Tuesday 18 December 2007

Call In vs CPO

Here is the text of an email I received from Tim Pollard today:

"Dear Mr Frost

Apologies for the delay in replying to your email – it is a rather busy time of year…..

The £180,000 costs referred to in the Croydon Guardian report related to the costs that the Council incurred in relation to the Call-in Inquiry. It has long been public knowledge that the Council had to meet its own costs in relation to the Call-in Inquiry to maintain its independence and impartiality as Local Planning Authority.

The letter from Phillip Goodwin to Andrew Pelling MP was part of a chain of correspondence which related to the costs of the CPO Inquiry and the position in relation to those costs is as stated in that letter and the latest Council question dealing with the issue to which the Croydon Guardian advert is referring, i.e. the costs of the CPO Inquiry are being met by CCRLLP.

For your information, I attach a copy of that Council Question and the Answer given to it.


Cllr Tim Pollard

Here is the text of the attachment that Tim sent:


from Councillor Avril Slipper

RE Could the Cabinet Member please tell me if he is aware of the cost of the Gateway Enquiry, and who is paying the bill?


The final cost to the Council of the Gateway public inquiry is likely to be in the region of £180,000, although I am unable to provide an exact cost at present because all invoices in relation to the inquiry have not yet been provided.

However, the majority of the cost of the inquiry is being met by Central Croydon Regeneration Limited Liability Partnership (CCRLLP), the partnership between Arrowcroft and Frogmore. CCRLLP is meeting the cost of presenting their case at the Call-in inquiry and is also meeting the total cost of the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) inquiry, as under the terms of the Development Agreement the Council has with CCRLLP, the latter is obliged to pay all the Council’s CPO costs.

The Council needed its own QC, legal advice and consultants to present the Council’s case at the Call-in inquiry, which makes up the £180,000 figure referred to above

I then asked Tim what the difference is between the "call in inquiry" and the "CPO inquiry". Here is his answer:


The Inspector heard three separate Inquiries, back to back. One was the call in of the Planning Permission, one was for the CPO itself, and the last was for the stopping up of part of Lansdowne Road. At the call in, the evidence heard related to the technical planning aspects of the scheme and it is broadly similar to any other planning permission inquiry, albeit on a grander scale. It's outcome is the granting (or refusal) of Planning Permission.

The CPO Inquiry tests whether the Council is correct in its desire to CPO the land and evaluates the suggested public good against the requirements of the Circular which outlines the conditions required for a successful CPO. It's outcome is the confirmation (or not) of a CPO.

Although it was the same Inspector and many of the key witnesses and Counsel are the same, the two Inquiries are quite separate, hearing different evidence and were separated by a recess of one week. They could have been held months apart, but it suited all parties to conjoin them.

Cllr Tim Pollard

So there we are, Croydon council have not incurred any costs re the CPO for the arena and the council is determined to maintain its independence and impartiality as a Local Planning Authority.

I would like to venture one very modest observation; had the council not backed the arena there would be no "call in inquiry", and hence the council would not have needed to spend £180K of our money on it.

Thursday 13 December 2007


The Croydon Guardian have picked up on something noted on this site in October, concerning the number of trams to be laid on for people leaving arena events.

As noted, the current "plans" allow for 9,000 people per tram.

Yes, that will work!

As the Guardian says:

"Visitors to the planned arena in Croydon could face 'transport chaos' because of a shortage of trams."

Roger Harding, general manager at Tramtrack, is quoted in the Guardian:

"It is an outline of the sort of thing we might have to do when the arena gets a little closer but we are going to sit down with the management and we are going to agree a final position if the arena is given the go ahead."

In other words, he doesn't think that the arena is going to happen!

Wednesday 5 December 2007

How Very Curious

Now here is a very curious thing.

The Croydon Guardian reports that Croydon Council have incurred legal costs of £180K:

"After an eight-week inquiry into the Gateway scheme Croydon Council has been left with a bill of around £180,000.

This is just the costs the council has to cover, which pays for its legal advice

Looks like we're going to need a few payday loans!

Why is it then that Phillip Goodwin, Croydon Council's Director of Planning and Transportation, wrote to Andrew Pelling on 30 January 2007 and told him:

"Almost all of the Gateway CPO costs will be 'direct' and therefore the responsibility of Arrowcroft...

The only costs the Council has to meet are ongoing internal staffing costs

How very curious!

Why would he say that then?

I have emailed Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for finance, asking him to explain why Croydon council said that there would be no costs of this nature.

Copy of Goodwin's letter:

Sign the petition against the arena via this link on the Number 10 website: Petition