THE Chipstead residents behind the scrapping of the Coulsdon Masterplan have hailed a "significant victory" while the council says much of the work proposed in the document will still be "used as appropriate".
Richard Wagner, Peter Jarvis and Chipstead Residents' Association forced Croydon Council to axe the planning template for the town last week after threatening a judicial review.
The duo released a statement after the council said it had dropped the document following "a detailed review of the overall nature of the plan, the methodology used in drafting it and recent case law".
The pair said the plan's withdrawal "opens the way" for Chipstead and Coulsdon residents' associations to "unite to achieve a truly effective voice on these matters that affect all our residents."
They added: "Withdrawal by Croydon of the Masterplan that it had lauded so highly is a significant victory for those of us who realised all along that there were serious flaws in the ideas it set out for Coulsdon.
"Working together, we could expect Croydon not only to listen but be more willing to accommodate our legitimate concerns."
Chief among those is how roads will cope with the traffic from the planned 650-homes in Cane Hill and other big developments. They are particularly worried about the unsuitability of Portnalls Road, next to Chipstead, as a main access road onto Cane Hill.
Croydon Council said last week it would reassess traffic plans for Cane Hill including the possibility of another access – something council leader Mike Fisher also promised to look into, at a public meeting in October.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Mr Wagner revealed the withdrawal of the plan had come about fairly quickly after they wrote to the council following consultation with Clive Newberry QC and months of lodging objections.
He said: "We said to Croydon, we give you advice of our intention to go to court and fairly rapidly they said, 'oops'
"It all happened this month."
Mr Wagner added: "The Portnalls Road access came about 200 metres from Chipstead so it is not as though we are trying to interfere in some body else's area – what was proposed would have a very direct impact on us.
"And it was not just Chipstead Residents' Association – Surrey Council, Tandridge and Reigate and Banstead all objected as well."
He added that he would like Portnalls Road to be used only for emergency vehicles, not for general traffic.