A look at Bexleyheath’s 518-home “art deco” development

Construction work on a major Bexleyheath town centre development is now on the final stretch as final blocks rise.

It’s been some time since this site looked at changes in the area bringing 518 homes and shops so I recently popped over to take a few snaps.

Cinema on left

Bellway are the developers behind this project at the former site of Bexley Civic Centre. Bexley Council eft the site to move into the former Woolwich Building Society HQ.

When submitted the application made quite a play of art deco design. It’s not.

Render when submitted.

The extent of that seemed to be curved balconies.

Even then it’s been done of the cheap.

No art deco glamour and exuberance here

Other blocks are better. Buildings along the eastern extremity of the Broadway are fine. Decent proportions and they work well enough at street level.

Good proportions and massing

Trees line the road with a double height recessed ground floor offering solid proportions. All ideal for such a town centre location.

The biggest and most prominent block however though is weak. Drab and lacking quality needed not just the centrepiece of this development, but as building visible on most approaches to the town centre from some distance away.

Dull

It’s visible from a long, log way on approach to the town from the south as well as the Broadway from the east stretching for a mile. It fails the key test of providing a centrepiece to the project.

One positive are commercial units at street level though the original intention was to connect into the town centre to tie this area into an existing pedestrianised area.

That idea was dropped.

This is likely to impact footfall at commercial units. Nine units are included in total.

In terms of income to Bexley Council, when approved these were listed as:

  • £4.2 million to Bexley Council through the Community Infrastructure Levy.
  • An additional £3.1 million through the New Homes Bonus. 
  • £790,000 per year in council tax income.
  • Retail units was estimated as £79,000 in business rates.

Residents wont be wanting for amenities. There’s a cinema over the road, a Lidl close by alongside numerous shops nearby, pubs and restaurants – though rail links are someway away on foot.

It’s likely many will use the 301 bus that runs from Bexleyheath to Abbey Wood Elizabeth line station.

Cinema on left

The 301 improved links between the two compared to the B11 which took a somewhat meandering route. Bus journey times are around 20 minutes to Abbey Wood station.

B11 runs to Bexleyheath station though recently saw cuts in frequency.

Bus to Woolwich via Abbey Wood station

Hail and Ride always existed on the B11 and has been retained on the 301 for part of the route. Pretty unusual in London let alone on a busy double decker route.

Back to the development and an adjacent junction requires improvement. An ugly space lined with guard railing and not befitting increased footfall from new homes and shops such as Lidl which opened here in recent years.

 

Opposite Lidl

There’s a fair bit of clutter and the area deserves a better streetscape.

Affordable housing levels are extremely poor. There’s zero social homes and just 20 per cent across the site are “affordable”. That means ever more expense to taxpayers and less secure housing for many in need. Private providers make hay at the teat of public funds.

 

Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

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Many thanks

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.

One thought on “A look at Bexleyheath’s 518-home “art deco” development

  • And so it continues John, as you correctly point out…dull! A recent trip to Bexleyheath with one of my sons reinforced this impression of Bexleyheath town centre. Town planning to provide pleasant surroundings simply non existent. Having just returned from Adelaide for 18 months, he said the whole [place felt depressing! And grey skies were sadly not the only depressing aspect to Bexleyheath.And thery are not the only area to suffer so at the hands of developer exploitation. Far from it.

    Reply

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