This application was deferred at a previous meeting.
Next up is a block of flats on Norman Road in Greenwich, which was covered here.
Unfortunately it appears none of the money coming in via Section 106 or Community Infrastructure Levy funds will again go towards improve the crumbling and dangerous areas around the Thornham Street estate.
I worry that the forthcoming Woolwich Cultural Quarter, which does sound very promising, will be funded mainly (or entirely) via internal funds alone utilising cash such as those coming in from big developments meaning public space on estates avoid investment.
Many councils use some internal funds to leverage large amount of external funds through external fund bids and not solely internal funds, so locals aren’t picking up all costs and therefore there’s more money to spend on other important issues, such as estate improvement. And no, not just building work as seen at Barnfield Estate, where public areas are in terrible state a year after refurbishment work “completed”.
Greenwich Council have had an insular mindset for many years whereby they often don’t chase external funds and instead use internal funds alone on projects – the library in Plumstead is one such example – and so areas on estates, for example, are falling apart as money is sent to pet projects.
Yes, in an ideal world central government would help fund public space improvements but in reality it’s not happening so deal with the reality as it is. Use external funding streams to a far greater degree for areas such as the Cultural Quarter and library work (the Mayor’s £70 million Growth Fund could cut the cost in half for example) which frees up more Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy funds to improve local areas in dire need.
Where’s money going?
The Thornham Street estate has been almost entirely surrounded by numerous new builds and yet public areas are crumbling away. A massive divide between those with wealth and those without is evident here. That Greenwich Council have not bothered to use any of the millions that have come into their coffers over the past five years from surrounding developments is shameful.
The extent of work has been repairing a section of six foot wall that had developed a huge crack from top to bottom – and that took two years of residents contacting them. There’s similar cracks on the wall elsewhere now and in the area.
Also in the area, and before the Planning Board next week, is yet another block covered a few days ago in Deptford on Creek Road.