I've joined with the three Heathfield Councillors to launch a campaign to protect the green fields at the bottom of Gravel Hill from development.
The fields sit between the Addington Interchange and Huntingfield/Falconwood Road. Developer Persimmon has added the land to its list of potential sites after deciding it has a chance of getting planning permission from our Labour Council.
Persimmon haven’t submitted a planning application yet, but conversations with their PR company ‘SP Broadway’ indicate they are looking at several hundred properties.
The site is Green Belt - myself and the three local councillors Jason Cummings, Margaret Mead and Andy Stranack are all opposed to any development. However any decision would be taken not by them but by Croydon Council’s Planning Committee. With the Council having changed hands in May, Labour have six of the ten members of this committee and so have the final say.
The Addington Residents’ Association has written to the new Leader of the Council, Tony Newman, asking for reassurance that any application would be rejected by the Council. Worryingly he has refused to give such an assurance. Even worse, Sarah Jones, the Labour candidate seeking to defeat me, recently told a Labour meeting “We need to be brave and build in places people might not want us to”.
I’ve been contacted by the local residents’ association who are appalled that there is a developer looking to build housing on these fields behind me that are a part of our precious Green Belt. They’ve contacted Croydon Council and asked for an assurance that the Council will reject any planning application and the Council haven’t given them that assurance.
When an application is submitted, we will need as many as people as possible to formally object. But we don’t want to wait for that to happen. That’s why we’re collecting a petition to show the Council how strongly people feel about protecting our green belt.
Croydon has got a huge amount of brownfield land which we should be using to build the housing we so desperately need. That doesn’t mean we should building over the few remaining green spaces that we’ve got.
If you agree then please get behind my campaign by signing the petition at www.gavinbarwell.com/GreenBeltThreat.