Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Crayford

New Crayford flats near completion

A modest block of flats near Crayford station is almost complete and waiting for the first residents through the front door.

It’s a small block but indicative of the potential of decent in-fill. This building wont win any awards but externally is a long way from the nadir of blocks built in the ’90s and 2000s.

Crayford – looking towards flats from retail park

Back then tiny square windows were common unlike full size here allowing much natural light in. The brickwork detailing is far better than the “throw it and see what sticks” approach of many blocks over the prior two decades.

Tarmac everywhere

Retail parks

Crayford itself is a model on how to ruin a traditional high street and blight a town. Walking through the place shows a down at heel shopping street blighted by a one-way system and vast retail park.

Courtesy Google

The retail park is a site prime for comprehensive mixed-use development. Bexley Council have this odd policy of trying to build on greenery across the borough (see the latest attempt here) and then they often permit retail sheds in town centres.

Planned Erith Lidl branch near Erith station. Standard retail shed and parking template.

They have targets to meet and can either reach them by concreting over little parks or pushing for new homes in town centres and saving the green spaces.

It’s a mystery why no strategy for Crayford town centre was drawn up years ago.

 

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