Planning: one rule for some, another for everyone else
Once the Council made it clear that it was happy for developers to build on some of our open spaces, it was inevitable that developers would try their luck elsewhere.
So we now have Hyde Housing coming forward with proposals to “regenerate” Croydon World of Golf on Long Lane by building 136 homes (there would still be 1.2 hectares of open space - if you want to see the proposals for yourself, there’s an exhibition at Our Lady of the Annunciation, 147 Bingham Road from 4-8pm on Friday 19th February and 10am-3pm on Saturday 20th).
Ashburton’s three Labour councillors are rightly opposing these proposals. Cllr Andrew Rendle says:
“The development is completely wrong for the area”.
They’ll have my support, but they need to explain why it’s wrong to build on green space in their ward, but when the Council proposes building on green space in neighbouring Shirley ward, some of which backs on to the homes of Ashburton residents, they don’t say a word in protest. It seems like it’s one rule for Conservative wards and another for Labour wards. That’s no way to run a council.
And Cllr Rendle may just have landed his boss in a lot of trouble. In an email he sent to a local resident, he says he has “the full support of the [council] leadership” in opposing any application. Regular readers of this blog may remember that when Addington Residents Association wrote to the Leader of the Council asking him to rule out houses being built on the fields at the bottom of Gravel Hill, he replied that he couldn’t prejudge any planning application. Another example of one rule for some, another for everyone else.
If the Leader of the Council continues to behave in this way, enough residents may conclude it is time he was directly elected like the Mayor of London so he can personally be held to account.