Plans for 249 further homes at Erith Quarry site look set to be approved tomorrow (25 February) with Bexley Council’s planner recommending the green light. It’s part of the overall 600-home Erith Quarry project which includes a school.
The overall site could see the original 600 homes squeezed into a smaller area with these 249 homes placed on land made available. A document states: “Effectively the application is seeking to deliver the same number of units (a total of 600) over a reduced developable area. The purpose of which is to enable a further 249 homes to be proposed on part of the site.”
Plans for 249 homes are to separate to plans to increase the overall site from 600 to 849 homes – though both are set to be decided tomorrow.
The site is entirely populated with flat-roofed boxes with little in the way of variation.
A large part of Bexley’s current financial problem stems from a lack of income from housing, and a lack of homes to house people in need of accommodation. Payment for building new homes from central Government via the New Homes Bonus in 2021/22 will total £311,000 compared to £7.3 million in Greenwich borough. Government pays local authorities for every home created with an additional element for “affordable” homes. A lack of homes – and in particular affordable homes – has led to very little income from this revenue source over the past decade.
A slow-build rates also impacts upon income. Since approval for the overall site in 2015, less than half the total 600 homes have been built. By the end of 2020 around 200 had completed with another 50 imminent.
Of the 249 homes up for approval tomorrow, detailed permission is sought for 83. Of 249 overall homes, 87 “affordable” homes are proposed with 63 “affordable rent” and 24 intermediate housing / shared ownership.
Of 83 homes proposed in detail, 63 will be “affordable rent, 6 intermediate housing and 14 open market sale.”
As an aside, I must say the use of comic sans in planning documents is an interesting choice.
The report states that a contribution of £14,602 towards improving the Bronze Age Way / Queens Road roundabout has been agreed. TfL have raised concerns about 305 new parking spaces on local roads.
The NHS sought £225,000 funding to expand capacity at Erith Community Hospital. This has been agreed via Section 106.
Bexley Natural Environment Forum object to encroachment upon an ecology area featured in the 2015 plan. They state: “The previous application stated ‘no loss and a net gain in biodiversity’, but that was based on the size of the ‘ecology
area’ then agreed to be left. Alongside this TfL object to “car-dominated” streets under plans and seek a reduction in parking and push for active travel and public transport.
Renders show landscaping which require regular maintenance. The question is for how long will they bother with it? This is likely to lock residents into expensive service charges.
An all too regular occurrence is impressive landscaping in renders but no thought given on appearance in a decade and upkeep. It’s also often seen as a bit of a lazy way to excuse extensive street parking.
Both applications are due to be decided tomorrow.
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