Hear Us Mental Health Talk and AGM – 5 December


Tuesday 5 December -1pm.

Croydon Voluntary Action, 82 London Road, West Croydon, CR0 2TB

To book go to:


Hear Us is Croydon’s Mental Health Service User Group which acts as a coordinating body to facilitate, and ensure service users involvement in, the planning, delivery and monitoring of mental health services in Croydon. Helping to improve the quality of the services commissioned and delivered in Croydon objectives

  1. To relieve the needs of people living in the London Borough of Croydon and surrounding areas who have mental health problems by provision of services and advice
  2. To advance education about mental health for the public benefit in the London borough of Croydon and surrounding areas with the object of creating awareness and reducing the stigma attached to mental health
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History events & news at 21 November

Thursday 23 November 23. 7pm. Dr Edward Wilson: Talk & Exhibition

Talk by Edward Wilson’s great-nephew, Dr David Wilson, launches an exhibition about the explorer’s life and travels.

Monckton Lecture Theatre, Grosvenor Wing, St George’s Hospital Medical School, Tooting

Dr Wilson, who trained at St. George’s Hospital, was the Assistant Surgeon and Zoologist on the Discovery Expedition (1901–04) – a large scale British exploration of the Antarctic regions. He was also Chief Scientist on the Antarctic Terra Nova Expedition (1910-12) where he perished alongside Captain Scott on the return journey from the South Pole in 1912.

Anne Strathie, who’s written two books about the Terra Nova expedition, will also give a talk.

Tickets cost £10 pp and via https://www.stgeorgeshospitalcharityorg.uk/shop/antarctic-exhibition.

Friday 24 to Sunday 26 November. 1pm-5pm. Dr Edward Wilson Exhibition

Grosvenor Wing, St George’s Hospital Medical School, Tooting

Monday 27 November. 7.30pm. ‘Past Present Future: what do we want from our High Street?’

Putney Society Meeting at the Community Church, Werter Road, London SW15 2LL

Putney High Street is the back bone of the community but is both a historic traffic route and the main retail hub.  Plans have come and gone, so the Putney Society Buildings Panel will examine the historical development of the High Street, the current challenges it faces and what plans are proposed by individual developers and agencies. The evening will finish with an open discussion: What do we want from our High Street?

All welcome, non-members as well as Putney Society members [Non-members £3 donation].

7 December – 24th February. World War I’s Hidden Voices Exhibitions

(1) From the Shadows of War and Empire; (2) The Poppy Retake

Manchester Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 5PD

Opening times 9am-8pm Mon-Thurs and 9am-5pm Fri-Sat (Sunday closed)

10 February. World War I’s Hidden Voices Mini-Conference

Talks, workshops, films and discussion – full details to be announced www.metaceptive.net/poppy-retake

Seminar Talks at Institute of Historical Research

Senate House, MaletSt/Russell Square, London, WC1E 7HU

Monday. 27 November. 5.30pm. From Revolution to Labourism?: Orwell and the Left

John Newsinger at Socialist History Seminar

Wednesday 6 December. 5.15pm. The Campaign to Control Warfare: 1853-1914

James Crosland (Liverpool John Moores University) at War, Society And Culture Seminar

Monday 11 December. 5.15pm. The settlement of Islamic migrants in the Spanish Empire during the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Cecilia Tarruell (University of Oxford) at European History 1500-1800 Seminar

Monday 11 December. 5.30. A History of London’s Housing Crisis

Talk by Dave Hill at Socialist History Seminar

Tuesday 12 December. 5.30pm. Mission en route: African American Christian activity in Britain, 1750-1950

David Killingray (School of Advanced Study, University of London) at Christian Missions in Global History Seminar

Thursday 14 December. 5.30pm. Britain and Slavery: the legacies of LBS

Nick Draper (UCL) at Reconfiguring the British Nation, Empire, World 1600-2000 Seminar

The Chartist Demonstration 1848

The final mass Chartist demonstration in 1848 will be celebrated next year by Friends of Kennington Park. Former Kennington, now Croydon, resident Stefan Szczelkun  undertook a lot of work on the history of the Park especially the demonstration. His pamphlet can be purchased at


Stefan’s relevant videos mainly c2006 can be seen at:







MayDay Rooms Archive

MayDay Rooms is an active repository, resource and safe haven for social movements, experimental and marginal cultures and their histories. It is a collectively-run space at 88 Fleet St. It is based on different sources of funding. At the moment it has a considerable deficit. It offers free meeting space to unfunded groups that are involved in radical politically organising and/or promote radical self-education; but request donations.


The Cinema Museum faces closure

The site was formerly Lambeth workhouse, and Charlie Chaplain lived there for some time as a child with his impoverished mother and brother. The museum has previously tried to come to an arrangement to buy the building.

More than 16,000 people have signed a petition asking the NHS Trust to reconsider its sale. You can find out more about the situation in the Evening Standard. Follow this link to help the museum and sign their petition.

The West India Regiments 1795-1820

Tim Lockley, Professor of History and Director of the Humanities Research Centre at the University of Warwick, is currently engaged in a research project on the West India Regiments: black soldiers recruited to fight in the British Army in the Caribbean. He is looking in particular about medicine and race, and how military surgeons helped to fashion a discourse about black bodies.

A Tudor Exit From Europe – The relevance to BREXIT

‘Ultimately, if anything saved England’s commercial economy from decline in the long run, it was colonial products – tobacco, sugar and cotton – produced by African slaves in lands expropriated from the indigenous inhabitants of the new world. For this reason alone, the path which English commerce followed in the early modern period cannot provide a blueprint for the British economy in the post-Brexit years. If 1564 supplies some parallels to 2017, then the subsequent two centuries of commercial history are a poor guide for our own future.’


Songs of Struggle

Discussion inc. of Paul Robeson’s Joe Hill and the Weavers.


Cy Grant Plaque unveiling

Avril Nanton of Avril’s Walks and Talks has posted up a video of the unveiling on You Tube. It includes a minute or so by me.


Books, Journals and Articles

Reduced price books from psbooks.co.uk

Joanna de Groot. Empire and History Writing in Britain c.1750-2012. (Manchester UP. Was £70; now £14.99)

The Letters of Richard Cobden. Vol 3: 1854-1859. Covers Crimean, Persian and Chinese Wars and his visit to the United States. (Oxford UP. Was £127.50; now £19.99)

Sue Wilkes. The Children History Forgot. Young workers of the Industrial Age. (Robert Hale. Was £20; now £9.99)e Letter sof Richard Cobden. Vol 3: 1854-1859. Covers Crimean, Persian and ChinseeWas £70; now £14.99)

  • Black Christians in Spanish Atlantic

Chloe Ireton. “They Are Blacks of the Caste of Black Christians”: Old Christian Black Blood in the Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century Iberian Atlantic 

Hundreds of Castilian free black men and women obtained royal travel licenses to cross the Atlantic in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries as black Old Christians. They settled across the Spanish Indies and developed trades as artisans, traders, sailors, healers, and small business owners, often becoming prominent and wealthy vecinos (residents).


  • The first generations of Africans in the Americas

Article by Doulgas Pice.


  • The War of 1812

Anastasia Garceau. The War of 1812: How is it Remembered?


  • US Civil War and Emancipation

Ed Ayers. The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America (WW Norton, October 2017).


  • The Battle of Hastings

Zareer Masani writes on the trial of Warren Hatsingas. (History Today. November)

  • Black slave hunters

John Broich discusses the sailors who fought against slavery. (History Today. December)

  • Cricket, Curry and cups of tea

Discussion by Shompa Lahiri on how Queen Victoria helped popularise Indian’s cultural influence in Britain. (BBC History. October)

  • The Walker Brothers and Their Legacy

The story of three black soldiers in World War One by Maria Downer and David Gleave. (Amazon. ISBN 9781974250325)

  • Britain at Work November/December newsletter

It’s almost 10 years since the Britain at Work project first began to record worker’s stories. The latest issue contains articles on. industrial action in the colonies in early 1900’s, 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, two interview extracts from the Britain at Work project, and Looking for Palestine by Najla Said (book review by Jan Pollock). The newsletter can be downloaded here:

Britain at Work London newsletter 29

  • Pakistan: A Failed State?

Tahir Kamran discusses how Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan has been usurped by the religious right. (History Today. September)

  • Michael X and the British War on Black Power

Article by Robin Bunce and Paul Field. (BBC History. October)

  • North East History Jubilee

North East Labour History Society has published a Jubilee edition (Vol 48) of its Journal. Articles include: its own history (including the North East Popular Politics Project*), picketing and photography in the Miners’ Strike, conscientious objectors, trade unionism and Methodism, the Yemeni seamen of South Sheilds, Joe Wilson, Harry Clasper, Thomas Wilson, Community Development Projects and Davey Hopper (Durham Miners leader). (*includes a short piece by me.)


Russian Revolution

  • Paul Mason reflects

Among the growing amount of material on the 100th Anniversary of the Russian revolution Paul Mason wrote a piece in the Guardian discussing how many working-class people would have been able to understand the parallels with the French Revolution as the events unfolded. He argues that a  century later, our ignorance may be our downfall.


In an essay critical of Mason David Vessey discusses the ‘fellow travellers’ of the 20s and 30s, like George Bernard Shaw and the Webbs. I think he has misunderstood what Mason has written.


  • Socialist History 52

is a special Revolution Anniversary issue with articles by Hakim Adi on the Revolution, Africa and the Diaspora;  Ronald Grigor Suny on An Empire to End Imperialism, and David Featherstone on Anti-Colonialism and the Contested Spaces of Community Internationalism.


  • Reactions and Impact

Socialist Society Occasional Publication 41 contains articles by Willie Thompson, Francis King, and others including on Lenin, Germany, Italy, Clare Zetkin, women poets, and Sigmund Freud.





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Croydon events & news at 20 November

Poetry anthology


Last few days to book for Call Mr Robeson show Friday 24 November.

You can book at


Papers for the Council meetings listed below can be accessed at


Sundays. 8pm. Ruskin Folk & Blues evenings

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd. £2


Monday 20 November. 6.30pm. Cabinet meeting

Tuesday 21 November. 6.30pm. Scrutiny Health & Social Care Sub-Committee

Wednesday 22 November.  5pm. Rut Blees Luxemburg – Filet

Talk about the artist’s large-scale photographic works concerning the alteration of the city.

For further details see:


Thursday 23 November. 6.30pm. Licensing Sub-committee

Tuesday 28 November. 6pm. Cycle Forum

Tuesday 28 November. 6.30pm. Scrutiny Children & Young People Sub-committee

Papers yet to be added to Council website

Thursday 30 November. 10am-1pm. London Youth ‘Tackling Youth Violence Forum’ meeting

Includes presentation from the Croydon Youth Offending team.

CVRA, 82 London Road, CR0 2TB


Wednesday 30 November. 5pm. Dustin Ericksen –  Naming Rights

Talk by artist on his Euston production and exhibition space which highlights economic and aesthetic contradictions.

‘Not-for-profit spaces as well as small commercial galleries have been affected by the ideological destruction of the welfare state and publicly supported cultural production.’

Part of Kingston School of Art programme

For further details as at 22 November talk.

Thursday 30 November. 5.30pm.Planning Committee

Papers yet to be added to Council website.

Saturday 2 December. Croydon Assembly – cancelled

The Assembly gathering scheduled for this date has been cancelled in favour of a joint public meeting with the National Union of Education on Saturday 24 February. That meeting will discuss the future of Education within the Borough, together with the coming national battle over wage demands for teachers and other public sector workers. NUE has been formed by the merger of the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Meanwhile the Assembly planning group is working on producing a manifesto of what it wants Croydon political parties to commit themselves to in their manifestos for the local elections in May. If you want to take part in the process please contact me: sean.creighton1947@btinetrnet.com

Wednesday 7 December. 5pm. Nils Norman – Dismal Garden

Talk by artist Nils Norman. Part of Kingston School of Art programme. For further details as at 22 November talk.

Wednesday 13 December. 10am-2pm. Meet Croydon gangs team: new tool for practitioners

An event to share crime prevention resources with voluntary groups working with young people. Croydon Gangs Team (part of the Croydon Youth Offending Service) has produced three workshop resources for voluntary and community groups to use looking at county line drug dealing, knife crime, and gangs. Book now at

CVA Resource Centre, 82 London Rd, CR0 2TB


The Whitgift Centre Revised Planning Approval and Debate





20% affordable housing challenges Mayor’s rules:


Tories claim they got Whitgift back on track:


Croydon seeks “urgent” extra funding to prevent families on Universal Credit being made homeless.


Croydon’s unemployed: 8,890 people (including those on Universal Credit)


Norbury Primary judged Good by Ofsted and Outstanding in Early Years

See details at


Five Years of Croydon Citizen



Two pre-fab towers proposed

Developers have applied for permission to build 38 and  44-storey blocks of 546 flats on the former Essex House site.







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Croydon grants new outline approval for Whitgift redevelopment

Although several Councillors expressed reservations about detailed aspects of the revised outline planning application for the Whitgift Centre submitted by the Westfield/Hammerson Croydon Partnership, the Planning Committee unanimously approved it on Tuesday 14 November.

Not enough detail

There was general concern that it was outline with much detail not spelt out. e.g. whether there will be 4 or 5 residential tower blocks, several proposals indicated minimum and maximum parameters. With so much detail yet to be submitted and assessed, the Committee set an important precedent. Instead of the usual practice of leaving the detailed approvals to the Planning Officers, the Committee will consider them.


Among the concerns expressed were the fact that there were no proposals for imaginative play facilities for children, about the idea of a hotel, the low level of ‘affordable’ housing (20% with a mechanism that might see that increase), the need for all employees in the centre to be paid London Living Wage, carbon emissions and air pollution given the number of car parking spaces to be provided, concern about the entry and exits for the retail car parking, reservations expressed by TfL about the strain on the public transport system, more thought needed to protect the views of St Michael’s Church as a heritage asset, the need to develop park and ride, the low level of proposed 3+ bed family homes, and cycling and cycle parking within the scheme.

Statement read to Committee

As one of three members of the public who had exercised their rights to speak to the Committee, I read out a joint statement with Andrew Kennedy and reported the main concern of Mark Samuel about TV etc reception mitigation as he could not attend the meeting. The text is set out below.

One of the points I raised was about the dangers of increased crime in the Town Centre during the construction phase. Steve Yewman of Westfield came up to me afterwards to say that was an important point which they were working on with the police and others.

Section 106 Agreement

As one Councillor said in the discussion ‘The devil is in the detail’. This is particularly true with the Section 106 agreement. It is vital that the Planning Committee sees the draft before it is finalised to satisfy themselves that everything that should be is covered and clearly worded with no ambiguities.


The meeting was webcast which can be seen at


Media Coverage

There was immediate media coverage e.g.






Text of statement

I am speaking on behalf of Andrew Kennedy and Mark Samuel and have taken into account the views of other objectors and other people.

The key issues are whether the details are sound, whether they address a series of major issues properly, and whether the result will be a complex of buildings and useages which will see a considerable improvement to the built environment and the attractiveness of the Town Centre. Two of the major issues  relate to the economic viability of providing reasonably priced homes for those in need, and the nature of the jobs that will be created.

The developer is seeking revised outline permission because it has got over enthusiastic about  buying up extra land. It is offering very little in the way of benefits to the  Town Centre. The location of the  residential units moves footfall, and therefore the focal point of the Town, away from North End onto what is really an urban motorway not a European boulevard.  North End should be our boulevard.

The developer hopes that approval will give it considerable flexible negotiating power with officers over the details with at present no agreed democratic public accountability and scrutiny.

A  much more imaginative approach would include:

(1)    spreading the new homes across the top of the centre in accordance with the historic “Living Over the Shop” element of  the Town Centre’s streets, and produce a lower roof height enabling the proposed towers to be dispensed with.

(2)    creating an extensive public green space on the roof, identified as a top priority by members of the public in the Nudge Factory survey, and which could be looked after by community gardeners.

(3)    providing a major public performance, art and meeting place and fountain e.g. at the junction of Galleria with a North-South route.

(4)    providing a major leisure facility such as a swimming pool and dance studio, as suggested to Westfield in 2012, and which would attract more people  instead of a cinema which will compete with the existing Vue.

(5)    returning the former Allders building into a premier department store.

(6)       reducing conflict between pedestrians and car park traffic on Wellesley Rd, by reconfiguring the car parks and increasing drop-off (and pick up space for cars, taxis and self-driving vehicles) along Wellesley Rd.

(7)    contributing to employing local people and paying them  the London Living Wage.

On behalf of Mark Samuel, an expert in analogue and digital reception who raised the issue on the 2014 scheme in relation to TV mitigation, will the Section 106/CIL agreement provide for the developer to pay the costs of mitigation measures which Mark would argue may have wider impact than the COA, including on the police whose analogue system is closing down.

The demolition and construction process will take the heart out of the Town Centre, with a major psychological impact which could result in insecurity and unrest. Crime could increase, or worse. The Partnership should contribute to the cost of policing and supporting  victims of crime through Section 106, CIL and planning conditions.

Finally under common law Committee members have to have open minds in considering applications. Your pre-existing party grouping support for the principle of this application should not pre-determine how you vote. Nor is the advice given by the officer about time constraints relevant. In deciding how to vote I have set out in my email to you three detailed options of rejection, deferment with some suggested conditions and approval with reserved matters being considered by this Committee. I welcome the Chair’s statement on this.






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Croydon Planning Committee has 3 options re-Whitgift Centre application


It seems to me that the Planning Committee has three options re-taking decisions on the Westfield/Hammerson revised outline planning application.

Option 1

To refuse the application because the developer has had plenty of time to prepare a much more detailed planning application which would leave less matters to be dealt with as reserved matters, and because:

(1)      it does not make a significant contribution to meeting the Borough’s housing needs which is both affordable akin to social housing and secure in terms of length of tenure

(2)      it is premature as the developer has not completed discussions with the GLA in relation to viability matters and the requirements of the now adopted Affordable Housing and Viability SPG 2017)

(3)      the applicant will need to set out  the proportion of affordable housing and allow it to be interrogated

(4)      in order to contribute to meeting the provision of 3+-bedroom homes as required by Council policy the applicant has failed to offer off site provision of social rented family housing

(5)      it is inappropriate to leave the mix of bedrooms to be dealt with as a reserved matter

(6)      the proposed tower blocks are unacceptable as a form of housing when the units could be built across the top of the shopping centre (see Note 1)

(7)      the tower blocks are too close together and their height will make it difficult for access by the Fire Brigade to upper stories in the event of fire.

(8)      the failure to publicly summarise the viability assessment to show how it why it cannot offer more than 20% affordable (especially since 60% of this is at 80% market rent and 40% at London Living Rents ( based on 30% average incomes)

(9)      the provision of the option for a hotel means that the development will not maximise its potential for contributing to housing in the COA

(10)    it does not safeguard the setting of St Michael’s Church

(11)    there is no detailed commitment to participate in the Council job brokerage service

(12)    it does not contain a commitment that all employers involved in the development of the scheme and renting or leasing units in the completed scheme will be required to comply with the Council’s London Living Wage policy

(13)    it does not commit to ensuring visible active street frontages above the ground floor (see Note 2)

(14)    it fails to provide adequate external amenity space for residents

(15)    it fails to specify an adequate amount of flexible community space both within the Centre for the wider community, and within  the residential blocks for residents

(16)    it fails to provide adequate external play space for children in family accommodation

(17)    the proposed level of car club parking provision is too small for the potential number of residents who might wish to have use of  a vehicle

(18)    there is no provision for residents visitors car parking needs

(19)    there is no provision of free car parking for doctors, nurses and carers visiting residents

(20)    there is no taxi provision in or immediately next to the scheme requiring Centre users and residents to cross Wellesley Rd to the taxi rank in Dingwell Rd

(21)    there is inadequate details with regard to accessibility for Centre users and residents using wheelchairs.

(22)    it has failed to amend the design of the stairs at Poplar Walk. (Officer report para 6.39)

(23)    it has failed to give consideration to ideas put to Westfield in the past that to incorporate a swimming pool, a gymnasium and a sprung-floored dance hall which could be used recreational dancing, pop concerts, discos or “strictly come dancing” events.

Option 2

To defer approval to enable further discussions on the following matters.

(1)      Consideration of the implications for the outcome of the discussions with the GLA in relation to viability matters and the requirements of the now adopted Affordable Housing and Viability SPG 2017.

(2)      A redesign of the residential element to spread the units across the top of the shopping centre so  that the proposed residential towers can be taken out of the scheme, which would also assist in the safeguarding of the setting of St Michael’s Church (see Note 1).

(3)      Bearing in mind the uncertainties about their future retail unit plans to seek legally binding commitments from Marks & Spencer  and John Lewis that they will sign up to rent the proposed Department stores without which the retail attraction of the new shopping centre will be considerably reduced.

(4)      The allocation of the rented units to the Council and its partners to ensure that lettings are made to those in need from the homelessness, housing waiting and transfer lists.

(5)      More detailed impact assessments of the revised scheme on the Town Centre bearing in mind the view of the Inspector in his report on the CPO Inquiry (para 7.18 – see Note 3)

(6)      An assessment from Thames Water on (i) the water resource needs of the scheme and how they are to/should be met; (ii) the implications of the scheme for (a) the surface water drainage and (b) sewerage systems.

(7)      An assessment by UK Power (i) about the estimated energy consumption of the scheme, the need for more supply infrastructure, (ii) the maximisation of energy generation on the site, including the use of solar panels, and (iii) the energy that will be required to supply the tower blocks (inc. pumping water up them) and the residential units if spread across the top of the shopping centre.

(8)      An assessment of the conflicts in vehicle movements between the car park, and deliveries to the residential units (a)   in the proposed tower blocks and (b) if the residential units are spread across the top of the shopping centre (see Note 4).

(9)      An air quality assessment of the number of (a) cars that are expected to seek to park in the Centre car park, (b) the extra bus transport to be provided, and (c) the vehicle deliveries to the residential units both in (i) the proposed tower blocks, and (ii) the units if spread across the top of the centre.

(10)    Detailed proposals for visible active street frontages above the ground floor (See Note 2)

(11)    Non-use of panelised metal materials on exteriors of the buildings.

(12)    Any pre-cast concrete surfaces must not be in grey slab form.

Option 3

To approve the application on the following basis.

(1)    A special sub-committee held in public be established to consider all applications dealing with reserved matters so that Councillors are satisfied that the conditions on reserved matters are properly scrutinised and enables the public to comment to it.

(2)      The option for student accommodation be retained and for a hotel to be deleted. (See Note 2)

(3)      Submission by the applicant of  plans for the off-site provision of social family family housing.

(4)      A legally binding commitment by the applicant to participate in the Council job brokerage service.

(5)      A legally binding commitment by the applicant to will include in its contracts and agreements with employers involved in the construction of the scheme and those renting or leasing units in the completed Centre  to comply with the Council’s London Living Wage policy.

(6)      Matters discussed in  Options 1 and 2.

Note 1. Spreading the units across the shopping centre

If the residential units are to be spread across the top of the shopping centre instead of in the proposed tower blocks then the complex could be built in one phase.

Such a solution would spread residents over a wider area of the site reducing some of the potential conflicts over access and means of transport.

It would ensure a much higher footfall in the public walkway areas of North End and the Galleria especially late at night. It would also encourage more interaction by residents with the facilities in the new Centre as opposed to their being concentrated on the edge largely overlooking Wellesley Rd, and interacting more with the facilities (than those in the Centre) on that side of the road as they return from work by tram and bus and from East and West Croydon Stations.

Particularly in the early days in which new occupiers will move in when the residential blocks (if approved) are complete, is there a danger of the build up of queuing and what additional impact could this have on Wellesley Rd if queues are building up for access for retail and leisure?

If the residential tower blocks are approved how many lifts and what sizes are envisaged to maximise speed of deliveries and minimise temporary vehicle parking?

Note 2. Visible active street frontages above ground floor level

The issue of how retained frontages should be dealt with was subject to discussion in the report of the Inspector of the Whitgift Centre CPO Inquiry.

In para. 7.14 he states ‘I agree entirely that it is imperative for the environmental well-being of the area that the detailed design of the Scheme does not repeat errors that have been perpetrated in the past, particularly around the treatment of retained buildings and facades.’

His report also contains further discussion in paras. 3.109-3.113. In para. 6.3 he highlights: ‘A plea was made for the Scheme to exhibit a better, more sympathetic approach to the existing buildings to be retained as part of it.’

The report to the Planning Committee does not appear to contain sections discussing whether:

(1)      the proposed treatment of the facades meets the potential hinted at by the Inspector in para. 6.3 of his report.

(2)      the application avoids the past errors, particularly around the treatment of retained buildings and facades, referred to by the Inspector.

Allders frontage – Heritage Statement (p. 72-9)

It is unclear to what extent the application is bringing the whole front of the Allders building back to life, avoiding creating a partially dead façade like the Grants Building upper floors. Each floor should have uses at the frontage that people will be able to see when they look through the ground and first floor windows, and look up to the higher windows. Similarly people should be able to look out of the windows on each floor. This appears to be possible given the Design Guidelines Section 2.3.1 states: either ‘Clear glazing to be reinstated, revealing illuminated shop window displays behind;’ or ‘New glazing to be installed that relates to the proportions of the existing fenestration. (No curtain wall systems to be used).’ The first alternative makes it clear that the first and second floors will be visually live, but the second does not.

Note 3. Impact on Town Centre
The CPO Inquiry Inspector stated:

‘7.18 I can appreciate that if the Scheme proceeds, some people will find that the changed environment created is not to their taste. However, it seems to me that the forum for a philosophical debate about the future of Croydon town centre was through the evolution of policy, in the FALP, the LP(SP) and the OAPF. That debate has already taken place. Similarly, if the Scheme was felt to be wanting in terms of the impact it would have on the character of the town centre, then the time for that discussion was when the application for outline planning permission was under consideration. That opportunity has passed, and outline planning permission has been granted for the Scheme. The policy background has been arrived at in a proper, transparent fashion and outline permission was granted largely because the Scheme accorded with that policy background. Indeed, the applicants consulted widely on the Scheme and the responses were, in the main positive.’

The revised application provides a new opportunity to consider the changes to the environment especially as it now proposes the demolition of the Marks & Spencer building, Green Park office block and the building of residential tower blocks.

Is the Committee satisfied that the impact of the revised scheme will be more or less beneficial to the character of the environment on the Town Centre, especially given the proposed concentration of the residential tower blocks at the West Croydon end of the site.

Note 4. Traffic and Air Pollution

Q1. Given the queues that can develop to gain access into the existing car parks what is the estimated likelihood of queues developing to get into and leave a much large single car park?
Q2. What effect could queuing have on traffic flow along Wellesley Rd?

Q3. What effect will this large scale increase in cars, particularly those coming from Kent, Surrey and Sussex, have on the road network in the southern part of the Borough and through Fiveways?
Q4. Have the 2013 ‘modelling’ estimates been updated to include this extra traffic (generated by all the new schemes in the Town Centre) , which will also be held up in the reduced lanes by pedestrian crossings and new proposed entry from the north to be in Wellesley Road instead of Poplar Walk?

Q5. Will the many bus routes using Wellesley Road on each side get priority, creating more delay for vehicles through the underpass?

Note 5. Benefits of student accommodation

The provision of student residential accommodation has several advantages, including:

(a)      providing an alternative to family housing units if the proposed towers are approved bearing in mind that tower blocks are not the best environments for children to grow up in.

(b)      decreasing the pressure on traditional homes being let to students which results in a loss of family sized homes with gardens which are more suitable for children to grow up in.

(c)      A workforce for the businesses across the whole Town Centre.

Sean Creighton

13 November 2017

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Remembering the African and Caribbean dead in Britain’s Wars


Wreaths 1

Jak Beula of Nubian Jak Community Trust and the wreaths

On Sunday 12 November Nubian Jak Community organised a wreath laying ceremony in Brixton’s Windrush Square where its African and Caribbean War Memorial was erected on 22 June (Windrush Day).

Memorial drummers

Drummers performing 


Neil Flanigan and Tulls grnad nieceNeil Flanigan (West Indian WW2  RAF)

and Nairobi Thompson , Walter’s Tull’s grand-niece

White poppy reef

The remembrance event was followed by tea and coffee at Black Cultural Archives and the launch of the book Remembered in Memoriam at the Brixton Library.

Rememebred book

Sections deal with the two World Wars, the British West India Regiment, African Contingents, Memories of Service, Women in Service,  and Civil Rights.

Contributors include: Stephen Bourne, Margate Busby, Gus John, David Killingray, S. I. Martin, Onyeka Nubia, Charlie Phillips, Marika Sherwood, John Siblon, Esther Stanford-Xosei, Arthur Torrington, Patrick Vernon and Tony Warner.

Further details of the Memorial can be seen at


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Nubian Jak unveils plaque to Cy Grant on Armistice Remembrance Day

Cy Grant Plaque

On Saturday 11 November Nubian Jak Community and the Cy Grant Trusts Trust unveiled a plaque to Cy Grant on the house where he lived in Jacksons Lane, Highgate. The day was appropriate because Cy had been an RAF navigator in the Second World War, whose plane was shot down. He was a prisoner of war for two years. Cy was from Guyana.



Jak Beula of Nubian Jak Community Trust


Gus John leads the African libation ritual


Margaret Busby, co- founder Alison & Busby publishers


Peter Ramrayka, Chair, City & Central London Branch

Royal Air Forces Association


Mayor Stephen Mann, Haringey Council


Catherine West, Labour MP Hornsey & Wood Green

I had the honour of being asked to say a few words.

cy grant 1


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