Welcome to Norbury Watch

I have 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. At the time of posting I represent Norbury Village Residents Association on the  Associations’ Joint Planning Committee, and am a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School.

Over the past two years there have been many issues of concern to residents including:

  • Litter and fly-tipping
  • Street cleaning
  • conversion of offices to residential
  • conversion of large houses to small flats
  • Houses in Multiple occupation
  • Changes to buildings without planning permission
  • Design issues e.g. former Norbury Police Station building and site
  • Run down and empty shops
  • Car parking competition
  • Traffic speeds in side streets
  • The proposed BMX track despite large local opposition
  • The illegal smokng in shishas bars
  • The use of a lot for selling cars next to Norbury Station
  • The run-down of the Norbury and Norbury Hall Parks
  • Planning permissions in the Pollards Hill area which are feared will aggravate water run-off problems already affecting some properties foundations

The five Residents Associations work together through the Love Norbury Partnership which has:

  • a Love Norbury discount card scheme which gives all resident association members’ discount in over 35 local shops
  • a Joint Planning Committee
  • a high street and retail sub-group
  • an events sub-group
  • a green spaces sub-group
  • a community spaces sub-group
  • an environment sub-group
  • the Knitting Norbury Together project

The Associations hold their own general and public meetings and organise social events. They are:

A range of activities are offered by:  local faith groups, Norbury Mums, the allotments society, the British Legion club, Norbury Bowling Club, the Cassandra Learning Centre.

Friends of Norbury Park was established in November 2016.

The three Councillors for the area are: Sherwan Choudury, Shafi Khan, Maggie Mansell

 

Updated 18 April 2017

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Norbury Planning Applications at 20 August

If you decide to make comments please copy to the Love Joint Planning Committee via sean.creighton@btinternet.com

4 Christian Fields

17/03868/GPDO.  Erection of single storey rear extension projecting out 4 metres with a maximum height of 3.74 metres.  (Note 1 below)

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTY579JL0DS00

89 Christian Fields

17/03910/HSE | Erection of two storey rear extension. (Note 1 below)

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OU0NJ7JL0M100

5 Copgate Path,  Flat 1 Norwood Grove Mansion

17/03883/LBC  & 17/03884/FUL.  Alterations to roof to include erection of dormer extension in rear roof  slope

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTYJNBJL0BK00

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTYJFMJL0BK00

This is a listed building and the application contains a heritage statement which provides useful historical background. (Note 1 below)

46 Crescent Way

17/03944/LP.  Erection of gable end roof extension with dormer extension in rear roof slope and rooflights on front roof slope

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OU3KWAJLG7N00

74 Darcy Road

17/04212/GPDO. Erection of single storey rear extension projecting out 4.5 metres with a maximum height of 3.550 metres

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OUTQ87JL0MD00

This is in addition to the previously notified

7/03737/LP. Erection of gable end  roof extension and dormer extension in rear roof slope, and rooflights at front. (Note 2 below)

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTG1W1JL0DQ00

224 Green Lane

17/01308/GPDO. Erection of a single storey rear extension which projects out 3.248 metres from the rear wall of the original property with an eaves height of 2.27 metres and a maximum height of 3 metres . (Note 1 below)

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OMREGSJL0DS00

1497 London Road

17/03975/FUL. Continued use of first floor as 3 studio flats

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OU5OA2JL0MD00

This is a retrospective application for work already carried out without planning permission. The name of the applicant is not given. The agent for the applicant is Yarborough Management in Colliers Wood.

This application raises issues about the way in which some building owners carry out works. and when get caught put in for retrospective planning approval in the hope the Council will approve. If it does not it can taken enforcement action. The application raises issues e.g. potential overdevelopment, the lack of clarity as to waste and cycle storage.

1516 London Rd (Police Station)

17/04075/DISC. Discharge of condition 6 attached to permission 16/02158/P for Alterations and refurbishment of the existing police station to provide 188m2 D1/D2 floorspace on the ground floor and 8 one bedroom flats on first and second floors; erection of three/four storey building at rear comprising 8 three bedroom,5 two bedroom and 1 one bedroom flats; provision of associated landscaping, cycle parking, refuse storage and ancillary works

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OUGUMDJLGWB00

The applicant is the contractor for undertaking the works,  Kuropatwa Ltd, at  Unit 3 Mill lane Trading Estate, Croydon, CR0 4AA.  This application is one of several that will need to be submitted to prove to the Council that it how intends to meet the planning conditions. Work including deliveries of materials on site will be from  8am-6pm Monday to Friday and 8am-1pm on Saturday. Only one delivery vehicle will be able to come at any one time. The contractor has leased a piece of land at the back for use during the building works. The map mentioned is not on the planning register so it is not known how much of the Granville Rd carpark will be used by the contractor. The Joint Planning Committee has requested the map be put on the register.

 68 Melrose Ave

17/03923/FUL. Conversion to form 1 two bedroom and 2 studio flats

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OU23NMJLG5U00

This property is a five  bedroom one (with one room being a tiny box room)  due to a previous approval for a dormer extension which added two extra bedrooms. This means that it falls outside the Council’s policy to prevent the conversion fo 2 and 3 bedroom houses.

The property is in Flood Risk Zones 2 and 3. The Flood Risk statement says “The changes proposed are to the internal layout with no proposed extensions or external alterations, hence the buildings footprint remains the same, therefore it will have no further effect on flooding. The creation of two additional units will have little or no impact on the existing sewer capacity, as the total number of bed rooms/occupants remains the same, total of 5-bedrooms as existing (1 house) and total of 4 bedrooms as proposed (1 x 2-bed flat + 2 x 1-bed flat.’ This is probably not correct as a family has a number of water sharing uses, like dish and clothes washing.

251 Norbury Crescent 

17/03881/GPDO. Erection of single storey rear extension projecting out 5.2 metres with a maximum height of 4 metres . (Note 1)

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTYIYYJL0M100

2 Pollards Hill East

17/03900/HSE for Erection of a double storey side extension and side dormer loft extension

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OU07KAJLG3500

The documents are not on the planning register. The Joint Planning Committee has requested they be loaded up and that the consultation period being re-timetabled to start on the day they are loaded up.

11 Pollards Hill West

17/04108/LP.  Erection of dormer extension on rear and side roof slopes and rooflights in side roof slopes.

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OUNZ2JJLH5N00

This  dormer is over dominant of the existing roof. (See Note 2 below)

17/03515/HSE.  Demolition and erection of single storey rear extension.

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OSYU8QJLMF700

17/03516/HSE. Demolition and erection of single storey rear extension.

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OSYU8WJLMF900

The Design and Access Statement says: ‘The proposed rear extension is sufficiently balanced to not overpower the buildings appearance or scale, and is matching in scale to already approved extensions in this area. The rear facing dormer on the main roof is of a modest scale and the garage roof has been altered as proposed in this area before. All this provides in our view a natural extension to the existing building within its current context and does not impact its setting.’ A look at the proposed dormer suggests the complete opposite and it does not appear to comply with the Council Supplementary Development guidance on dormers.

The Statement says it is outside the section of the area the Environment Agency says is prone to flooding.  There is a useful EA map included in the Statement. It shows it is on the edge and therefore there should be a contribution to minimising surface drainage.

Note 1. Love Norbury Joint Planning Committee water butt recommendation submitted.

Note 2. This application is for a Lawful Development Certificate. This means that the alterations do not require planning permission. If it matches the criteria then the Council has to issue the LDC, but if it does not it can reject it. It can also add a standard set of conditions such as building materials and relationship of dormer with eaves, etc.

 

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Vision for the future of Norbury Park

The Vision event about improvements to Norbury Park run by the Council’s consultants was very successful. At least 110 people of all ages filled in questionnaires and there were many lengthy discussions about the emerging ideas, additional ideas, and the pros and cons of particular ideas. Particular issues that came up in conversations I had with people or I overheard included:

  • the problems of cyclists using the same paths as pedestrians, especially difficult for blind people walking with their dogs
  • the idea of an events area at the London Rd end, raised issues about noise to nearby residents
  • having a farmers’ market regular event
  • the need for public toilets
  • whether more activities should be concentrated where existing ones are based or in areas where there are no nearby residents
  • the poor maintenance and cleaning of the children’s play area, particularly as a result of broken bottles and cigarette ends left by people using the area to drink and chat in the evening
  • the need to keep areas for spontaneous and informal rather than organised activities
  • the conflict between the needs of footballers and the wish for a cricket pitch
  • the value of outdoor gym, and trim trail equipment

The survey will be going up on the Council website.  A local resident who is community worker in another Borough was very critical of the fact that it had been held in August at a time when the use of the park was much lower than during term time, that having the survey on the Council website was not a substitute for another Vision event in September.

Suggestion: the consultants should run another Vision

event at the same time as  the Norbury Park

Community Day on 16 September.

Friends of Norbury Park

The Friends had a stall and a display of their ideas alongside the gazebo and display set up by the consultants.  Several people joined the Friends. If you want to know more about the Friends contact Barbara Cawley, the Secretary, at

fnorpark@outlook.com

Manor Farm Nature Reserve

The Manor Farm information day event on the same day as the Vision event was a useful event in publicising the reserve and the work of the group seeking to undertake conservation and environmental activities there. The space is much larger than it appears to be from the road, so there is plenty of scope for different ways to develop it.

The BMX Track

The BMX track was available under supervision for children and young people to try it out. Many local children came with their parents, as well as members of BMX tracks from other area like Peckham. There were a range of reactions to it during the Vision discussions: those still against it as inappropriate for the park, wrongly sited in the park, its visual dominance, and the misuse being made of it because the fence is not yet in place. Others who had been opposed it accept that it is there and will reserve judgement in the light of how it used/misused, managed, animated and landscaped. It is not as high as the plans seemed to indicate. The lack of noise generated by the users was very noticeable. The Club which will run organised activities on Saturdays will be charging £15 a year to be a member.

The Pavilion

It was clear that many people do not know that the pavilion is being used by Croydon Boxing Club.

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Are Residents Association members activists?

People become activists when they work together to influence political, social, economic or environmental change and decision making. As citizens we have the right,  and some would say obligation to do so, to ensure the continued health of our democracy, itself the product of centuries of activist campaigning.

Activists can be categorised in different groups, such as ‘political activists’ through a political party, ‘community activist’ (e.g. Thornton Heath Action Team), ‘environmental activist’ (e.g. Friends of the Earth). Those who become involved in Residents Associations can be classed as ‘community’, ‘neighbourhood’ or ‘residents’ activists.

The engagement in these forms of activism are political statements, ‘political’ in its broadest sense, not in the narrow ‘party political’ sense.

Activists working together on common issues of concern may have fundamental differences in their ‘party political’ views, and put those differences to one side.

Because it is collective, activism involves compromises between individuals to reach agreement on what to do.

Residents activism covers a wide range of methods: letters/emails to politicians and officials, petitions, objections to planning applications, lobbying to prevent the area deteriorating, reporting infringements of planning conditions, fly-tipping. It also involves encouraging residents to think beyond their own personal or family needs to the wider needs of the area they live in. The social activities that form a part of many residents associations programmes are important in helping people to get to know each other better, though there is always a need to be alert to avoiding seeming to be a clique or closed shop to newcomers – a problems facing most membership organisations.

The main target for influencing change through residents activism in Norbury is the Council, with some issues being directed at Network Rail, Southern Rail and Transport for London.

The campaign to prevent the closure of Norbury Library, or prevent the BMX track in Norbury Park, were  organised collective interventions by residents in the Council’s political decision making processes, regardless of which Party was in control, the former under the Conservatives and the latter under Labour. Similarly the opposition to the expansion of  Paddy Power, against the illegal smoke in the Havanas, etc.

I believe we should proudly state that we are ‘activists’, why we do what we do and how we do it.

Sean Creighton

(Norbury Watch editor)

What is the Purpose of a Residents’ Association?

  • Increase the sense of belonging to the local area and community.
  • Support beneficial and oppose undesirable planning applications.
  • Increase understanding of the needs of different social, ethnic and faith groups and reduce prejudice between them.
  • Increase positive interaction between different groups in the area.
  • Assist in resolving disputes.
  • Support local businesses that offer a good quality of service.
  • Make representations to and discuss with Croydon Council, Network Rail, Southern Railway TfL and the Metropolitan Police to improve services, on traffic management and community safety, future plans, and to take action against breaches of planning, litter, etc.
  • Support beneficial and oppose unacceptable planning applications, including through discussions with applicants.
  • Work with the other Norbury Associations on issues of common concern along London Rd, in  Norbury and Norbury Hall Parks and future of the Library, including through the Love Norbury Partnership with its Joint Planning Committee, the Knitting Norbury Together and  retail group, and its shops discount scheme.
  • Consult with members of the Association and wider residents on local issues.
  • Develop a vision for the area with the other Residents Associations.
  • Liaise with  the Member of Parliament and local Councillors regardless of party politics on local issues.
  • Organise social events and public meetings that help the above.
  • Publicise issues and events happening in the RA area and Norbury.
  • Publicise what the Council and other service providers are doing that will affect Norbury.

 

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Busy day in around Norbury Park Saturday 19 August

This coming Saturday is a busy day in and around Norbury Park.

The Council sponsored Vision event to enable residents and users to comment on what they want to see in the way of improvements is taking place in the Park between noon and 4pm. In addition to the gazebo run by the consultants working on the Vision exercise, Friends of Norbury Park will have a stall. There you can find out more about the group, what it has achieved so far and what its vision is.

Manor Farm Nature Space 2-4pm

Between 2 and 4pm the Manor Farm Nature Space group is holding another information opportunity. The space is diagonally opposite Norbury Ave from the Norbury Manor Girls Business School.

Information Day Manor Farm Nature Space 

The organisers say:

‘Join us on Saturday 19th August 2017 between 2-4pm in this tranquil haven for wildlife

We’re ready to plan conservation and leisure activities at Manor Farm Nature Space

Come in, look around and enjoy this magical place.

Find out about the proposed activities on site.

Meet the team and sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with activities.

Sign up to receive the events diary when it is released.

BMX Track

In the morning in  a provocative action the new  BMX Track will have an open event – provocative because it could marr the Vision event  given that hundreds of residents objected to the track and were ignored by the Council. The Planners have been informed that this event  may be in contravention of the planning approval for the track. A condition was made that it had to submit details of a crime and anti-social behaviour strategy prior to being open for use. The Council team involved with the project have failed to do so. Even though the work on the track had not been completed last week nearby residents have been complaining about anti-social behaviour and motorcyclists using the track late in the evening.

Croydon BMX (6)

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Norbury events & news at 4 August

10 August

 

 

Thursday 10 August. 1.30-3.30pm. Healthier Lifestyles

Session  at Norbury Library. Also 24 August, 10 & 28 September.

Dance

Monday 14, Tuesday 15 & Wednesday 16 August. Norbury Lawn Tennis Club three day tennis training for children starting each day

http://www.norburyparkltc.co.uk/summercamps2017

Saturday 19 August. Noon to 4pm. Norbury Park Vision planning event

https://norburywatchblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/norbury-park-vision-event-19-august

Saturday 19 August. 3-5pm. Manor Farm Nature Reserve information event (*)

Rhioserus

Saturday 2 September. 10.30-11.30am. NGRA Coffee morning

Start of coffee mornings first Saturday of the month hosted by Norbury Green Residents Association at Norbury Library. Come along for a cuppa, meet neighbours, air your views. Subsequent dates: 7 October, 4 November, 9 December, 6 January, 3 February, 3 March and 7 April.

Gent

Tuesday 19 September. Norbury Green Residents Association public meeting (*)

Saturday 23 September. NVRA table top sale (*)

Saturday 30 September. Norbury Clean Up Day (*)

Saturday 21 October. Norbury Green Residents Association Quiz night. (*)

(*) Full details to be announced

Love Norbury Meetings

The Love Norbury partnership of the Residents Associations next Committee meeting is on Wednesday 13 September.  If you have any matters you want raised please contact your Residents Association officers. The Annual General Meeting will either be on Wednesday 4 or 11 October. Membership of the Committee is made up of representatives of the Residents Associations Committees. Love Norbury has a number of sub-groups: Joint Planning, Transport, Retail, Environment. If you want to become more involved speak to your Residents Association officers. The Associations are always looking for new people with ideas and energy to join their Committees as well.

New Planning Applications

4 Christian Fields. 17/03868/GPDO. Erection of single storey rear extension projecting out 4 metres with a maximum height of 3.74 metres

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTY579JL0DS00

74 Darcy Road. 17/03737/LP. Erection of gable end  roof extension and dormer extension in rear roof slope, and rooflights at front

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTG1W1JL0DQ00

251 Norbury Crescent. 17/03881/GPDO. Erection of single storey rear extension projecting out 5.2 metres with a maximum height of 4 metres

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTYIYYJL0M100

2 Pollards Hill East. 
17/03900/HSE. Erection of a double storey side extension and side dormer loft extension

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OU07KAJLG3500

37 Ryecroft Road. 17/03694/FUL for Erection of two storey rear extension and roof extension including one additional dormer extension and one additional roof light.

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OTDWC6JLN0F00

Assembly of God Pentecostal. Planning permission expanding the activities for this church at Unit 7 Norbury Trading Estate (7 Craignish Avenue) has been rejected.  The reasons are:

  • ‘The development would result in the loss of an employment generating land/use and it has not been demonstrated that there is no demand for the existing lawful employment land/use’.
  • ‘The development would harm the amenity of adjoining occupiers through noise disturbance’.
  • ‘It has not been demonstrated that the proposal would not harm the smooth and safe operation of the transport and highway network.’

http://publicaccess2.croydon.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=OLOKN4JLFKR00

The Love Norbury Joint Planning Committee submitted an objection to this application, particularly stressing the loss of employment space.

Crime Statistics 25 July to 1 August

Actual bodily harm (1), common assault (2), criminal damage of vehicle (1), dangerous dog (1),  theft from dwelling (1), theft from motor vehicle (2),  of cycle (3), and of motor vehicle (3),   other criminal damage (1), and other theft (3).

 

 

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Opening up the Brook in Norbury Park – Part 4 – The Options

Development of initial options

The consultants identified opportunities to improve the management of flood risk within the Park and focussed on improving the hydraulic conductivity of the Brook by altering or removing the culvert in which it flows. A new channel could replace the two sharp angles that the culvert currently includes, to enable more efficient flows through the P, and by providing  greater capacity within in the channel help mitigate ‘the area’s typical high intensity, short duration rainfall events.’

‘Any opportunity to restore Norbury Brook should not be considered solely on the basis of flood risk reduction but also on the advantages and justification for the improvement of the habitat, ecology and amenity of the park. Any options for further consideration will need to accommodate these criteria, as communicated in the project’s objectives in Section 1 of this report.’

The consultants key finding was that there was ‘potentially’ an ‘ insignificant ratio of flood damage reduction …. compared with any potential scheme cost’ and would not meet the then current benefit cost ratio of 5:1 required as a minimum. ‘To this end, it is clear that any range of options will need to incorporate features that provide more than just a reduction of flooding benefit to the wider community in order to obtain sufficient funding from other sources.’

The consultants ruled out the option to implement a large flood storage area across Norbury Park because it will:

  • be heavily constrained by the nature of the flows in the Brook
  • be ‘prohibitively expensive’
  • be ‘unlikely to benefit a sufficient number of properties to be economically justifiable.’
  • comprise the provision of a sustainable environmental and amenity improvement to the area.

The consultants therefore recommended that ‘in recognition of the potential for flood storage, that any new channel proposed should include a sufficient cross section that increases the capacity of the brook. Any excavated material should be utilised to provide a bund at the lower western end of the park to ensure flood water is routed back into the channel where possible.’ (p.15)

The Options

1 No active intervention

2 Minimal intervention

3 Remove top section of culvert

4 Replace culvert with new straight channel

5 Replace culvert with new meandering channel (150m short stretch)

6 Replace culvert with new meandering channel (200m medium stretch)

7 Replace culvert with new meandering channel (300m long stretch)

8 Channel improvements in the downstream allotments

9 Creation of a new channel in the upstream allotments

10 Works within the existing channel in the upstream allotments

11 Works to enhance the flood storage capacity of the park

The consultants costed the three options they most favoured: Option 5: £180,000; 6: £165,000; and 7: £195,000.

‘The construction and maintenance costs associated with each option are likely to be within a similar range. The environmental enhancement opportunities are, however, maximised when channel length is increased.’

As ‘Option 7 has the lowest cost per metre of enhanced river’, it ‘provides the greatest opportunities for enhancement (when assessed against the key project objectives) for the lowest proportional expenditure.’

The consultants therefore recommended that Option 7 be adopted as the preferred option.

They also suggested that three of the additional scheme options offered ‘considerable opportunities to deliver the key project objectives’:

  • Option 8: Channel improvements in the downstream allotments
  • Option 10: Works within the existing channel in the upstream allotments
  • Option 11: Works to enhance the flood storage capacity of the park and prevent any increase in flood risk from surface water

They recommended that these Options be considered in addition to 7.

The Preferred Option – No. 7

The consultants explain the advantages of Option 7.

Morphology: ‘The preferred option will consist of a new meandering channel between the downstream end of the allotments and the upstream end of the culvert in the north western corner of the park. The channel will have a multi stage design, with a small low flow channel and a series of low riparian units which will be inundated during periods of higher flow. The channel will meander within the confines of a wider bank line. The channel profile and bank line will be varied and non-uniform along the length of the channel. The channel will have a gravel bed, and, if possible, incorporate natural pool and riffle sequences. This will reflect the channel configuration found in many natural river channels, and provide opportunities for the development of a range of in-channel and riparian habitats.’

Biodiversity: ‘As described above, the preferred option will incorporate a wide variety of morphological conditions. This will allow a range of in-channel and riparian habitats to develop in the river corridor. In addition, this option also provides the opportunity for the establishment of BAP priority reed bed and standing water habitats within the park, potentially in the form of riparian reed fringes and off line ponds.

Amenity: ‘The preferred option will provide an area of open water and improved habitat, which will improve the amenity value of Norbury Park. In addition, the river banks will, in places, be gently profiled in order to promote public interaction with the river channel and encourage “natural play”. Public access across the park will be maintained by the provision of one or more bridges across the new open channel.’

Flood risk: ‘The preferred option will provide a new channel with a capacity at least equal to that of the existing culvert and concrete channel. It will not, therefore, increase flood risk to Norbury Park and surrounding properties. Furthermore, the multi-stage channel design will provide opportunities for additional flood storage within the river corridor.’

Policy delivery: ‘The preferred option will provide opportunities to contribute towards the delivery of London river restoration policies by:

  • Creating a 350m natural river channel (London Plan, South London River Restoration Strategy);
  • Enhancing riparian biodiversity and providing the opportunity for the development of BAP habitats (London Plan, London BAP, London HAPs);
  • Improving the natural environment and encouraging people to explore the recreational value of open water (London Plan, Improving Londoner’s Access to Nature, Creating a Better Thames); and
  • Removing a culvert and helping to reduce flood risk (South London River Restoration Strategy, Thames CFMP, Croydon CFMP).
  • WFD: The preferred option will provide a range of new morphological and habitat conditions. It therefore offers the possibility to improve the ecological potential of Norbury Brook. (p.38)

The additional options

Option 8: ‘Channel improvements in the downstream allotments. These will consist of debris clearance works in the river channel, removal of broken bank protection, and targeted clearance of scrub vegetation. This will improve the morphology of the river and allow natural habitats to develop, without impinging on the adjacent land use.’

Option 10: ‘Works within the existing channel in the upstream allotments. A number of flow deflectors will be installed within the existing channel, to increase flow diversity and allow sediment to build up naturally. This will promote the development of in-channel habitats.’

Option 11: ‘Works to enhance the flood storage capacity of the park. A low bund, with an indicative height of 1 m and width of 10 m will be constructed around the edge of the park, using material excavated during the construction of the new channel. This will help to contain any surface flood waters that leave the confines of the open channel.’ (p. 39)

Benefits

The preferred option will contribute towards a considerable increase in the morphological, biodiversity and amenity value of the park and as such will help to fulfil the following key aims of the grant scheme:

  • Increase the number and diversity of people benefiting from the natural environment;
  • Allow people to learn about the natural environment; and
  • Increase the number of wildlife-rich natural places that are sustainably managed and meet the needs of the local community.  (p. 49)

The culvert in Norbury Park should be replaced with an open, meandering channel. This channel should follow a multi stage design, with a small channel to contain low flows and adjacent riparian units which can become inundated during periods of higher flow. The channel should meander within the confines of a larger bank line.’

As explained in Part 1 the above is a summary of a 2008 study.

Part 1 explains what the Environment Agency is now doing

to progress options towards an implementable scheme.

 

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Opening up the Brook in Norbury Park – Part 3 – The Park

Norbury Park view

Flora and fauna

The consultants assessed the flora and fauna of the Park. It comprises

  • an area of cultivated amenity grassland fringed by mature trees, including a mixture of native and planted species (e.g. silver birch and black poplar).
  • The main east to west footpath is lined by smaller, well-spaced trees
  • several small areas of woodland have been planted on the site, predominantly close to the southern boundary.
  • These stands contain a mixture of native species, including oak hawthorn, ash, field maple and Scots pine.
  • Where grass is not regularly cut, common wild flowers such as common knapweed, cat’s ear and creeping buttercup have colonised the area
  • A variety of common bird species have been observed on the site, including wren, goldfinch, greenfinch, blackbird, carrion crow and woodpigeon.

Few of the fish species in other parts of the Wandle catchment including eel, bullhead, brown trout, dace and barbel’ are unlikely to be present in Norbury Brook, due to the heavily modified nature of the water body.’

Recreation

In the report the Park is described as comprising:

  • open amenity grassland on which informal recreational activities take place
  • a single basketball court at the western edge of the park
  • a sports pavilion on the northern side
  • a small children’s playground in the north eastern edge of the site

‘The park appears to be widely used for dog walking and other informal recreational activities.’

Nature Importance

‘Norbury Park is a designated Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI). This means that it is locally important for nature conservation purposes, and is identified for planning purposes in the local development plan. The site does not currently meet the criteria for designation as a Site of Metropolitan or Borough Importance (SMI or SBI, respectively), but is locally important to people living in the vicinity. The site retains the potential to be designated as an SMI or SBI, if conditions at the site improve sufficiently to warrant re-designation. It is not stated why the site does not reach SBI level, although it is likely that, by creating new habitats, this project could help towards reaching the required status.’ (p.13)

Soils, geology and hydrogeology

The soils in Norbury Park and surrounding areas fall into two broad types:

  • “loamy soils with naturally high groundwater”. These generally wet soils have a low natural fertility
  • “slowly permeable seasonally wet slightly acid but base-rich loamy and clayey soils”. These loamy soils have impeded drainage, and have a moderate natural fertility.

‘The area is underlain by the London Clay formation, which is predominantly composed of fine grained silty clay deposits. The relatively impermeable bedrock is overlain by a layer of more permeable river terrace deposits. Many of the watercourses in the area are spring-fed, indicating groundwater levels are at or very close to the ground surface in some locations.’ ((p.14)

To be continued

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