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Bonkers Blog January 2018

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1 January (Part 1) - Cheers everyone - except for those planning a drink at the Charlotte

I never look forward to New Year’s Day, nothing to do with hang overs, it’s just that there are too many changes required on the BiB menus and indices; and I always forget something. You may have noticed earlier that the 2018 Index appeared not to be working. In fact it was but taking several minutes to appear; I had forgotten that it requires a folder for every month of the year, an empty one will do, and without one the code sits around waiting for a time out. Eleven times over because I had only made a January folder.

If I leave this note here perhaps it will remind me in twelve months time what not to do!

Meanwhile what can be said that will not attract the attention of Kent Police? Obviously nothing that can possibly embarrass a named individual. Can Queen Charlotte be safely mentioned?

Charlotte You may recall that the Charlotte public house in Crayford closed down more than two years ago, much to the delight of local residents. It had been managed by Councillor Geraldene Lucia-Hennis (Conservative,Crayford) and had acquired a somewhat dubious reputation.

A planning application to divide the old boozer into five flats was to the surprise of most people turned down by Bexley Council on 31st August 2017, they wanted the bar to be retained. After a day out I just managed to catch the decision on the webcast.

The applicant dutifully submitted another application with bar included. Bexley Council had got their wish and two months later the new plan was approved.

However the applicant was not happy, he had appealed Bexley Council’s original perverse decision that the run down drinking den must be given a new lease of life.

Two weeks ago a Local Government Department Inspector decided that Bexley Council had been every bit as unreasonable as one has come to expect. The original five flat plan has been given the go-ahead; the Charlotte has gone forever and nearby residents need no longer live in fear of late night revelry.

The Inspector rejected any suggestion that the Charlotte was an Asset of Community Value and implied that Bexley Council had abused such a listing. An ACV does not prevent acceptable alternative use. The Inspector also noted what should have been obvious to Bexley Council, that “several alternatives existed within easy walking distance” and the Charlotte had “reputational issues”.

Bexley Council may have been pursuing its own dubious agenda or it is simply incompetent. Always hard to tell.

Floor plan.

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