A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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Opposing Labour's plans for intensification zones in Shirley and Forestdale and to build on the Green Belt/Metropolitan Open Land
22/05/2017 15:55:00

One of the key issues in this election is where we build the homes we so desperately need. At the moment, our Labour Council is in the process of updating its planning policies, collectively known as the Croydon Local Plan, which set out where and what you can build and where you can't build. There's a lot in the Plan that I agree with, but there are several things I think they've got wrong.

First, they're proposing to take land around Shirley Oaks Village out of what's known as 'Metropolitan Open Land' and allow some of to be built on. That's a mistake - we should be protecting our remaining precious green spaces.

Second, they're proposing to take land to the west of Timebridge Community Centre out of the Green Belt and build a secondary school on it. Again this is a mistake - there's no shortage of secondary school places in that part of the borough.

Third, they're proposing to designate the area around Shirley Library, the area around the parade of shops on Shirley Road opposite Trinity School and parts of Forestdale as 'intensification zones'. What that means is that developers will be able to buy up homes, knock them down and replace them with four-storey blocks of flats. This is another mistake - it would completely change the character of the area.

Finally, they're proposing to allow tall buildings to be built in the centre of Croydon. I've no problem with that - buildings homes there will allow us to protect our precious green spaces. But the policy should say that the tallest buildings should be right in the centre of the town and as you approach the two-storey homes on the edge of the town centre building height should reduce.

I've worked with local residents to try to get the Council to change its plans and this morning I was at Bernard Weatherill House giving evidence to the independent inspector who will decide whether or not the Council's Plan is sound.

I think this is one of the really important qualities you need in a Member of Parliament. When the Council gets something wrong, is your MP prepared to work with local residents to change their mind? That's what I've done on this issue and I took exactly the same approach when the Council was Conservative-run. Cpmpare that to Jeremy Corbyn's candidate in this election, who won't say a word against her Labour colleagues on Croydon Council. If she's not prepared to stand up for local people, she's not the right person to represent us.

If you agree with me that we should be protecting precious our green spaces, if you agree that we shouldn't be knocking down two-storey houses and replacing them with four-storey blocks of flats completing changing the character of parts of Croydon, then I hope I can count on your support on 8th June to carry on the work I'm doing.

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Gavin Barwell, 133 Wickham Road, CR0 8TE, Tel  020 8663 8741      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG