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Bonkers Blog November 2017

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18 November (Part 2) - The Eastside Quarter

Bellway HomesI seem to have mislaid the Bellway Homes leaflet that I picked up from their exhibition last month but Elwyn Bryant was more careful with his and he told me it referred to a total of 518 homes; seven studios, 216 one bed, 248 two bed and 47 three bed apartments with some units being  affordable housing and a mixture of social rented and shared ownership properties.

He asked Bellway Homes if they could shed more light on figures for affordable and rented properties but they told him it would all be down to Bexley Council.

Elwyn wrote to Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth Linda Bailey to see if she had formulated any ideas about possible numbers. She said she had no idea as Bellway has not yet submitted a planning application.

That suggests to me that Bellway Homes and Linda Bailey are being evasive. I would expect major developments such as The Eastside Quarter to be discussed in great detail with planning officers before a formal application is made. It would surely be madness to spend tens of thousands of pounds hiring architects and drawing up plans without getting some idea beforehand of what the Council is likely to approve. One might similarly suggest that at the very least a ball park figure for affordable and rented homes would be known.

Surely Bexley Council must have a target to aim for but maybe things are as chaotic in Bexley as the alternative would suggest. Elwyn asked Councillor Bailey what figure she and Bexley Council would recommend.

However Cabinet Member Bailey held her ground. She has no idea what the planning department will recommend.

Are we expected to believe that the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth has never given the planning officers any idea of what level of affordable homes she and her Cabinet colleagues would like to see?

More plausibly Councillor Bailey says that the Planning Committee “will decide whether the plans are compatible with Bexley’s policies”, but what policies?

If Linda Bailey knows what the policies relating to affordable and rented housing are she didn’t want to tell Elwyn.

Maybe the clue is in Bellway’s name for the site, but I doubt it.

Eastside quarter.


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