Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cane Hill development

Letter from Jay Ginn:

This housing plan on Green Belt land is flawed but residents concerns are being dismissed. These include the scale, location, environmental impact, extra traffic and pressure on local schools. Can the plan revitalise Coulsdon and provide affordable homes?

The scale (675 homes) is large for a small town. Against Green Belt planning guidance, the development  occupies three times the old hospital’s footprint. This land grab destroys prized chalk grassland, wildlife habitat and the vital water-retaining capacity of undeveloped hillside.

Traffic is often gridlocked in nearby roads and houses near the top of Cane Hill will be remote from Coulsdon, increasing car-dependency. Developers’ claim - ‘no significant impact on congestion’ - is not credible. Existing parking space cannot absorb more cars, while Coulsdon’s public car park is to be replaced by a megastore. Local shops may suffer reduced trade, thwarting the aim of regeneration.

School places are limited and the development, combined with Netherne’s children attending Coulsdon schools, means more local children being excluded from neighbourhood schools.

London’s housing crisis is shared by Croydon. But how will this development help first-time buyers and low income households in overcrowded homes or B&B? Only 25% of Cane Hill homes are designated ‘affordable’. If this means 3-5 times average local income and average Croydon earnings are £29,000pa, will 25% of homes be priced between £87,000-£145,000? Will the remaining 75% be within reach of local people on modest incomes? Or will Cane Hill attract wealthy buyers from far afield while bringing no reduction in house prices or housing need in Croydon? To address these, we must build more social housing for local people at affordable rents, end the Right to Buy and cap private rents.

Meanwhile, Cane Hill plans need a radical rethink.

The letter was published:

from Croydon Advertiser

My Green party colleague Dr Jay Ginn sent in an excellent letter to the Croydon Advertiser regarding the Cane Hill development. A few weeks later the development was put on hold! Of course it would be churlish to attribute the decision to one letter, but Jay's letter was certainly part of the "public outcry". See link below.

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