Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Nuxley Navigator.

Last week a concerned reader who wishes to remain anonymous contacted me. They had worries about the proposed redevelopment of the Arthur Street Estate on North End Road, opposite the Erith Park Development. The person had some specific concerns around the redevelopment that they outlined thus:- "The drawings for the new site state it is in Erith, which it is not. It is in Slade Green, with originally a pub called the Boundary on the edge, and Boundary Street is one of the road names, showing a clear separation from Erith. It does not come under the Erith ward or MP;  but is part of the original Crayford ‘urban district council’ area in North End Ward. The public locally are in favour of removing the Arthur Street area’s concrete tower blocks, as has been done opposite, in the former Larner Road estate. There have been concern about lack of parking at the new Erith Park site. (It is said that 1 of those residents actually parks in The Nursery, a road cross the carriageway.) The only local NHS dentist is based in a property to be re developed. It was suggested to the dentist that he could ‘shut down for 8 months’ or use a portacabin at an unspecified site. This does not take into account the needs of the people of Slade Green as there are very few alternative NHS dentists in the borough. The major site display shows 2 housing drawings side by side.  This is very confusing.  One plan shows the current level of homes proposed and the other a much more intense development with higher blocks. This is said to be the GLA plan.  I feel that the GLA have not made a special visit to dictate what is on the site. What is the purpose behind this 2nd plan? During construction it is said that The Nursery will become a closed end (no through) road while construction takes place and possibly permanently. This will mean that those who live in or off Pearswood Road will not be able to access the Tesco store / roundabout into Erith. These residents will then need turn left out of Pearswood  onto North End Road and take a much longer route around the dual carriageway.  The A206 is often very slow and congested. (Cars could turn on to Newberry road as a slightly shorter route around the carriageway but this is a small congested road, which can become gridlocked)". After consulting with the concerned resident, I contacted Caroline Field, the Orbit Housing Association Project Manager to find out what was happening. I got the following extremely detailed and informative response:- "We had a really positive consultation event and our plans were well received. It would be great if you could let your readers know that the consultation material is on line at Facebook Arthur Street Future. We're always happy to answer any questions people have about the plans. For those who don't do Facebook, email is To respond to your correspondent 's queries... 1. Parking is currently being planned at one space per household. This is more than Erith Park phase 1 and the same as Phase 2.  We expect pressure from GLA planners to reduce car parking. 2. There are 10 leaseholders on the site and all will be covered by a compulsory purchase order. They are entitled to compensation in line with the legislation. We are talking to the dentist, who is keen to keep his practice in the area, about his options. 3. Our scheme currently has 310 homes against 263 at present. Why have we illustrated a 600+ unit scheme?  No the GLA haven't reviewed this project yet ( we expect to have a meeting Dec/Jan and can keep you informed) We do know both from planning guidance and from planning decisions on similar schemes what their response is likely to be. Here's more detail. It's pretty complicated but you/your readers may be interested as there are wider implications... We know there will be pressure from the GLA planners to increase density - the Mayor's housing strategy, currently out for consultation, talks about driving up residential densities in the outer Boroughs. Special Planning Guidance being introduced in London says that, in a regeneration scheme , you have to replace the affordable rented housing you demolish on the site.  Previously you had to replace 'affordable housing' This meant you could replace rented housing with shared ownership and other rented products aimed at working households. We achieved this at Erith Park and our current scheme achieves it for Arthur Street. The kind of affordable rent the Mayor wants to see is what a lot of people still think of as 'council housing'. These days these are usually housing association homes but they are accessed by an allocations process managed by the local authority. We all know there's a huge shortage of this housing. The challenge locally is to balance this with our aspiration to build more mixed sustainable communities. Our preferred solution, and one the guidelines allow for, is to take a 'programme approach'.  We've looked at all our smaller sites in the area and have converted most of those we were going to build as shared ownership to rent. This means, across Bexley, by 2021 we replace the rented homes we demolish at Arthur Street.  The Council have approved this approach but we still have a risk that the GLA will not accept it for this site. If they don't we have a major problem in how we deliver replacement on site. Theoretically, there are two ways we could do this. Firstly we could build a 100 percent rented scheme. (It would be 100 percent because no one would sell 50 homes alongside 250 affordable rented). I don't think anyone now thinks it's a good idea to build large concentrations of rented homes. It contradicts other planning guidance supporting mixed communities. Secondly, we could increase the size of the scheme. Erith Park is 36 percent affordable rented and everyone seems very comfortable with that. We really want to keep the figure at 40 percent or below. Above that, it would prejudice sales of the other properties.  So if you work that up, maintaining a 40 percent means you need around 630 homes on the new site. We've drawn what 630 homes would look like just to illustrate this point. I understand if this confuses your correspondent ( as you can see it's a complex issue). This scheme is not something we'd ever build and it would contravene all sorts of other planning requirements (e.g. Open space). That was very clear at our exhibition and on our Facebook page. 4. Vehicle access through the site:  we will be applying to close the road through the site during demolition and construction. It is a constrained site and the health and safety of the public is a primary consideration.  Longer term we would prefer to close the road to through vehicles at the north end of The Nursery. This up for consultation and the views of neighbours are welcome. So far it is 60/40 in favour of closure.  Although we we think closing the road is the best solution, our scheme will work if it's left open.  Yes some routes out would be longer but we think this would outweighed by the advantages:- a quieter and less car-dominated environment in both the new development (and The Nursery) through the removal of the current rat run - creation of safer cycling/walking route connecting to Peareswood School - tackle resident concerns about parking overspill from new development into streets to the South. We've agreed a programme of traffic surveys to model the potential impact on nearby streets and junctions.  Any permanent closure would be subject to formal consultation by the Council". That certainly seems to clarify things. What do you think? Leave a comment below, or Email me at

Another regular reader, who also chooses to remain anonymous Emailed me their comments on the article I published last week regarding the naming of Nuxley Road, Upper Belvedere. The person in question also went out and took some photos of some road signs in the area, to support their view - which you can see above - click for a larger version. They write:- "In response to your last blog dated 19th November about Belvedere and the people calling it Nuxley. I have been on a mission to tell people that Nuxley does not exist, and that there are signs by All Saints Church and by Stream Way saying Welcome to Belvedere Village. The Photo shown in the News Shopper is only about 10 feet away from the sign by All Saints Church, I am thinking that people can not read or do not know to where they are, this include estate agents to which the co-op opposite to where they are based says Upper Belvedere Co-OP. I have also find out that some shops do not know where they are". This is sadly very true; many locals are falsely convinced that the mythical place of "Nuxley Village" exists, when it does not, and never has done. the photo above shows the sign outside of All Saint's Church, Nuxley Road, Upper Belvedere, welcoming travellers to Belvedere Village; there is another identical sign at the other end of the village, welcoming people coming from Bexleyheath and Welling.

Vehicle manufacturer Ford, in conjunction with transport company Chariot Transit UK Ltd are sponsoring a proposed new private bus service, which, bearing in mind my earlier observations, is due to have the rather unfortunate name of The Nuxley Navigator. The bus service will operate on weekdays only, and will run between Harrow Manorway outside of Abbey Wood Station, and Carlton Road in Northumberland Heath. It is planned that the service will begin on the 29th January 2018. The roads that the new private bus service will cover are as follows:- Towards Abbey Wood Station (mornings only) - Carlton Road, Brook Street, Parsonage Manorway, Swaylands Road, Matfield Road, Stream Way, Bedonwell Road, Orchard Avenue, Bedonwell Road, Glenview, West Heath Road, Brampton Road, Knee Hill, Harrow Manorway. Towards Erith (afternoons only) - Harrow Manorway, Knee Hill, Brampton Road, West Heath Road, Glenview, Bedonwell Road, Orchard Avenue, Bedonwell Road, Stream Way Matfield Road, Swaylands Road, Parsonage Manorway, Brook Street, and Carlton Road. Initially I was surprised when I found out about this new bus service, thanks to a tip - off from Darryl Chamberlain of the 853 Blog, but upon consideration it makes a lot of sense. The Crossrail service will be opening at Abbey Wood Station next year, and many of the roads covered by The Nuxley Navigator are currently not covered by any existing bus service. The real reason for the service is to connect the Erith Quarry housing development with Abbey Wood Station. The developers of Erith Quarry are aiming the new development primarily at second or third time buyers who want larger, family sized houses - for people who intend to "put down roots" in the area. In order to attract middle class professional people into the local area, they need so show that there are good commuting connections into London - something that The London Borough of Bexley has lacked up until now. The fact that we have no DLR or Tube services in the Borough has been a factor that has discouraged some people from moving into the area. Providing a purpose built mini bus link between the Erith Quarry site and Abbey Wood Station will do much to convince people that they should move into the area, as housing is significantly cheaper than in other parts of London, and the commuting issue will be at least partially answered by The Nuxley Navigator - even if the name of the new bus service is as inaccurate as I have previously described. I also understand that the current 180 bus route will be changed to call at Abbey Wood Station, certainly improving the quality of communications in this corner of the borough. More on Erith Quarry later.

Local arts commissioning group The Exchange are organising a festive food fair to take place alongside the annual Christ Church Erith Christmas Tree Festival on the weekend of the 15th to the 17th December, a week earlier than it is traditionally held. Visitors will be able to sample a variety of festive foods on the Saturday of the festival only, curated by Street Food Markets amidst the lights of the Erith Christmas Tree Festival at Christ Church. This year James Glancy Design are adding to the illuminations with an outdoor display. Inside the church there will be over 80 decorated trees, entertainment and craft activities. Do come along - I will be there on the Friday and the Saturday, in my role as a Friends of Christ Church Erith committee member.

Now for the weekly safety and security updates from Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association. Firstly from Barnehurst ward:- "Barnehurst Ward have suffered another burglary in Northall Road, this is the third burglary here within the last two weeks. This recent burglary occurred between 12/11/2017 and 19/11/2017. Entry to the property was gained by smashing a rear window. It is not known how the suspect/suspects gained access to the rear garden however its believed access was gained by climbing over the attached garage flat roof. In Holmesdale Grove between 20/11/2017 at 03.00pm to the 21/11/2017 at 0730am a rear garage was broken into. Extensive damage was caused to the door and items were moved. At the rear of this property is a rear alley, this was likely the route made to enter the rear garden. Please join us for coffee with cops on Thursday 30th November at 11.00 at Barnehurst Golf Club where we can offer crime prevention advice and discuss any other burning issues you may have." From Police SNT Team - PCSO Cathy Nolan:- "We are aware that bogus callers and distraction burglars are in operation on the Borough. Barnehurst Ward has not been targeted with distraction burglaries however residential burglaries are on the rise with the lead up to Christmas. They appear to be targeting the elderly and vulnerable. They are using excuses such as water leaks in the property above, underground leaks. They have stolen jewellery and cash where they have gained entry, at other times they have asked for money. Descriptions of them vary, accents are described as local, Irish and "put on" posh. A bogus caller may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, the police, health organisations or water, gas or electricity companies. They can be convincing and persuasive. They may men, women or even children. They may say they need help urgently. They often use "props" like an identity card or wear overalls bearing a company logo. Please use door chains, check all ID very carefully. If there is any doubt about the caller, keep them out. A genuine caller will not mind being asked to wait while their details are verified. Entry to residential properties on Barnehurst Ward are mainly via the rear by means of smashing windows but bear in mind it only takes a couple of seconds to pop open a UPVC door if it’s not double locked. You must lift the handle and turn the key for your front door to be left secure. Please share this information with family, neighbours and friends. This is a matter that should be reported to police as soon as possible".  Belvedere ward:- "PC Green arrested a male on 16/11/2017 for Actual Bodily Harm.  The offence happened in Greenwich but the suspect lives on our ward. The team have also been out on pulse patrols around the ward. The pulse patrol strategy is to target vulnerable areas to burglary and patrol hotspot locations on our wards. The aim is also to gather intelligence and disrupt known burglars that live on the borough. On Friday 17th the team were abstracted to a crime scene in Lesness Abbey whereby several people were injured after a fight. For further information please check the Lesness Abbey Twitter page @MPSLesnesabbey. We also attended the Belvedere Park Residents Association meeting on Thursday 16th. There was a very good turnout for this and we are grateful to the members for the invite". Brampton ward:- "Very Good week for Brampton , hope I am not tempting fate. Theft of a pedal cycle in Pickford Lane , cycle left unattended whilst victim went into a shop; Shoplifting in Pickford Lane, suspect entered and stole meat. And that is it. The team have been completing CCTV enquiries on behalf of other officers. We have also been involved in organising a meeting with the Asian community regarding family gold Burglaries. We will be working with other officers from other departments and outside agencies including Neighbourhood Watch - We helped out with the turning on the Christmas lights over the Broadway on Saturday. We have been liaising with Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators regarding recent criminal damage to vehicles in a street on the Ward and are in the process of setting a plan and attempting to get CCTV cameras erected. Please visit for further security advice. Follow us on Twitter ; @MPSBrampton". Colyers ward:- "This week we have had a spike in thefts from motor vehicles. There was one in Valence Road overnight Wednesday 15th November, two in Larner Road overnight Saturday 18th November between 0300-1200 hours and a forth in Beechfield Road again overnight on Monday 20th November between 0130-0830. In all cases the side windows were shattered and wallets purses and bags taken and all overnight. Please remember to take everything with you when you leave your car and leave the glove box open and empty to show there is nothing in your car. There was also a car stolen from Swallow Close on Sunday 19th November, unfortunately the vehicle had left the keys in the car with the car running. On the upside we had no residential burglaries since our last report. We had an incident of a cat being shot with an air rifle in Fairford Avenue on Thursday 16th November. Colyers DWO along with DWOs from adjoining wards have now started the new pulse patrols covering all wards. Included in these patrols are Windermere Road, Merewood Road and Grasmere Roads for drug dealing. Our next set of Police Surgeries are this Friday 24th November at 1pm in Cupacakes Bakery, Colyers Lane and Wednesday 29th at 6pm in the Community Centre, Blackbery Patch, Badlow Close". Crayford ward:- "A white Nissan Juke was stolen off the driveway of a home in Station Road overnight between 20/11/2017 at 20.00 and 21/11/2017 at 10.00. The car was stolen without keys. There was a burglary at Iron Mill Lane on Monday 20/11/2017 between 14.50 and 17.00. The rear patio door had been shattered with an unknown object near the handle to create a small hole, the keys were in the lock on the inside. Entry was made however the family dog has scared the suspect away back out of the patio door. On Friday 17/11/2017 between 07.00 and 14.20 a suspect has entered a property in Hillside Road via the side gate and back door, breaking glass in the door and using keys in the inside lock to gain entry. Nothing was stolen, a dog in the address may have scared them off, the suspect left via the front door. For each victim the moral of the story was not to leave the keys in the lock and each said they will never do that again. We held a One Stop Cop Shop event at Darlton Hall on Monday 20/11/2017 and spoke with several residents there and hope to have a new Neighbourhood Watch there in that area. On Tuesday 21/11/2017 we met with the Brownies at St Mary of the Crays Hall in Old Road to assist them with their crime prevention badges, they were really involved, a joy to meet!" Erith ward:- "Weekly Crime in Erith, not a bad week but we have had one Burglary, this has been the first one in Erith for a while - please see the links for crime advice regarding this sort of crime. Burg Res 16/11/2017 12:05:00 Riverdale Road; Theft of Motor Vehicle. 22/09/2014 Victory Lodge, Chichester Wharf; Theft from MV 19/11/2017 Diana Court, Avenue Road; Theft from Motor Vehicle 19/11/2017 Riverdale Road; Criminal Damage 20/11/2017 09:00:00 James Watt Way. For burglary crime prevention info, see In 2016 we had over 17,000 presents donated by the public to the Met Christmas Appeal - helping to provide presents to children who may otherwise not have received one last Christmas. This year with your help we want to see if we can do even better. Please see for details. We have a Surgery at Erith Pier Road Base on 25th Nov at 11am which will include free bike marking. This is only on till 12 due to attending a charity event."  Lesnes Abbey ward:- "Burglary: On Tuesday 14/11/17 between the hours of 05:30 pm and 06 :30 pm a burglary occurred in Glenview. On Tuesday 14/11/17 between the hours of 07:00 am and 06:30 pm a burglary occurred in Canberra Road". North End ward:- "In the last week, we have had a Theft from Motor vehicle outside Grange House, Criminal Damage to Motor vehicle in Boundary Street and a Theft of Motor vehicle in Lincoln Road. All of these crimes happened over night. Please remind your neighbours to NOT keep any valuable items inside their cars etc. If you would like any vehicle crime prevention advice to give to your street, please let us know. Sadly, a decapitated cat was found in the field behind Applegarth House yesterday, this seems to be linked into the so called Croydon Cat Killer and the relevant investigations are taking place. PC Brookes-Smith has been out on pulse patrols in the North of the borough with other ward officers targeting ASB hotspot areas as well as burglary patrols and visits to some of our more well known nominals. This is now becoming a daily patrol across the borough using different officers on various days. PC James Telfer re joins our team from Monday 27/11/2017 after a few months away meaning there are now 2 PC Dedicated Ward Officers (DWO) and 1 PCSO DWO for North End. We have a surgery this Monday (27/11) from 2pm at Forest Road CafĂ©, please come and say hello if you are around". Northumberland Heath ward:- "We are pleased to say that it has been another fairly quiet week regarding reported crimes. On Sunday November 19th between the hours of 11am – 9pm there was an attempted burglary in Dalmeny Road which took place between 1100 am and 9pm. The victim left the property locked and secure and upon returning discovered that the rear patio door from the garden in to the kitchen had a bent frame and tool marks to the external lock. Thankfully entry to the property was not gained. As we are approaching the Christmas season and the dark nights are upon us, please think about purchasing timer switches for lamps or radios etc or simply leave a light on in the evenings when you go out. Further crime prevention advice can be found on the Metropolitan Police Website. We have had reports of anti-social behaviour taking place outside the Belmont Baptist Church on Thursday evenings where the Slimming World members meet. Several youths have tried to climb on the church roof and have been swearing and shouting at members of the group as they leave the premises. The team are working hard to try to identify the offenders and once identified home visits to parents will be conducted. The team will be holding more drop in Police surgeries throughout the ward and these will be advertised in due course". Thamesmead East ward:- "A burglary occurred at Portmeadow Walk, between the 13th and 18th November 2017. A gas metre was stolen after the front door was forced open, high visibility patrols have taken place since, to prevent further offences. Number plates being stolen seem to have been an issue at Fleming Way during the past seven days. Between the 18TH and 20th November, two motor vehicles had their plates taken. Patrols ongoing. Attempts were made to steal a moped overnight, Bledlow Close, 18th-19th November, thankfully the bike wasn’t taken. On the 16th November, a male ran from Police in Courtland Grove. Detained shortly afterwards, and arrested on suspicion of possession of Cocaine and Cannabis. (Good arrest, enquiries continue). We are always interested in recruiting new Neighbourhood watch co-ordinators for the ward. Please ask your family and friends if they would like to set up a Neighbourhood watch in their road. Please spread the word to any family and friends in the Borough - they can contact us on 020 8721 2049 or for more information. For latest news from Bexley Police, visit our twitter pages - @MPSBexley and @MPSThamesmeadE".

The photo above, which was sent to me courtesy of the Erith Quarry PR team, shows a cake version of The Quarry’s new state-of-the-art school, which is currently being built. The baked creation, which also incorporates edible trees and plants, was presented to the future head teacher of Limewood Free School, Claire Ingrams as well as children at the Woodland Trust. Local resident Rav Bansal, who created the unique cake can be seen below. He was apparently a recent contestant in the Great British Bake - Off. You can see a short video of Rav - click on the image below. Do give it a watch and please feel free to leave a comment, or to Email me at

No comments:

Post a Comment