Shirley Heath – a message from Mayor Perry

Members may not have seen the statement which Mayor Perry issued recently. We reproduce it below

Statement on Addington Golf Club

 Many local people have been concerned by reports of The Addington Golf Club’s aspiration to manage parts of Shirley Heath and Addington Hills and to build a driving range on Council land there. I share those concerns and want to reassure residents that whilst the golf club are entitled to their aspirations, that does not mean that the Council had or has any intention of selling, leasing, or handing the land over.

Transparency and honesty have been a key guiding principle throughout my Administration, and I would like to directly address all concerns raised; many of which have been inaccurate and have caused unnecessary upset in the community.

As Executive Mayor, I hold regular developer sessions which is a normal part of my role. This type of engagement is a common practice that Leaders and Mayors in other authorities also undertake as part of good practice to promote inward investment into the Borough.

These developer sessions are usually held every six weeks with local and national partners, who have ideas or plans to develop or improve Croydon. These are confidential meetings by design, to provide an opportunity for anyone who has such ideas to share them in a safe space and receive feedback. No decisions or commitments are made at these meetings.

Any proposals which advance from this stage must then go through formal and public decision-making processes, including planning if relevant. Senior Council officers from relevant departments have been and will continue to be present at all of these meetings, where we simply listen to projects and provide feedback from both myself as Mayor and officers of the Local Planning Authority.

As part of these developer sessions, I met the golf club owner to discuss their proposals on the 18th of May 2023 and had a site visit on the 17th of August 2023. These meetings were not an endorsement or agreement of the golf club’s plans.

No discussions have taken place since and I have no intention, and never have, of selling, leasing or entering into any other agreement which would give control or use of this Green Belt land to the golf club. These meetings were also not attended by any representatives from the Council’s asset disposal team.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a member of this or any golf club. I regularly update the Register of Interests which include an annual update of my Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and routinely update gifts and hospitality I have received. These can be found on the Council’s website.

For further clarity, I have received no gifts or hospitality from any golf club.

We are London’s greenest borough, and I will always fight to protect our precious green spaces. Since I was elected Executive Mayor, I have proudly overseen the investment in our green and open spaces. Only last week we opened two new children’s playgrounds in the borough’s parks, we have partnered with sporting bodies to upgrade Croydon’s tennis and cricket facilities, invested in improving path infrastructure and restored a Park Ranger to South Norwood Country Park.

I want to reassure residents that the golf club’s aspiration to manage parts of Shirley Heath and Addington Hills and to build a driving range is not happening, and will not happen as long as I am Executive Mayor, as I know how important these spaces are to all of us as Croydon residents.

Mayor Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon