The biggest Bexleyheath residential development the town has possibly seen is now nearing completion.
A total of 518 homes across six blocks have been constructed on a site with a laboured history. It was formerly Bexley Council’s civic offices before plans for a Tesco emerged.
That never happened and Sports Direct took control. Then little happened for years before Bellway built out the site.
Certain blocks have been complete for some time including the tallest close to Cineworld and Sainsbury’s alongside those opposite Lidl. Sports Direct are based in the commercial unit at street level.
An art-deco influence was cited for parts of the development referencing the 1990s cinema built in with simplistic references to picture palaces of the interwar years.
Those art deco references are most strongly apparent at the final blocks now approaching completion.
A shame the tallest tower couldn’t have a bit more of this given its prominence for miles around.
Curved corners on the last blocks to complete are a highlight with recessed balconies not breaking up and instead enhancing bands across the façade.
There’s glazed while brick at street level.
Note the commercial unit.
The street here was supposed to be altered to incorporate the shop units and housing with existing shops but so far there’s no evidence at all.
It’s still an ugly junction littered with street clutter.
Upon completion a through-route will exist between blocks. It may already be passable but there’s a fair bit of fencing and building material around.
Now it’s near completion has it been a success?
Well it provides much needed homes for one. And in a time when High Streets are struggling new residents will only help nearby shops and the cinema with additional custom.
Yet the tallest tower is a let down. Too meek in design and they’ve cheaped-out on materials.
Blocks around it are decent and in some cases far above the average level we often see yet there’s work to do yet to better connect it to the town centre.
Residents have ample facilities around them and a while some way from Bexleyheath station (Barnehurst is probably closer) there’s the direct 301 bus to the Elizabeth line in Abbey Wood.
Links will improve yet further soon as the direct express bus Superloop 3 (SL3) begins which will run between Bexleyheath and Abbey Wood with no stops.
Wandering around the site it’s hard not to think that Bexley Magistrates’ Court looks a prime candidate for rebuilding soon.
It’s sits next door and is neither an attractive building nor one that makes good use of a town centre site. Given government have sold off a fair few courts it’s surprising they havn’t flogged this yet or attempted to incorporate it and other services within a rebuilt mixed-use complex.
One to watch in future. There was also previously rumblings about some building on the large car park outside Sainsbury’s but nothing heard on that for a while.