Bexley Council developer seek to build flats on Erith park – with zero affordable homes

A proposal for 30 flats to be built on green space in Erith has been submitted to Bexley Council from the council’s development company off-shoot named BexleyCo.

The block would be built on West Street and see mature trees felled and park space built on.

Planned block of flats

Part of the felled trees and greenery would become a car park. Despite claiming they cannot even include one affordable home in the development, they state it’s too expensive to build undercroft parking and so parking must be located on what is currently park space and trees removed.

EDIT: It appears that the Conservative candidate for Eltham in the upcoming general election, Louie French, was part of Bexley Council’s cabinet that agreed to transfer the park to BexleyCo in February this year.

The move is controversial in the extreme – and with good reason. As regular readers know I support a big increase in new homes given the torrid condition many live in – and which many others seem completely unaware of – yet this appears far from a suitable site in Erith.

As someone who has had to move multiple times as a private renter, paying high rents with no certainty of where I will be in a year, the need for secure homes is obvious yet plans in this area epitomise numerous mistakes from Bexley Council when it comes to housing locations.

Courtesy Google. Park space to be removed in densely populated area with many families in flats

Green space is being built upon in densely populated areas while nearby brownfield sites – such as one near Erith station – see plans for a large retail shed and car park. Some spots would be perfect as mixed-use, such as the proposed Lidl site, and yet are wasted:

Large retail shed without mixed-use = homes built on greenery elsewhere to hit targets

Other authorities have blocked retail sheds in sites where housing is suitable alongside retail. Bexley could, and should, designate this land as suitable for mixed-use and push for that.

New Lidl store with homes in Richmond

Doing so would alleviate the pressure to build on green sites. We’ve also seen it elsewhere such as Old Farm Road park. Bexley Council may try to blame others such as the Mayor for housing targets – though Bexley themselves are pushing for many thousands of homes through their Growth Strategy, and they have power over where homes are located.

And finally, as a final kick in the teeth, a council park site would be built over by a council off-shoot and yet is planning no affordable housing whatsoever claiming it isn’t viable. Ludicrous. There’s no land to purchase here nor buildings to demolish.

Like other authorities, the council are spending ever higher amounts of taxpayer money housing people in expensive, often poor quality private lettings while failing to build their own affordable housing.

This is one of the worst planning applications I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Click here to view and comment on plans.



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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

6 thoughts on “Bexley Council developer seek to build flats on Erith park – with zero affordable homes

  • I am guessing that the reason for the transfer to BexleyCo is to generate a Project and Income for BexleyCo to show that it is a success. LATCO’S are quite controversial and why should Councillors be put in charge of something they have little experience in.
    Once again Erith in the North of the Borough are being exploited for Profit!

  • Having to sit in traffic jams in both Erith and Crayford is now a regular occurrence, caused because of the large numbers of people who have been moved from other areas of London into the London Borough of Bexley. Would it not be better to stop building even more properties and give incentives to those in the Borough to move out, thus taking the burden off housing, roads, public transport, schools, GP surgeries and hospitals and policing. I have lived in the Borough for 38 years and have watched the deterioration of Erith during that time.

    • No. You develop infrastructure alongside

  • This development of the green space in West Street, Erith highlights everything that is wrong with the Thames Gateway, City Challenge programme of regeneration from Deptford where I grew up, to Erith where I currently live. In Deptford we have seen the destruction of the Old Tidemill Garden by Lewisham Council and Peabody in the name of housing, and now in Erith we are seeing an even more extreme version of the same theme, with absolutely no ‘affordable housing’ by Bexley Council, and their doppelgänger BexleyCo. When Boris Johnson visited the Erith Park development he asked me what I thought about that, and I told that it was “greed driven land grab, and social cleansing”, which is it was, and what the second phase in Arthur Street is too. The developer for that one is the Orbit Group, and when they couldn’t shut me up, they fitted me up, which resulted in my associated IPCC (as was) complaint against the Met Commissioner of Police Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe eventually being recorded by MOPAC. “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE”

  • They say that they want to build on it because it is little used. What an excuse for money. It looks nice used or not. These are dangerous people who who would do away with all green spaces for money. LEAVE IT ALONE. We need green spaces. Not your greed.


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