Greenwich Council have snuck out a notice regarding the sale – or “disposal” – of rose gardens and a small park in Greenwich.
I read about an intention to sell years ago in a council report and covered it. Everything then went silent.
The site is located at the junction of Tunnel Avenue and Blackwall Lane close to the entrance slip road leading to the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach. Recent announcements regarding the closure of another slip road to the south will pull more traffic to this point.
A large number of developments have also been built in the vicinity over the past decade – including a block directly next to the site.
Thanks to former Cllr Mary Mills who revealed the notice on Twitter. It is featured in Weekender magazine. It’s the sort of notice that would normally have been posted online, though sections of the council’s website featuring decisions and notices has not been updated since March.
This ties into other issues with their website and engagement over recent months. Greenwich refused to create a site seeking feedback about street changes and then stated to TfL it was too difficult, yet many other councils did so. They tried to keep as much information secret as possible on what they planned. Only by submitting Freedom of information requests did we see details of plans.
They also claimed in recent weeks they could not ask the public online where £618,268.55 from the Community Infrastructure Levy should be spent and so council officers would have to decide.
Greenery for new flats
The patch of green that is to be sold is a small distance from many new homes. One such site I covered earlier today, with a block of flats at the other end of Tunnel Avenue. That was approved after the authority failed to decide within legal time limits in 2017 so it went to appeal due to non-determination. The applicant won, leaving taxpayers on the hook for costs.
Many nearby developments, including that nearby block, have brought (or will) many millions to the council’s coffers, yet not enough to prevent this sale it would seem.
Questions to be asked include why give notification to sell now during a time when online notices are lacking?