Agenda item

The Croydon Debate

For Council to receive a Public Petition and / or a Member Petition.


One Public Petition has been received. The petition has been verified and is worded as follows:


We the undersigned are asking Jason Perry, the mayor of Croydon, to find a solution for the community so that we can continue to access our Asset of Community Value which is Metropolitan Open Land. We believe that all of Croydon's green spaces should be valued for their social and natural worth.  We want to see Love Lane remain open for public use and for the council to commit to keeping Metropolitan Open Land free from development.


Two Member Petitions have been received. The Petitions have been verified and are worded as follows:


1.    We the undersigned of Ramsey Road, Thornton Heath, CR7 6BX are writing to call on Croydon Council to consider our proposal for new parking restrictions. We are putting forward the following parking restriction times from 09.30 to 15.00. We are also asking that the restrictions would only apply Monday through to Friday. The restrictions that are in place now are too draconian. We have elderly residents on our road who are becoming more and more isolated. We also have a resident that needs home help three-four times throughout the day.


2.    We the undersigned request to have a new pedestrian crossing on Park Hill Road, between Brownlow Road. and Stanhope Road.


The Croydon Debate


Council received one Public Petition on the use and keeping of Metropolitan Open Land free from development.


In response to Mr James Foster, the Lead Petitioner, Mayor Jason Perry, explained that land of Lovely Green was owned by a private individual. The landowner had agreed a license to occupy with the Council, which allowed local residents to set up the community garden on the site whilst it was vacant.


Sadly, the landowner issued legal notice to terminate the license to occupy in May 2023, giving the Council, and Friends of Lovely Lane Green, one month to vacate the land. The Landowner suspended the process in order to investigate any possible way forward to maintain community access and space on the side. But disappointingly, in September 2023, the landowner terminated the license to occupy.  Mayor Perry advised he had written to the landowner and urged him to allow that access for the community and was disappointed that he was unwilling to do so. He had met the Friends of Love Lane Green, and assured them that whilst the Council had to respect the legal ownership of the site, he would continue to support the Friends and Wider Communities Campaign to be able to access Love Lane Green. In the meantime, the Council intended to continue to protect Metropolitan Open Land status from future development and within the Local Plan review coming in the new year, the Council intended to uphold the Metropolitan Open Land status of this land.


Councillor Chris Clark, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration advised that he had visited Love Lane Green in September and the social, health and environmental benefits had shone through he was also disappointed that the petition had become necessary. He argued that the story of Love Line Green showed what could be achieved by working together in partnership across the borough and hoped that a sensible and enduring resolution could be reached as soon as possible.


Councillor Andrew Stranack, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture advised that Croydon had one of the highest number of parks and green spaces of any borough in London that currently worked with nearly 50 friends of group to look after Croydon’s local parks and spaces.  The site of Love Lane was currently designated as Metropolitan Open Land. He stated that the Council was committed to protecting multiple and open land and working with partners and residents and national sporting bodies to invest in our parks and green spaces. The Crime Suburban Design Guide had been withdrawn and the Council was in the process of reviewing and changing the Croydon Local Plan.


Councillor Mike Bonello in speaking to the debate, said that Love Lane Green was an open space that had been enjoyed by the people of Woodside for a period of time. The land that had been protected for the use of the residents of Woodside for centuries was now under threat from development. He asked  Mayor Jason Perry to give the campaign his full support.


In closing the debate, Mayor Jason Perry expressed his thanks to residents for looking after the borough’s green and open spaces and promised the Council would continue to try and restore public access to the site.


Member Petition


Residents of Ramsey Road


Councillor Stuart King, Leader of the Labour Group, introduced the petition  stating that the petitioners did not believe that the current hours and days of operation of the control parking in their road met their needs. He asked if the Cabinet Member could provide an assurance that he would initiate a consultation in line with the request and an undertaking that such a consultation will take place and conclude within twelve months of the date of the petition being received.


The Cabinet Member for Streets and Environment, Councillor Scott Roche, in response stated that as part of the new parking and policy consultation, there would be a review of the operational hours beyond street parking control, which would include the shared use permit payment base and all control parking zones in the borough.


Ramsey Road was within end to permit zone, which currently had an 08:00 a.m. to 08:00 a.m. controlled parking zone. Before the end to permit zone was introduced, residents were given the options and majority of those who responded indicated a preference for the 08:00 a.m. to 08:00 a.m. controls, which were subsequently introduced. Unfortunately, it would be now impractical to change the control of one road, as this was likely to cause confusion and maybe detrimental to residents of Ramsey Road as the road may become congested as visitors and other road users choose to park there to avoid charges. He said that changing the controls of the whole zone was more logical. He would raise the petition with officers and respond accordingly.


Member Petition 2


Councillor Jade Appleton introduced the petition and addressed Council. She explained that Park Hill Road ran directly through her ward, and was a busy road used by many buses, and the incline on the road itself meant that cars often travelled beyond the speed limit.


 She advised that she had contacted various council offices on many occasions to request review of the crossings along this road, in particular for the remarking of the crossing in the midpoint of the road, where there had been several collisions over the years. She advised that more needed to be done as there was a large secondary school, Archbishop Tennyson, on one side of the road and Park Hill Infants and Park Hill Juniors on the other side.


She informed Council that there had been several incidents on the existing crossings, which had affected people from both schools, and it was essential the Council urgently addressed the crossing designs to ensure everyone was safe to travel to school daily. James Cork a resident also addressed Council and called for additional crossing on the road, well as improvement assessment, travel modelling and remarking of the crossings.


In response, the Cabinet Member Councillor for Streets and Environment Councillor ScottRoche, advised that the Council receives several pedestrian crossing requests every year and once received, requests were assessed on individual basis according to the following factors, traffic volume and pedestrian crossing surveys difficulties that pedestrians face crossing a road due to vehicle speeds or traffic volumes and the time they wait before they can cross the road. The personal injury accident records indicated how many accidents occurred that involved pedestrians.


He stated that as this route was used by school children attending Park Hill Infants and Junior School, which implemented a healthy school street in January 2023, the options would be investigated to ensure a safe crossing point at this junction.