At the last Development Control Committee, residents from the Poets’ Estate made their feelings known about the latest in a string of applications to knock down an attractive house and build four houses in the garden. You can see from the number of residents in the picture, alongside Eric and Paul Kelly, that it isn’t just a few Nimbys complaining.
The application is wrong for a number of reasons. The house is situated on a tight bend. Up to eight cars coming in and out would present a real danger. There would be intolerable disturbance to number 38, next door. The garden often floods as a result of underground culverts that remain from the redirection of a brook that gave Brookfield Avenue its name. Two of the houses would be built directly on the affected area. I wouldn’t fancy buying one.
Finally, this is back garden development of the worst kind. Both main local parties have talked a good game about being against such planning applications. Both parties need to put their money where their mouth is and act.
I spoke to the committee about these problems. They were being asked to make a decision without knowing about the flooding, without any details of the ground levels and so the ridge levels of the housing and without details of protective landscaping. I was able to persuade them that they really cannot take a decision with so many unknowns and they decided to defer the decision until they could clarify these issues. Eric and I will keep local residents informed about progress and the date of the next meeting.
There are a few changes for this corner of Carshalton. Click on the links to see the details.
Firstly a crossing on Westmead Corner is welcome to allow children attending Camden Junior School and people going to the shops on the parade to cross a busy road safely.
Then the two speed humps either side of the railway bridge on Shorts Road are being changed to wider road tables , which are the brick topped speed humps. These are to create convenient crossing points for the school and the alleyway.
The final change, the remodelling of the junction of Alma Road with Shorts Road, has been changed as a result of residents’ concerns. Some have lived on this corner for over thirty years, know the area intimately and have to live with the consequences of any change. Therefore, I am pleased that the change seems to have been received better than the first drawing. As ever, not everyone will get what they want but it is crucial that the Council listen and respond. The main concern was that larger vehicles already use the entrance to St Philomena’s to help manoeuvre around the corner that is made tighter by school parking. If the shopping parade on Carshalton Road is redeveloped as planned, construction workers may be using this route to get to the site so it is important to get this right.
I’ll be going back to those residents to make sure that the Council have got it right this time. In the meantime, you can see the responses to the Consultation by road, here.
STEPS Zone 17 covers the roads to the North East of our ward. You can see the proposals for Cambridge Road and Banstead Road here.
Cross hatched road markings will be painted in the middle of Cambridge Road. I am told that this helps with lane discipline by suggesting that cars should only enter the hatched area if safe to do so. This road is a bus route and has a lot of parked cars by the BP garage.
At the other end, the junction with Banstead Road has been a longstanding problem. STOP markings and a 30mph circle will be painted onto the road surface. In Banstead Road, clearer road signs, indicating the existence of this side turning will replace the signs that only show a bend in the road. In a second phase of work, yellow lines will be considered for this junction. It was proposed that speed bumps were installed in Banstead Road, either side of the junction with Cambridge Road but all three councillors have opposed this.
It’s not often that you see Colston Avenue as clear as this these days. The photo on the right was taken on Saturday lunchtime and shows how different the road is when commuters are not filling the road. Usually cars have to crawl through the middle with drivers surging ahead to fill gaps when one appears. The pinch points become punch points, stretching a hundred yards rather than the short width of the chicane.
Whisper it quietly, but we might have got a resolution. As I reported back in December, the results from the Controlled Parking Zone came back and were quite clearly against but Colston Avenue has not been forgotten. Officers have worked on a plan to remove the vast majority of parking on the road, leaving just the pavement parking and a small number of bays on the road. This will free up the road space to help the flow of cars. The pinch points will remain to ensure that the increased flow does not translate to excessive speed. Consideration has been given to adding signs to prioritise one direction over the other. However, there is a danger that this gives drivers a false sense of security, making them over-confident and lunging for the opening ahead of oncoming vehicles. Traffic flow will be monitored before further consideration is given to this change.
There are two further projects that affect Colston Avenue. A scheme to make walking to school safer for pupils at Camden Junior School has already resulted in a “tactile paving” crossing near the West Street Junction and as part of a wider scheme with the catchy title of STEPS Zone 19, a zebra crossing has been approved to be built on Westmead Corner and Colston Avenue will have a 20mph speed limit.
Colston Avenue has always been something of a pet project of mine. The original traffic calming scheme was pushed through as a political decision by a previous councillor for the area and Leader of the Council against the advice of officers. I’m only too pleased to sign off on a scheme that should correct this long-standing and costly mistake. Residents have asked me to deal with this as a priority for some six years now and I am glad to be able to go back to them with an answer. Having said that, not everyone will get what they want. Some wanted parking permits, others wanted the pinch points removed entirely. At least we have got something that should help. Let’s see how it goes and come back to it if there are any further issues.
I had four consecutive meetings at the Council offices yesterday about a variety of traffic schemes proposed for Carshalton. The results were positive.
Residential roads across the Borough are divided up into areas known as Strategic Traffic & Environmental Problem Studies or STEPS zones for short. STEPS zone 19 includes Salisbury, Blakehall and Carshalton Park Road and the roads around the perimeter of Carshalton Park. It reaches across to Manor Road in Wallington.
All residents received a letter from the Council asking if they considered their road to be a rat-run, whether it should be made into a 20mph zone and if any traffic calming should be considered. 20% of residents replied with a mixed bag of replies. In order to make sense of them, the area was broken down into four bite-size chunks.
Residents around Blakehall Road were split, with Carshalton Park Road identified as the biggest rat-run. However, neither the level of responses or the accident data merited the need for speed bumps etc. I did insist that attention was given to sightlines on the junctions. There are a lot of children that go up to Stanley Park Infants and Juniors along that route. The corner of Blakehall and Salisbury is dreadful with vans and cars blocking the view for turning traffic and the corners near Glebe Road are similar. There are several occasions when traffic is forced into the path of oncoming traffic. I know that parking is getting more difficult in that area having seen more cars in twenty years that I have lived here, but I would be supportive of yellow lines on the corners to ease this problem.
Residents around the Park did not generally see their road as a cut through and so it was easy to decide to leave well alone. The other two smaller areas are not in my ward and were less clear cut. Residents in Grosvenor Avenue and Grosvenor Road were keener on slowing the traffic that speeds up the straight road, though there have been no accidents along Grosvenor Avenue and only one on the kink in Grosvenor Road. Accidents have occured as one might expect, at the junction with Park Lane. The area in Wallington has not been resolved yet as the ward councillors are meeting with officers this week.
Update: View the results broken down by road here.
Councillors on Development Control Committee rejected the application to redevelop the site on the corner of Ruskin Road and Park Lane. Reasons cited were overdevelopment, impact on the highway and substandard amenity. More when I get it.