Three Rivers District Council has designated the Red Cross Centre as a site for future development with 6 dwellings to be built on the land.
This decision will remove a vital, well-used community space, which was built using funds raised directly from Croxley Green residents.
Three Rivers District Council own the land where the Centre is and it is completely their decision to build dwellings there instead. This cannot be allowed to happen.
In 2019 the Parish Council made an offer to take over the Centre to ensure that it remained open and available to Croxley Green residents, community groups and organisations. This has not been accepted.
Croxley Green needs spaces such as this where the community can come together to enable Croxley's great community spirit to thrive and grow.
Three Rivers District Council have not been open and transparent with Croxley Green residents over their plans for the Centre and the decision to mark this site for development is an affront and an insult to our community and must be stopped.
Please sign this petition to help support Croxley Green Parish Council in their efforts to take over the Centre to ensure that it remains open for our community.
Below is an open letter to Croxley Green Councillors from a concerned local resident -
"In the recent local elections, the Croxley Liberal Democrat campaign literature included an explicit pledge that the candidates, and by implication, the party, were committed to ensuring that the Red Cross Centre was preserved for community use. Now, less than three weeks later, we learn that in the draft Three Rivers Local Plan the site has been designated for housing (six dwellings). Given that election pledge I do hope that you and the other Croxley councillors will oppose this.
In the approved Croxley Neighbourhood Plan the Centre is designated for community use – see pages 41/42. According to government guidance this should not be overridden other than in “material circumstances” although these are not defined. There are about 36,000 dwellings in Three Rivers. The government target for new dwellings is, I believe, 620 per year for 15 years i.e. another 9,300 dwellings. In neither context can 6 dwellings be considered “material”.
In 2019 Sarah Bedford, then leader of the Council, said that only 40% - 50% of the target for new dwellings could be met without “harming existing communities”. Sacrificing the Centre for six dwellings is a clear example of such harm.
The Red Cross has been in fundamental breach of the lease covenants, particularly as regards clause 14, for the last fifteen years or so. I know from my own discussions with Red Cross management between 2014 and 2017 that it has no intention of complying with those covenants. It now apparently wishes to terminate the lease early – it has 44 years to run. In those circumstances, I would expect the Red Cross to first effect any repairs necessary to bring the building to an acceptable standard in accordance with clauses 3 and 19 of the lease. Has this been agreed?
For around 40 years until c2005 when the Red Cross started to drastically cut support, the Centre was open six days a week providing a variety of services to the Croxley community, particularly the elderly. It could do so again, though not necessarily limited to the elderly, if under the control of the Parish Council which has offered to take over the building. Why not give the Council the chance?"
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