Joint Planning Committee Questions Validity of Council’s Local Plan Responses

Croydon Council consulted on the Local Plan up to 15 October. This will provide the planning framework until 2036. After the Council has reviewed the comments submitted there will be a planning inquiry before an independent Inspector.

The Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee submitted its views, as it had done on the previous consultation stage last autumn/early winter. It has argued that the plan is based on shaky foundations and that in particular the Pollards Hill area needs special protection (see next post). It is also asking the Inspector to assess whether the way the Council responded to the Committee’s previous suggestions is acceptable.

 Shaky Foundations

The JPC considers that the Council’s forward plans for protecting the heritage and characteristics of the Norbury area are based on shaky foundations. Given its difficulties in taking enforcement action it is unable to successfully deliver the Plan’s aspirations with regard to protecting, local areas special characteristics like Pollards Hill, or safeguard current and future Local Heritage Areas. The Council appears to have made a mistake in not re-designating the St. Helen’s LASC as a LHA while continuing to include it unnumbered and named on the map of proposed LHAs. A reply to a request from the Council for clarification was not received in time to submit this representation.’

‘The Council’s proposals in the Local Plan fail to provide a robust set of policies and proposals to redress the past failings and to ensure protection in the future.’

 Questionable Response

‘In many of its responses to the comments and suggested amendments submitted by the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) on the Partial Review, the Council:

(1) rejected several on the grounds that they were not subject to allowable amendment

(2) rejected others with reasons

(3) did not consider accepting points made for amendment by them to the supporting  texts which were open to amendment.

In relation to (1) the JPC accepts that some of its proposed amendments were legitimately rejected although it considers that the points could have been added by the Council into the supporting texts. In relation to other rejections they were not amendments to the printed text in the Partial Review but proposed additions.

The JPC considers that without the additional changes it recommends the Strategic Policies relating to Norbury are too weak to be effective and deliverable and leave open ambiguities as to its intentions.

While the Council rejected the JPC’s proposed amendments to the black text in the Partial Review (options) document it has itself amended Para 7.52 (previous 7.51) by replacing ‘Lower residential growth, giving limited opportunity’ by ‘Sustainable growth of the suburbs with some’, even though it is not a factual update. This appears to undermine the case of the Council to reject amendments which do not seek to change the existing wording, but are additional to it. 

The JPC requests the Inspector to consider whether 

(1) the Council has acted with the rules in rejecting proposed additional amendments and not proposing amending supporting texts to incorporate the points made.

(2) to agree to request the Council to suggest amendments in the final version that the Inspector will be able to recommend approval.

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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