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London Borough of Culture

Bonkers Blog April 2012

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Sidcup Place

19 April (Part 2) - Award winning wild life garden. Owner to be prosecuted by Bexley council

In some ways Olly Cromwell and Mrs. Rita Grootendorst are very similar sorts of people in very similar situations. Both come from the awkward squad that won’t be quelled by some bureaucrat with a clip-board or a jumped up councillor. They stand their ground. Olly, you may remember, first did so by admitting, after he had done so unobserved, to filming a council meeting. He had no idea it was not welcomed by Bexley council, after all, it was less than two weeks after the Communities Secretary said such things were part of a modern society. It pre-dated Bexley’s Constitutional rearrangements which outlawed the practice.

Council goonsMrs. G. has an unconventional secluded garden and a fence that mysteriously migrates across her boundary. She uses her car port as a storage area, it’s not exactly tidy but no one is required to peer into it to check. She currently has the builders in and things are probably a bit chaotic in there now. Bexley council has decided to strike. They have issued a formal notice under Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. They intend to criminalise her and her autistic husband.

Bexley’s Deputy Director (Development, Housing & Community Safety) David Bryce-Smith, the same Bryce-Smith that left a resident flooded over last Christmas, has reiterated his intention to prosecute. He has sent a six point multi-paragraph letter of which the following is a small extract from point 1.

To help anyone wishing to look into the recent history of this case I have provided a little Index page.

Car port Skip and gate Section 215 notice

You can see the untidy car port in the photo above along with the door that shields it from prying eyes. The structure has been there for 16 years. An anonymous caller told me that Bexley council is working on an ASBO for Mrs. Grootendorst now. The claim is that she swore at someone. In her position, most people would.

 

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