On many an occasion people will grumble about the divide between the Royal Arsenal site in Woolwich and the town centre.
And whilst the divide is real – the physical barrier has reduced over time and the wall being listed prevents a lot more being done in the town centre.
Yet head a little bit east and a real divide is in evidence. This is at the border between Woolwich and Thamesmead.
On either side of the wall there are new build developments constructed in recent years. There’s even a road either side of a big, impassable wall that is just begging to be joined – if not for cars then at least for pedestrians.
Yet a big wall stops it. I don’t think listing can be a reason given for the wall given it’s clearly not original.
Erebus Derive is the Thamesmead side and Armstrong Road the Woolwich side.
In recent weeks a story in Oxford made the national press. A similar wall separated two areas for many years from 1934 to 1953 to separate a “slum” area from a wealthier development.
It was eventually removed in 1959 after using compulsory purchase powers.
Yet Oxford Council had just laid new tarmac on the wealthier part of the street…stopping where the boundary used to be.
I had to chuckle. In this part of the world it isn’t just tarmac but physical divides that still exist. How did this ever get through planning?