From The Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Abbey Wood, Greenwich borough

Greenwich Council fail to win external funding for park improvements

Abbey Wood park - taken summer 2018

Greenwich Council have failed to secure almost £680k from the National Lottery Fund and National Trust for park improvements after bids were rejected.

With just 0.3% of Section 106 income from developers allocated to parks and open space last year this puts many park improvements on ice – unless Greenwich change tack and distribute S106 and CIL in a more balanced way aside from overwhelmingly heading to GLLaB.

Plumstead park

The council had sought £679,267 for “refurbishment and conversion for commercial/social use of 4 redundant, semi-derelict former park public toilets, at Bostall Gardens, Maryon Wilson Park, Queenscroft Park and St. Alfege Park.”

According to the report: “Unfortunately, we have been notified that the scheme was
oversubscribed and we have not been selected to be awarded funding. This scheme is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Trust.”.

Crumbling public park on Abbey Wood/Plumstead border.

With tens of million flowing in annually from Section 106, Community Infrastructure Levy and New Homes Bonus cash there certainly is money to work on improving open space and parks. And with public health apparently a council priority why are so many overlooked?

Abbey Wood scheme. Much income but little to be spent in local area

Better parks could also play a key role in reducing youth violence.

In recent weeks people in two parts of the borough have been told there is no funds for parks. In Charlton people were told there’s no cash for lights at the skate park and in Abbey Wood people were told there is no money to improve run down parks. Both are in areas with extremely substantial amounts of S106 and CIL income which have been allocated to GLLaB – with little to nothing for the local area.


In recent days (well, for many, many months and even years) many stories I’ve researched and written pop up on the NewsShopper site shortly afterwards. Let’s see if this does…

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6 Comments

  1. AKC

    What needs to be established is who negotiates the section 106. I don’t think the developer will have much issue with how the monies are divided (I could be incorrect ) but someone at Greenwich is making that decision and getting it very wrong! There needs to be some sort of public consultation about how these agreements are negotiated and some transparency /explanation as to the current thinking !

    • fromthemurkydepths

      There was consultation but even I, who looks for this stuff, found it very hard to find. Was hardly splashed over Greenwich Time. It was years ago mind so they could do it again

      • AKC

        So did they explain in the consultation how they think the s106 money should be divided and consult with the public on their thoughts?

        It seems Greenwich is not short of s106 funds but it limits itself on what it agrees it will spend it on. Who is accountable for these decisions?

  2. anonymous201486

    The council coffers are stuffed with s106 receipts yet Greenwich has gone cap in hand to the National lottery fund. Is there really no accountability in the town hall?

  3. Jim

    what RBG needs to look at is the incredulous wastage of monies & resources over the past couple of years – botched works around Abbey Wood that needed re-doing more than once – Wilton Rd pavement surfaces, Abbey Terr/Grove retarmacing, Blithdale Rd metal fence removal, plus £90k+ spent on 4 ‘super streeting cleaning machines’, at least £40k on the new town sign in Eltham, plethora of road names replaced with the rbg name and royal crest, Yet rbg are not forthcoming when questioned about the costs involved with all of this, and begin to ‘consult’ with residents over their future spending plans

    • fromthemurkydepths

      Some of those are decent upgrades and nothing wrong with cleaning machines if used. The big wastes – such as bodging housing block upgrade in Woolwich cost vastly more at £1m, yet despite covering it on the site gets much less attention.

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