council.

The  suggestion was passed on to Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA), and Croydon Age UK has been tasked with the befriending side of things. So if anyone wants to do some befriending as volunteer, it is best to direct them to CVA or Age UK.

COVID Road Issues

Speeding in some areas has been reported with higher traffic speeds – people taking advantage of less volume of traffic. Leila  thinks that an eye should be kept on the Government COVID Emergency Bill. Additional powers were planned to be given to local authorities about  temporary road closures, temporary calming traffic measures, wider space given to cyclists and pedestrians particularly along approach to park entrances.

Before the Bill was passed she took the matter up with Cllr Stuart King, the Croydon Cabinet member responsible for traffic. He said that the Council was working on some plans. Some measures have been out in place this week in some roads, but none in Norbury/Pollards Hill. See my Croydon Blog posting of 1 May.

Prayer Resources

Advice on worship and prayer resources are on several of the church/religious centres websites. Norbury Muslim Centre is highlighting advice on Ramadhan: https://norburymuslimcentre.com. Anglican resources can be accessed through the St. Oswald’s Church website:  www.stoswalds.org.uk.  Catholic prayer resources can be found on the St Bartholmew’s Church site: https://stbartsnorbury.co.uk/coronavirus-novena.html. St Philips Church is live streaming its services: Sundays 11.30am and Tuesdays to Fridays  5pm: www.facebook.com/younis.francis.

Fly-tipping

Street Champion Ken continues to submit the details of fly-tipping for action by the Council’s contractor. The batch for April included  Southbrook, Bavant, Hatch, Isham between Stanford and Turle, St Helens, Bishops Park, Oakhill and Semley Roads.

After this blog was posted David Clark reported the need for action as shown in these photos.

 Debate on Northborough Post Office Closure

The closure of the Post Office in Northborough due to racism is a sad reminder of the undercurrent of racism that exists in Britain. The closure has bene discussed on the Next Door West Norbury site. A resident in Pollards Hill states: ‘sad to know that there are such attitudes in the 21st century. Even more so here in London that there are countless cultures, origins, languages ​​and ethnicities. The human hero really needs to learn a lot. The people who work in this Post Office, always polite and friendly, do not deserve this type of treatment, in fact no one deserves it. For more respect between cultures, ethnicities and origins.

A non-Norbury  resident commented that ‘actually you can refuse to go into work, you could’ve chosen to use the systems and support in place to support you, but it seems as though you chose not to.’ This was responded to: ‘get a life …..  it starts with verbal abuse and could end in violence towards the staff or any customer that is in the shop at the time COULD BE YOU? How can you disagree with their action to keep them safe from harm. No respectable living person warrants this type of behaviour from such inconsiderate excuses for drawing human breathe’.

6 Pollards Hill East

Pollards Hill Residents Association is encouraging surrounding residents to comment on the planning application relating to 6 Pollards Hill East (20/01627/FUL) for the conversion of 3 flats to a single dwelling with extensions and roof additions. The property is near the corner of Pollards Hill East and Pollards Hill North and backs onto Numbers 17-25 Pollards Hill North. Each adult within a household can make a submission. PHRA comments: ‘This property was the subject of much local consternation when it was essentially trashed last autumn. PHRA is aware that the Council were involved in discussions over this matter, presumably with the owner and/or developer, and some tidying up subsequently took place. If you have further background information or comments to PHRA on this re-development.’

The PHRA Committee may want to look at whether the grounds for refusal of 3 Cranbourne Close (see below) is relevant, and also one of the grounds re-10 April Court, 107 Northwood Road (20/00655/FUL) because the design was  considered to be of an excessive scale insensitive to the location coupled with poor design resulting in an obtrusive appearance which would harm the character and appearance of the area.

Planning News

New Planning Applications

6 Craignish Avenue  (20/01776/FUL). Use of dwelling as HMO for 6 persons within Use Class C4.

43 Croft Road (20/01732/HSE). Erection of single storey side/rear extension, alterations to the roof including hip to gable loft conversion with dormer in the rear roof slope and roof lights in the front roof slope and second floor rear extension.

100 & 102 Green Lane (20/01239/OUT). Application for Outline Planning Permission (All Matters Reserved) for Demolition of existing 2 dwellings houses, erection of 6 x 3 bedroom two storey dwelling houses with rooms in roof space fronting Green Lane and Virginia Road, and erection of 1 x 4 bedroom two storey dwelling house with room in roof space and room in basement room (and associated basement excavation works) facing Virginia Road, provision of associated off-street parking area to rear accessed from Virginia Road, and associated parking to forecourts accessed from Green Lane and Virginia Road, formation of vehicular accesses from Green Lane and Virginia Road, provision of associated refuse storage and cycle storage.

Applications can be seen at:

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Applicatio

New Planning Approvals

44 Colebrook Road (19/05206/HSE). Proposed part single, part double storey rear extension, hip to gable roof conversion and loft conversion with rear dormer.

1485 – 1489 London Road (20/01328/ADV). Erection of 2 no. internally illuminated logo’s to fascia; 1 no. internally illuminated projecting sign; 1 no. set of non-illuminated perspex lettering; and 2 no. poster frames for banner advertisements.

1538 – 1540 London Road (20/00970/FUL). Retrospective application for the retention of external staircase and second floor fire door at the rear of the property.

81 Virginia Road (20/00547/HSE). Retrospective application for retention of single storey outbuilding.

Planning Refusals

3 Cranbourne Close. (1) (20/01062/HSE). Alterations to existing roof to include the erection of a dormer extension in the rear roof slope. (2) (20/01063/HSE). Alterations to existing roof to include increased ridge and eaves height and erection of dormer extension in the rear roof slope. Reason for refusal: ‘The roof extension would detract from the character and appearance of the host building and street scene by reason of dominance, siting and design’.

 

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Crisis Update At 26 April

Overview

Congratulations to Croydon Council for putting through every door the special issue of Your Croydon magazine about the information and support during Covid-19, ensuring that those not on social media have the information in print. Cassandra Learning Centre is continuing its free meal supply and delivery on Thursdays, focussing on Norbury & Pollards Hill. Nuffield health Centre is starting on line fitness activities. Concerns are being raised about social distancing. In terms of food outlets the re-opening the fish and chip shop on London Rd will be very welcome, while those who order from the Pizza Hut franchisee may wish to boycott it because of the bosses attitude to its staff. The crisis has changed our lives dramatically and the Mayor of London wants to know how. There are of course those selfish people who for example continue to ignore the 20mph zoning of our side roads, because there is so much less traffic. 

Cassandra Learning Centre Free Meals Service

As well as continuing to provide free domestic abuse counselling, Cassandra Centre is continuing to deliver meals to more than 100 vulnerable South London residents each Thursday.

Do you know an elderly or vulnerable person in Lambeth or Croydon who is struggling to feed themselves during the pandemic? Please call the Cassandra Centre on 0203 601 7475 or 07852 525 468 or admin@cassandracentre.org.uk to place an order https://twitter.com/casslearncentre/status/1253960572166639616

NOBURY AND POLLARDS HILL

Cassandra meals

Photo posted on Love Norbury Twitter

Nuffield Health Centre Fitness Timetable

The Centre’s on line weekly fitness timetable starts this Monday. All videos will be posted on Facebook. ‘If you find a workout you really like, simply save these to view later, visible in the ‘video’ section. ‘We’ve been listening to all of your suggestions and have included a Mature Workout, Ballet Fit, Fight Fit and a Stretch and Relax class this week, we really hope you like them! Have any more suggestions? Just pop them into the comments section. Stay safe and stay tuned #AtHomeWithNH.’

Nuffield

(Posted on Love Norbury Twitter)

To What Extent Are People ‘Social Distancing’

Norbury Park

Barbara Cawley, Secretary of Friends of Norbury Park has sent out the following message:

‘With the lockdown extended for another few weeks and the weather looking very summery for this weekend, Croydon Council have asked for feedback if people on the whole are following government guidance or not in Norbury Park.

I would be grateful if you visit the park this weekend & have any concerns, to let me know by email or post comments & any photos on Friends of Norbury Park Facebook Page. I will pass any information to Croydon Council on Monday.

Stay healthy and enjoy the sunshine.’

fnopark@outlook.com

Keope your diastyance

(From Facebook of a resident in Middlesbrough forwarded into Norbury)

There has been a social distancing debate on Next Door West Norwood starting off with the following:

‘We live on Biggin Hill and are continuing amazed by people ignoring the social distancing rules. Finally a couple of weeks ago the tennis courts in Biggin Woods were locked and the nets taken down. But despite this groups still climb over the netting to play football and tennis. This evening two men were playing tennis having rigged up their own net. These are not local people. We’ve even seen people driving up in cars. Groups of youths constantly hang around in groups. This seems very unfair to local people who try to abide by the rules. Does anyone know who to contact to get this stopped?’

Responses:

  • ‘Also I’ve yet to see anyone over the age of ten playing football. Only kids who seem to be related have been playing but I guess the truth doesn’t suit your argument.’
  • ‘We can only manage our own circumstances. If someone is coming up close when waking past I will cross the road , but not let it irritate me. I do what I need to make myself feel “safe”, as we can only control our personal space . We also don’t know what other people are going through and why they are out doing what they are. There are many who are finding lockdown taking a toll on their mental health, people UK who suffer anxiety, depression, people who are having issues with family and now lockdown with those same people for the past 5 weeks . I just try and not throw judgement, as I don’t know anyone’s circumstances, likewise they don’t know mine. Anyway, wishing you all good health

Food Take-aways And Deliveries

Fish and Chip Shop Re-opens

Following a re-decoration during the lockdown period, the popular fish and chip shop on London Rd should be re-opening on Monday for orders and home delivery.

Should We Boycott Pizza Hut?

Simon Byrne, who runs six branches of Pizza Hut as a franchisee in Croydon including Norbury’s 1374 London Rd has reportedly suggested paying staff with olives, napkins or grease cutter rather than money after he went months without paying them full wages since January. Should we boycott buying from Pizza Hut.

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/pizza-hut-franchise-boss-suggests-18128568

London Mayor Wants To Know How

Our Daily Lives Are Changing?

‘The #COVID19 crisis is changing daily life as we know it. We want to hear directly from you about how your life has changed and what you’d like to see us do to help.’ The survey can be accessed here:

www.london.gov.uk/talk-london/communities-regeneration/life-lockdown

Thanks To Norbury Knitters

DavidClerk photro panting area

David Clark, who looks after the plants in the raised bed by the Railway Station closed exit, gives a ‘A Big Thank you to the ‘Norbury Knitters’ for their lovely display to brighten up this corner of Norbury during these worrying times.’

Planning Applications

4 Tylecroft Road (20/01566/HSE)

This is a retrospective application to legitimise the building of a store room at the back of the garden. I have been informed by a resident that the retrospective application was the result of a complaint that the outer building had already been constructed without permission in the garden of 4 Tylecroft Rd. ‘The house has undergone a full makeover and this outbuilding has a door onto the small path at the end of the rear gardens instead of being fenced off as all of the other properties’ gardens.’ There have been objections submitted by the some of the residents in Sherlock Close. The door onto the path is not shown on the plan. The small path along the backs of Tylecroft is fenced across so it is not possible to use it. The fact the owner did not seek planning permission is not grounds for refusal as the applicant seeks to have permission as a way of resolving it. It is difficult to see what planning grounds can be used against the application, apart from the failure to show the door onto the path. The path is too narrow to enable vehicles to use it so if it was opened up any items to be taken out or put into the store would have to be carried on foot. Agreement would have to be reached with the other residents along the path as to whether they want the path opened up. If the long term intention of the owner of No. 4 is to get it opened up, there is a possibility that it would become useable for commercial storage. If planning permission is granted it could be on the basis that the exit onto the path be filled in and that a condition be placed that the storage is purely ancillary for the use of the residents of the house and not for commercial storage.

4 Ty;ecroft

Thickets House 97 Pollards Hill (20/01320/DISC)

Discharge of Condition 4 (materials) attached to permission 19/00490/FUL for ‘Demolition of the existing dwelling; Erection of building comprising of 3 x one bed flats and 1 x two bed flat and 4 x four bed semi-detached dwellings to the rear of the site with associated parking, landscaping, cycle and refuse storage (8 total).’

1A Melrose Avenue (19/05947/CONR). Approval of details for Condition 1 of planning permission 07/04167/P for this five flats development proposing the provision of two commercial bins with no recycling facilities. This would seem appropriate that SERA, the local Councillors and Stuart Collins, the Cabinet member for waste services to object. While I drafted this blog I emailed Mr Collins, who quickly replied saying that he had copied in the relevant senior officer ‘who will check in with his planning counterpart on this application and it’s refuse plan. If it’s not compliant they will take the appropriate action.’

322 Norbury Avenue (20/01750/FUL)

Change of use from a single dwellinghouse (C3) to a house in multiple occupation for no more than 6 persons (C4). This appears to be a small care home facility submitted by After5Care Services at 1530 London Rd, as it includes two bedrooms for disabled residents. Possible concerns are the smallness of the combined meeting/utility room and the fact that there only two bathrooms, the ground floor one being on the other side of the ground floor lobby from the two disabled bedrooms. It will depend on the nature of the disabilities of residents whether they can walk up the stairs to the meeting/utility room.

76 Norbury Hill (20/00929/HSE) Erection of outbuilding.

Planning Approvals

31 Croindene Road (20/01022/HSE). Demolition of existing garage and outbuildings and erection of single-storey side extension and single-storey rear extension.

55 The Chase (20/00742/HSE). Erection of first floor side extension and dormer extension in the rear roofslope; installation of rooflight in the front roofslope.

Planning Refusal

10 April Court, 107 Northwood Road (20/00655/FUL).

Demolition of the existing building and construction of 2no three bedroom homes with associated alterations. Reasons for refusal.

‘1 The proposed development would be of an excessive scale which is insensitive to the location at the rear of multiple neighbouring properties. This coupled with the poor design would result in an obtrusive appearance which would harm the character and appearance of the area.’

‘2 The proposed parking layout would restrict access to the new homes, especially for wheelchair users. The manoeuvrability of bins and bikes would also be made difficult because of this and furthermore the carry distance from the bin stores to the collection point would exceed the maximum carry distance. This fails to provide suitable conditions for future occupiers.’

‘3 The application fails to demonstrate how the development would take steps to reduce the risk of flooding in the borough.’

The applicant will either submit a revised application or appeal against the refusal.

Appeal Pending & New Application: 132 Norbury Court Road (20/00030/REF).

The applicant has submitted an appeal because the Council refused its application for alterations and conversion of the dwelling into 5 self-contained flats with associated refuse/cycle storage and parking. This is being dealt with by written representations.

The grounds for refusal were:

1 The proposal by reason of its form and design would fail to integrate successfully within the immediate surroundings and would result in overdevelopment of the site …

2 The proposed refuse store on the raised flower bed in the front garden would be detrimental to the character of the locality and visual amenity of the host building by reason of its form and siting …

3 The development would result in sub-standard accommodation by reason of poor outlook and light to bedroom 3 of Flat 1 and loss of privacy and noise disturbance from people using the car parking spaces to the bedroom window of Flat 2 …

4 The development would fail to provide adequate off-street parking which would result in an increase in on street parking to the detriment of free flow of traffic and resulting in increased parking stress in the area …

5 The side access to the proposed cycle store in the rear garden would fail to meet the minimum 1.2 metres width access.

The applicant has submitted a detailed statement. The Norbury Green Residents Association and the local Councillors may want to consider making written representations to counter the arguments of the applicant.

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/files/337477EA2DC970E601E7E7094B3B814E/pdf/19_05732_FUL-GROUNDS_OF_APPEAL-2825929.pdf

The appeal is being run parallel with a revised application submitted in early March for the conversion of the dwelling to provide 1 three bedroom and 3 one bedroom flats with associated parking/cycle/refuse storage.

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=Q6OEGOJLK2I00&activeTab=summary

8 residents in the street have objected. By providing a three bedroom flat, the applicant is trying to get the Planners to agree as it complies with the policy need for 3 bedrooms. The applicant has also submitted a parking stress survey. The NGRA may want to consider this survey and submitting its own analysis, but it will have to do so quickly as I suspect the Planners will take a decision shortly.

 

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Crisis Up-date 19 April

Mask Mates

Knitting Norbury Together is making mask mates for health & care staff

Overview

All seems relatively quiet in relation to the COVID-19 crisis in Norbury. Croydon has a whole faces considerable difficulties. The main issue facing Norbury at the moment is the planning application for 8 extra flats and a gym in the Co-op building on Fairview Rd. There is also a new application for the demolition of the property on the corner of London Rd/Kilmartin.

COVID-19 News

New COVID-19 Telephone Helpline

The COVID-19 Mutual Aid Groups operate on WhatsApp. For those residents who are looking for help who are no on WhatsApp the Croydon umbrella group has started a telephone helpline. This will enable the volunteers running it to let people know the phone number for their local group.

020 3322 8379

Please let anyone you know who is elderly or vulnerable about it.

Cassandra Free Lunch Deliveries

Cassandra Learning Centre is taking orders again for free meals to be delivered next Thursday to elderly and vulnerable residents. Order should be placed by mid-day this coming Wednesday 22 April by phoning:

07714735568 or 07852525468

Get help with Council Tax and Benefits

Find out how to defer your council tax payments, declare a change of earnings, support for low incomes and benefit claimants, rent payments.

https://new.croydon.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-and-service-updates/get-help-your-council-tax-and-benefits

Plans for the Co-op Building

An explanation and analysis of the developer’s proposals for the https://norburywatchblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/the-plans-for-the-co-op-building-at-2-10-fairview-road

Planning Applications

  • 45 Florida Road(20/01508/HSE)

Erection of a two storey side and single storey rear extension.

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=Q83KW1JLMFC00&activeTab=summary

  • 1124 – 1126 And 1126A London Road (20/01415/FUL)

Demolition of buildings to rear, alterations to building fronting London Road and erection four storey building accommodating 7 x flats, assembly/leisure use (Class D2) and retail use (Class A1) and associated car parking, cycle parking and refuse storage.

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q7PFR5JLLTZ00

The property to be demolished in on the corner of London Rd and Kilmartin.

  • 74 Norbury Court Road (20/01664/HSE)

Erection of single storey rear extension.

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q8SCL3JLFRA00

Planning Approvals

  • 2 Hollies Close (20/00659/HSE)

Installation of 1 rooflight in front roofslope. |

  • 18 Norbury Close(19/04480/FUL).

Conversion from a dwelling to 2 x 2 bedroom flats and 1 studio flat. Hip to gable roof extension, rear dormer extension, ground floor rear extension, front rooflights, opening alterations and associated external alterations. |

The extensive officer’s explanation for approval can be read here:

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/files/29A68000FEE5EF5CBF264C24C427FED9/pdf/19_04480_FUL-GRANTED__PG__FULL_-_DEC_NOTICE-2843997.pdf

Planning Refusals

  • 136A Norbury Crescent (20/00945/FUL)

The refusal for the installation of vehicle crossover, is because it ‘would create a hazard to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular traffic using the highway by reason of inadequate design and layout, failing to allow a vehicle to enter and exit in forward gear on a busy classified road.’

  • 21 Kensington Avenue (20/00831/FUL)

The reasons for the refusal of the application for rear roof, ground and first floor extensions to convert the house into two flats, are as follows:

  1. ‘The proposed extensions by way of their excessive scale and unsympathetic design would result in an obtrusive appearance which would harm the character of the building, terrace and surrounding area.’
  2. ‘The proposed rear extensions by way of their scale and position close to neighbouring boundaries would result in a loss of outlook at ground floor level and the overshadowing of garden space caused by the first floor addition. This would be harmful to neighbouring living conditions.’

 

 

 

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The Plans For The Co-op Building at 2-10 Fairview Road

Square Portfolio Estate Company, the owner of the red brick Co-op store and flats building on Fairview Rd, has submitted its planning application to create 12 flats and a gym for the Gym Group. The building will be re-modelled with a single storey infill extension and minor external alterations including the enlargement of existing windows and creation of new windows with associated parking and refuse store. The proposed twelve flats are the original four and an additional eight new ones. Because the eight are under the ten flats required to offer some ‘affordable’ ones, there is no provision for ‘affordable’ flats.

Shortly after the application was submitted to the Council,  The Gym Group announced that its expansion plans were on ice due to the COVID-19 crisis:

www.standard.co.uk/business/the-gym-group-puts-expansion-plans-on-ice-a4391846.htm

It already has gyms within easy reach at 99-101 London Rd, 6 Suffolk House in George St, and  7 Streatham Approach.

The Existing and Proposed Flats

The building currently has four maisonette-style flats accessed at the rear by a shared stairwell, with three garages at ground floor level. These will be retained and refurbished. The developer originally talked about creating 8 flats, but has now increased this to 12, including the refurbishment of the original 4 and creating 8 new ones, including 2 in a proposed extension. (Para 3.9)

Ground Floor – 4 flats: (1) (1b-1p) – 37.6m2/404 sq.ft; (2) 2 (2b-3p) – 64.7m2/696 sq.ft; (3) (1b-1p) – 43.5m2/468 sq.ft; 4 (1b-1p) – 42.5m2/457 sq.ft.

First Floor  – 6 flats: (5) (REFURB) (1b-2p) – 37.6m2/404 sq.ft; (6) (REFURB) (2b-3p) – 55.2m2/594 sq.ft; (7) (1b-1p) – 39.5m2/425 sq.ft; (8) (1b-2p) – 50.0m2/538 sq.ft; (9) (2b-3p) – 63.6m2/685 sq.ft;  (10) (2b-4p) – 70.6m2/760 sq.ft.

Second Floor – 2 flats: (11) (REFURB) (1b-2p) – 37.6m2/404 sq.ft; (12) (REFURB) (2b-4p) – 64.8m2/697 sq.ft. (Para 3.10)

‘The proposed residential units will be built with high levels of sound insulation to ensure no noise is transmitted from the proposed gym use through walls and floors into the dwellings.’ (Para 5.36)

The Existing Service Yard

This is accessed from the rear of the site and provides access to a loading bay serving the Co-op. The proposed extension will be built in the loading bay area. (Para. 5.18)

Windows

‘To facilitate the conversion of parts of the building to residential use’ the existing windows will be enlarged, and new ones inserted at ground and first floor levels in the south and west facing elevations. (Para. 3.11)

The Shop Front and Signage

The existing shop front and signage will be replaced with that of The Gym Group, the signing to be subject of a separate planning application in due course.

Gym and Fitness Centre

The proposed gym and fitness centre will occupy 15,177sq. ft of the ground and first floor of the eastern part of the wider building to operate 24 hours a day.

The proposed occupier is The Gym Group ‘who aim to increase access to health and fitness activities to a wide demographic within the local community to encourage and improve health by providing a low cost and flexible gym membership option. The Gym provides a high quality but cheaper option for the health and fitness activity. (Planning Statement para. 3.7)

‘The operation includes a range of cardio-vascular (rowing, running, cycling) and resistance (weights) equipment. It will provide a new facility for residents and employees that will complement nearby services and facilities. Music will be limited to provide low-level background music only.’ (Para. 3.8)

Cars and Cycles

Apart from four disabled car parking spaces the scheme will be car free. Taking account its high PTAL rating, the development is likely to generate fewer trips overall. The gym use is expected to cater for a relatively local catchment with the vast majority of trips being by walking or public transport. The development would not result in a noticeable increase in pedestrian movements when compared with the existing retail use of the site.’

In addition to the proposed 4 parking spaces disabled use to be occupied by future residents, there will a bike store for 20 bicycles, all located in what will remain of the current service area. There will also be  scope for electric cycle charging and the storage of mobility scooters. ‘Short-term on-street parking is available in the vicinity for visitors.’

Refuse Bins

A bin storage area will be provided.

Justification

The Planning Statement states that the developer considers ‘that the principle of bringing forward an increase in much needed new housing together with a health and fitness centre making efficient use of the existing building and bringing health and employment benefit to the local community are all supported by’ National, Local Plan and Croydon Local Plan policies.

‘The changes to the fenestration are all considered to be positive alterations to the premises. The existing building is of poor architectural merit and has a low level of fenestration that creates a rather austere building.’ The proposed enlarged windows will improve the appearance and increase ‘levels of natural surveillance’. The proposed  new windows will create ‘a much more attractive and active elevations to this part of the building. Overall the changes to the building’s fenestration are considered to be positive alterations improving the relationship of the building with the street.’

The Need for the Gym

The Planning Statement says that the ‘proposed leisure use will provide a new use to the district centre that is currently not catered for and will be a benefit for the surround community by introducing a leisure facility, open 24 hours a day and providing new employment opportunities. The proposals will help increase the vitality and choice in this district centre.’ (Para 5.11)

The ‘proposed gym use can manage or control the transmission of noise and vibration to ensure the 24 hours gym use can coexist with the existing residential neighbours. (Para. 5.30)

The proposed operator The Gym Group ‘has considerable experience of operating similar 24-hour health and fitness operations and currently operates from over 180 locations nationwide. Through this experience the company has well-established and tried and tested measures to ensure that there are no harmful noise impact or disturbance on surrounding occupiers. The operating management procedures will be adopted so that the proposed 24-hour gym use will not adversely impact upon the residential or other uses in the surrounding area.’ (Para 5.31; see also 5.35)

‘From an assessment of visitors to other similar operations around the country and the scale and nature of the operation proposed, only 9.29% of visits are made between the hours of 23:00 and 06:00, with very minimal attendance between 00:00 and 06:00. Due to the nature of the gym use, members attending between these hours tend to do so on an individual basis, rather than as part of groups, and comprises those working shifts, such as emergency service personnel. As such, the potential for any impact in terms of noise and disturbance during these hours is limited and the extended hours of operation of the unit would not result in additional harm to the amenity of adjoining neighbouring or surrounding properties.’ (Para. 5.32)

‘Access to the property is strictly controlled. Between the hours of 8am and 8pm the front door of the premises will be open, and access will be afforded to the lobby. At this point a two-door portal will be in operation which requires a personal entry code to be entered into a keypad and restricts access to one person at a time only. The pin code enables The Gym to record attendance within the premises. The full height glazed partitions and portals also provide a barrier to noise transmitting from the main body of the gym via the accesses. (Para. 5.39)

The Proposed Extension

The proposed extension will not cause ‘adverse impacts in terms of overlooking or loss of privacy.’ It ‘will use materials to match the existing building and windows proportions and design will also reflect the existing situation. The location of the extension means it is not a significant feature in the street scene and in terms of all other considerations is considered to be acceptable.’ (Para 5.18)

The Size Of The Flats

‘Due to the lack of amenity space available on the site all apartments are over the related space standards. There is also access to a number of areas of public open space in the vicinity including Norbury Hall Park, Norbury Park and Mitcham Common.’ (Para 5.21)

Carbon Emissions and Energy Efficiency

A separate ‘Energy Statement looks at carbon emission, energy efficient and green issues relating to the application. The report concludes that ‘a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions can be achieved through the successful application of the lean, clean, green energy hierarchy approach incorporating the use of a PV solar system and high efficiency boilers.’ (Planning Statement. Para. 5.48)

‘The site is not located within an area of opportunity for district heating identified by the Council and there is currently no feasible opportunity for connecting to any existing or planned off-site heating networks.’ (Energy Statement.

The applicant proposes:

  • the use of Localised Heating, low energy lighting and intelligent energy management processes and systems to reduce equipment energy consumption.
  • that onsite renewable energy in the form of a 32kWp flat roof mounted Solar PV system is installed on the existing flat roof of the building.
  • that coupling PV with the localised heating, ventilation and lighting system produces renewable heat and light energy.
  • enhanced daylight and lighting controls which dim down and/or switch off when not required;
  • energy efficient luminaires will be specified throughout, specifically LED lighting;
  • mechanical ventilation with heat recovery;
  • reduced heat gains and glare control through installation of fixed internal blinds and suitable solar control glazing specification to reduce the need for mechanical cooling;
  • comprehensive metering strategy interfaced with Building Management System (BMS).

The proposed heating system is a wet radiator system which can be easily attached to a district heating network at a future date by bypassing the boilers on site.

Proposed Renewable Installation

‘The most suitable renewable energy solution for the initial design of the scheme is a localised roof mounted Solar PV system for each dwelling. A 2kWp system supplied to each dwelling and a 10kWp system supplied to the gym will satisfy the Local Authority Planning Core Strategy.’ (Energy Statement. Para 3.3.3)

‘A Renewable Energy Feasibility Report will be produced at the detailed design stage to provide a more in-depth study of the site wide and dwelling energy demand. The Report will give specific recommendations and a detailed strategy of how the Local Authority Planning Core Strategy will be met during the construction phase. It may be determined at that stage that an alternative renewable energy solution is preferred.’

It is estimated that the energy and green measures in combination with Green renewable Solar PV will achieve an 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and a 35% improvement over mandatory target emissions rates. (Energy Statement. Para 3.3.4)

Green Infrastructure Plan

‘A green infrastructure plan will be produced for the development’ to protect and improve the existing biodiversity and geodiversity of the development site…’ However, ‘as the existing building has little to no existing biodiversity or geodiversity and with limited outdoor space for the development of such, the plan will be very limited in scope.’ (Energy Statement. Para 3.3.5)

Questions

  1. Is the increase to 12 flats sufficient contribution to the housing target for Norbury under the Croydon Local Plan? If not what should the maximum number be?
  2. Can the Council negotiate a proportion of flats to be treated as ‘affordable’?
  3. Will the Council refuse the application in the hope that it can persuade the developer to provide additional flats to ensure an ‘affordable’ element?
  4. Given there are four disability car parking spaces, which flats will be especially created for use by future residents with disabilities, and have their space sizes been assessed by disability planning advisers?
  5. How many flats will be subject to the ‘affordable’ housing requirements, and which categories of ‘affordable’ will they be part of?
  6. Given the COVID crisis has highlighted the problems of people living in flats without access to outside amenity space and balconies, can the flats be redesigned to ensure that lunges and kitchens are separate spaces, enabling different activities to take place by different members of a household?
  7. Given the lack of amenity space provided, can the solar panel proposals for the roof be re-designed in order to enable to creation of a roof garden?
  8. Can balconies be provided for the flats on the first and second floor?
  9. Can a green wall be created for part of the side of the building along Fairview Rd from London Rd?
  10. Given the Council’s zero carbon policy what further measures can be undertaken to increase the reduction on carbon emissions and increase the energy efficiency of the building?
  11. Can a Combined Heat & Power facility be provided large enough to be able to offer the supply of electricity to the London Rd shops and flats in the stretch next to the proposed Co-op Local Store, to businesses and flats on the stretch of London Rd towards Stanford Rd, and the housing association properties in Scott Close.
  12. What market research has been carried out into the demand in Norbury for a gym of the type proposed?
  13. Can a wider range of activity and leisure options be offered in the gym?
  14. Is there any evidence that the 24-hour running of gym facilities encourages crime against customers letting themselves in the buildings between 8pm and 8am?
  15. Is there any evidence that problems involved in members gaining access to 24/7 gyms between 8pm and 8am leads to excessive setting off of burglar alarms, the noise of which will be detrimental to residential neighbours?
  16. Given the potential for accidents to members between 8am and 8am, what provision to being made for staff assistance, including first aid?
  17. If the event of the need for access to the emergency services to the building in the event of personal injury to a member while exercising, what system will be used to alert the emergency services and enable them access to the building?
  18. Will the Council insist that a Health and Fitness Operation Note be submitted before the close the public consultation period?

Possible Planning Conditions

As the application is for outline permission the Council will approve a number of conditions requiring the submission of detailed applications of different elements of the building. The Council has a standard bank of relevant conditions on such things as building materials to be used, and a requirement for a Construction Management Plan.

The Construction Management Plan will need to address the parking of construction vehicles and supplies, and any works required to public utility piping and wiring required along Fairview Rd and how this will be accommodated without interfering with the delivery vehicle and customer parking associated with the Co-op Local Store. (*)

The following are possible conditions that would not normally be considered.

(1)    An agreement with the Fire Brigade and the Council’s Building Control setting out agreed fire escape arrangements to be submitted before the start of work on site

(2)    A statement setting out water efficiency measures to be submitted and approved by the Council prior to the start of work on site.

(3)    The Gym shall be operated in accordance with the provisions of a Health and Fitness Operation Note, including how injuries to members between 8pm and 8am will be dealt with, to be submitted and approved before the start on work on site. (*)

(4)    The premises shall be used as a health and fitness centre only and for no other purpose (including any other purpose in the same Use Class). Reason: as a case has been made for permitting this particular use and to enable the local planning authority to control the use of the building. (*)

(5)    No sale of any items (food, beverages, clothing, fashion accessories, shoes, and sporting goods, or books in relation to health, fitness, exercise and nutrition is permitted except related for the purposes and use of the Gym by members, for sale to members. (*)

(*)   Adapted from Report by the Director of Environment & Neighbourhood services Reading Borough Council. Item no. 18. Planning Applications Committee. 3 June 2015.

Planning Documents

You can see all the application documents and submit your comments:

https://publicaccess3.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=Q752WHJLKXM00

The key documents mentioned above  can be downloaded here:

Planning Statement:

20_01236_FUL-PLANNING_STATEMENT-2816608 Co-op

Energy Statement:

20_01236_FUL-ENERGY_STATEMENT-2816624 Coop

The closing date for comments is 25 April

So far one objection has been submitted from 12 Fairview Rd. Unfortunately the Council does not post the text of comments, so the grounds for objection are not known.

The site is in the area covered by Norbury Village Residents Association. Its Committee will consider (by email and phone) what comments to make. Whether or not live in the NVRA area or note please set out your views to this blog posting so they know what you are thinking, or email:

norburyvillagera@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

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