With Bexley Council on its best behaviour due to there being an election just seven short months away and only Councillor Peter ‘I have never been arrested’ Craske helping to sustain Bonkers (Google ‘Craske arrest’), today BiB will stray over the borough border where no blogger concentrates on Council malpractice and to the best of my knowledge no Councillor believes that his primary function is to abuse bloggers.
It’s more than five years since a company called Development Securities first put up a website detailing their plans for an industrial site in Felixstowe Road, Abbey Wood.
They had in mind a hotel, a town square, a library and some flats to advertise in Hong Kong and anywhere else they might find a high concentration of millionaires. Their website has long since gone and along with it their proposals which came to nothing.
Eventually the plans were whittled down to just flats in one of the ugliest tower blocks imaginable. 30 storeys of it dominating old Abbey Wood.
That plan too went nowhere but last Tuesday evening Greenwich Council nodded through another application with the minimum of debate. It’s down to 21 storeys now but just as grey and not quite as ugly.
There is no point in going over the detail here as Fromthemurkydepths has done its usual excellent job but the remarkable thing is the abysmal performance of the Abbey Wood (Greenwich) Councillors.
In what must be a very unusual situation, all three Abbey Wood Councillors are members of the Planning Committee including their Council Leader Denise Hyland. She lives in Eltham along with her ward colleague Steve Offord. Neither turned up to speak for or against the application.
Their Facebook critics are already saying they do not care about the residents of Abbey Wood except as voting fodder. Some are going further and suggesting malpractice while others talk of setting up a rival political grouping comprised of residents. Probably a good idea.
Whilst my opinion of Bexley Councillors is not exactly great I cannot imagine any of them pulling such a cynical stunt as Councillors Hyland and Offord appear to have done.
The whole of Abbey Wood including residents such as myself in Lesnes Abbey will be adversely affected by Greenwich Council’s decision and none of them is likely to benefit.
There will be a minimum of so called affordable housing (24 out of 245 flats) in the new block and no social housing whatsoever.
One Abbey Wood Councillor, Clive Mardener, voted against the plan which may, or perhaps not, enhance his less than enviable reputation in his much neglected ward.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Abbey Wood…
The once touted public meeting about Anti-Social Behaviour in and around Wilton Road (there was another street fight late last Tuesday evening) is not going to happen. There is no need.
Members of the public have already provided their opinion on Facebook and on Twitter and the police have gathered all the evidence they need. There is a problem. Nearly everyone agrees on that point
Council officials from both boroughs met with politicians and the police very recently, circumstantial evidence is that it was on the afternoon of 28th September.
At this week’s Traders’ Association meeting I heard a little of the official deliberations on how the two Councils will attempt to solve the problems.
I am not at liberty to report them here but if I heard all the ideas put forward, or if what I heard was typical of the complete package, I will say just one thing.