After decades of decline, dilapidation and neglect Greenwich Council have listened to locals fed up with the state of parts of Plumstead. I’ve covered the state of parts of the town for months, as has local press and local Facebook groups and groups that have sprung up such as PARC (Plumstead and Abbey Wood regeneration Committee).
Letters have been sent to around 700 building owners in the area around the High Street asking them to improve buildings or face action.
The area certainly needs it. Many buildings are in poor shape with owners and landlords, who have benefited from above inflation property value rises for many years, spending no money on exterior upkeep. A trip last week shows the condition of some buildings:
And these from Twitter user and PARC member @ClaireSE18:
Well done to Greenwich Council for this step forward. It shows just what can be achieved when issues are researched and solutions publicised, people organise and then lobby those in power for change. This took a number of months to get together and hopefully will alleviate many, many years of slide. It CAN happen anywhere if people get together, research and fight using the myriad ways available to them. There will be setbacks along the way but progress will happen.
But this is just the start. The letters have gone out. Some owners have let buildings rot for decades and will possibly ditch the letters and ignore warnings. Penalties such as Section 215 notices, which can be enforced through the courts at little risk to Council’s win or lose, are great tools to ensure owners improve buildings. This need to be followed up to those with no intention of helping improve this long neglected part of London to the detriment of many locals and the town.