UPPER NORWOOD RECREATION GROUND EARTHWORKS
Concerns about new earthworks at Upper Norwood recreation ground on social media have been responded to quickly by Croydon council.
A council spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “Ward councillors were informed last year of the intention to build a protective bund around Upper Norwood recreation ground which is bordered by Eversleigh and Chevening Roads.
“Since 2011, bunds have been installed at a number of sites around the borough, and have been met with positive responses from residents and the respective ward councillors. “The bunds’ primary purpose is to protect council land – and the public facilities – from traveller incursions.
“The main concerns of residents, community groups and friends of groups regarding the bunds related to access issues for pedestrians and vehicles. “Drop-down bollards will be installed at Upper Norwood recreation ground to address those concerns.
“The soil used to construct the bunds is clay type, and what was thought to be asbestos is actually large clumps of clay; there is no asbestos content.”
A Facebook post asked: “Is anybody else concerned about the ongoing earth works to the perimeter of Upper Norwood recreation ground?
“Without any consultation or notification, the council has begun to construct a mound of earth around the entire perimeter of the Rec.
“This is presumably to stop travellers using the site. This seems to be a ‘sledge hammer to crack a nut’ solution to a situation that has occurred three times in the 13 years that we have lived here.
“On each occasion the travellers have only stayed on the site for a week and have moved on with minimal impact on the Rec or surrounding residents.
“I understand that there is a cost to the council in having to enforce this eviction, but would question if this is a proportionate solution.
“The visual impact of this has had a detrimental effect on the conservation area. “From the road level at the top end of Eversley Road the height of the mound has completely block views across the park.
“This is out of keeping with the character of the locality and detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene.
“At the top end of Eversley road, the Rec is regularly used by football teams and the other recreational users accessing the rec and tennis courts. “There is a 200-metre section with no pedestrian cutaways to allow access the Rec.
“This means that users are now forced to clamber over a muddy barrier to access the amenities. “At the moment vehicles can still easily access the Rec from a number of wide paths that open onto the road.
“Presumably these will need to be blocked by bollards or barriers creating further visual impact and access issues.
“It would seem to me that this solution that the council has come up with is disproportionate to the problem both in terms of cost and impact. “It has radically changed the nature of the relationship of the Rec to the street and therefore how users access and perceive the