Save our Chalk Grasslands! Save Wontford Road Green from Croydon Council Development!

Save our Chalk Grasslands! Save Wontford Road Green from Croydon Council Development!

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Nicola Vincent started this petition to Steve O'Connell (Croydon Council) and

Croydon Council’s ‘Habitat Action Plan’ states that their aim is to conserve, protect and restore Croydon’s chalk grasslands. 

Yet there are plans to build new homes on Wontford Road Green, in the London Borough of Croydon, which is just that, chalk grassland.

Being one of the most endangered habitats in Britain.

Croydon Council also state, in their ‘Habitat Action Plan’, that meadow and other species-rich grasslands now cover less than 1% of the UK. They state they are an important home for pollinators also helping to prevent floods and store carbon.

When left to grow, just before the grass is cut by Croydon Council, there is a wide variety of flora and fauna that has been observed and recorded on this site. Including: oxe-eye daises, field scabious, hoary plantain, yarrow, red clover, bird’s foot trefoil, bladder campion, wild basil, lesser knapweed, common dog violet and swathes of meadow buttercups.

The area is currently home to some protected wildlife species including: bats (which clearly feed on the rich supply of invertebrates), badgers and slow worms. We also have roe deer and tawny owls that you can hear at night. There have been sightings of the Jersey Tiger moth (nationally scarce) and Chalkhill Blue butterfly (flagship species ‘Habitat Action Plan’).

The neighbouring gardens are home to an even more diverse range of flora and fauna (also recorded and all self sown), such as: wild marjoram and the pyramidal orchid (both listed in the ‘Habitat Action Plan’ as flagship species). There are also: wild primroses, common ragwort, evening primrose, cowslip, wild teasel, salad burnet, spear thistle, red valerian, ribwort plantain, scarlet pimpernel, wild strawberry, field pansy, perforate st john’s wort and that’s not all.

The plans to build are not only a threat to the natural environment but will also have a negative impact on the local community. The proposed plans of 9 houses and a block of flats 4 storeys high, are totally out of keeping with the area. You can see the plans here:

Without a doubt these new homes would invade privacy, cause parking congestion, noise and light pollution and add to the risk of flooding that already occurs with the increasing amount of flash floods.

The development would absolutely disturb the special wildlife of this area, as the ‘Brick by Brick’ timeline states that building work would take approximately a year and a half.

The green was nominated back in July 2019 as a ‘Local Green Space’ with around 200 signatures. However, very soon after our entry, Croydon Council’s in-house development company ‘Brick by Brick’, delivered leaflets informing the surrounding neighbourhood that they had plans to build on it. The reviews for our nomination won’t occur until 2021. Our voice is being totally ignored.

Unfortunately, the UK commitment to halt overall loss of biodiversity by 2020, in line with the European Biodiversity Strategy and UN Aichi targets, is being passed down to local authorities to implement, mainly through planning policy. 

The government encourage local authorities to look at brownfield sites and empty properties that are not being used to create new homes, in order to tackle Britain’s housing crisis. This green is a natural beauty spot, it’s astonishing it should even be considered for development.

Please support us in our plea to protect this important piece of chalk grassland from development, for the future of our environment, generations of wildlife and our own population to come.

We have a deadline, time is short. The plans are due to be put before the Council’s planning committee in early Feb 2020 (no finalised date as of yet).

We ask Croydon Council to: 

a) retract their plans for development on Wontford Road Green. 

b) honour our ‘Local Green Space’ nomination. Giving it protection against development and to conserve it for the importance of it’s biodiversity.

c) work with a voluntary group to return it back to it’s full ecological potential.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!