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Bonkers Blog June 2016

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26 June (Part 2) - Land forgotten and land forfeited

Lesnes LesnesAs was to be expected now that the Lesnes Abbey landscaping contractor has gone bust, nothing much happened with the £4·2 million park regeneration this week. The pond viewing platform is gradually disappearing beneath the weeds - and Photo 2 is a week old - but some more rusty ironmongery has made an appearance in Abbey Road. So that's more than a month with no progress. Bexley Council has yet to announce what the problem is, only BiB has done that.

Network Rail has done rather better. Two weeks ago the new Dartford bound platform barely existed but now it is almost a continuous twelve car length.

Similarly, two weeks ago the southern station ‘wing’ which is destined to be a shop wasn’t there at all. Now it is just a concrete pour away from being a completed shell. However it’s not good news for everyone.

Crossrail CrossrailOn Thursday afternoon while taking photos from the flyover a young lady asked me if I was the official photographer. Anyone not using a phone to take pictures these days is assumed to be a professional. Once we established that I am nothing to do with Crossrail she told me what had happened to her that morning. She said two Network Rail officials had knocked on her door to tell her that they were going to take “another two metres” (†) from what remains of her back garden.

From the lady’s description I think the two photos show the house which she owns. Click image for a better view.

She has been getting very little light and now gets less. Recently the piling within feet of her property caused structural damage, hopefully superficial but nevertheless worrying. For this latest land grab there was no prior notice, no consultation and no compensation. Next day half her small patch of land was gone. Today I saw the French doors open, there was only just sufficient space.

Last Tuesday I heard several people complaining about the arrogance of Crossrail officials who have the power of the Crossrail Act 2008 behind them. The lady on the flyover did nothing to reassure anyone that they were wrong.

The two weekly Crossrail photo feature has been ‘signed off’. It’s a big one to reflect the amount of work done. 158 pictures and 17MB. Another one starting soon.

† It looks more like two feet and it is possible that the grab is temporary during the construction phase only.


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