Sale of open spaces and green highway sites
20 February 2015: A list of the 10 open spaces and 17 areas of highway land that the Council is considering for disposal is now available on the Council’s website.
The Council is consulting residents on the principle of disposing of a very small proportion of its open space and highway land to reduce its maintenance costs. This will avoid the need for a dramatic reduction in the upkeep of all the borough’s parks and open areas and will mean there is no need to close playgrounds.
The results of the consultation are currently being considered as part of the annual budget-making process.
London Borough of Bexley currently maintains 106 open spaces and parks that cover 670 hectares (just under 7.5 square miles) of the borough. It also provides 35 allotment sites (44 hectares) manages four cemeteries (20 hectares) and maintains vast stretches of green highway land.
The Council is consulting on the possibility of disposing of 10 open spaces and 17 small green highway sites. The total area of the 10 open spaces listed represents 0.37% of the Council’s total area of parks and open spaces and the 17 small green highway sites represent 1.44% of the borough’s green highway land.
No decision has so far been taken on whether any of these sites will be sold. Even if the principle of disposal is agreed after the results of the consultation have been considered, the sites will be subject to detailed technical evaluation and further public consultation before any decision is taken.
“Slightly reducing the number of green areas for which we are responsible will allow us to maintain a reasonable level of grounds maintenance, to provide facilities within the parks and a diverse landscape with a range of habitats for biodiversity,” explained Cabinet Member, Cllr Alex Sawyer. “Any sites that are agreed for disposal will be subject to the normal planning process, through which we will seek to minimise tree loss and ensure appropriate development.
“On the other hand, if we do not look to reduce the amount of land we maintain, there will only be enough money for minimal maintenance of our parks and open spaces. All grounds maintenance for sport would have to cease. Playgrounds would close. Litter bins and dog waste bins would have to be removed.”
Deputy Leader of the Council Cllr Gareth Bacon added: “Over the next four years we project that we will need to make further savings of around £50 million – on top of the £60 million we’ve already saved.
“This is almost a third of what we currently spend. That means we have had to look at all the Council’s services and contemplate a range of very difficult decisions.
“Where possible, we will continue to make savings through efficiency measures and in the back office but, unfortunately, it will also be necessary to reduce or end some services.”
Full list of open spaces and highway land considered for disposal –
1 Berwick Crescent (triangular site to east), Sidcup (Open Space)
2 Bexley Road, Erith ( Open Space)
3 Millfield Open Space, Crayford (Open Space)
4 Wilde Road East, Northumberland Heath (Open Space)
5 Wilde Road West, Northumberland Heath (Open Space)
6 Hook Lane Open Space, Welling (Open Space)
7 Land adjacent to 115 Frinsted Road, Erith (Highway)
8 Gable Close and Maiden Lane, Crayford (Highway)
9 Land adjacent to 44 Maximfeldt Road, Erith (Highway)
10 Land adjacent to 1 Holly Hill Road, Erith (Highway)
11 Land adjacent to 1 Slade Garden, Slade Green (Highway)
12 Land adjacent to 14 Stuart Rd Welling (Highway)
13 Junction of Napier Road and Wellington Road, Erith (Highway)
14 Land fronting 11 & 12 Court Avenue, Belvedere (Highway)
15 Land fronting 65-69 Blackfen Road, Sidcup (Highway)
16 Land adjacent to 246 Bedonwell Road, Belvedere (Highway)
17 Land adjacent to 95 The Grove, Bexley (Highway)
18 Land at St James and North Cray Road, Sidcup (Highway)
19 Land at Gayton Road adjacent to 28 Wilton Road, Abbey Wood (Highway)
20 Land adjacent to 154 Upper Abbey Road (Highway)
21 Berwick Crescent (two corner plots to south west), Sidcup (Open Space)
22 Old Farm Park, Sidcup (Eastern half) (Open Space)
23 Old Manor Way Playground, Bexleyheath (Open Space)
24 West Street Small Park, Erith (Open Space)
25 Erith Station/Stonewood Road, Erith (Highway)
26 Land at junction of Fraser Road and Alford Road, Erith (Highway)
27 Land adjacent to 1 Peareswood Road, Northend, Erith (Highway)