Map-lovers of SE London unite, because Greenwich Council has a new one to show you – this is how the council wants to organise the borough in the next 15 years…
Yup, Charlton’s there (a bit a of a surprise, actually), Woolwich, Plumstead, even dear old Abbey Wood. Not quite sure what’s happening with Greenwich, but where’s Blackheath gone? And what’s that at the bottom? Strangely, the whole document seems to bundle all of the south of the borough – Kidbrooke, Eltham, New Eltham, Lee, Shooters Hill and Mottingham, into one great homogenous “Eltham and the south of the borough” lump. Considering the right-leaning voting habits of many of those places, perhaps it’s a delayed riposte to Spitting Image’s brilliantly offensive mid-1980s Tory Atlas of the World…
After all, they’re all the same one you go south of the Shooters Hill Road, aren’t they? All boring semis and voting Tory?
Well, probably not – and I have to confess to not often venturing down that way myself. But it does seem to me to be an odd way to treat a great chunk of your borough’s residents, to write their areas off as a great big homogenous lump.
So what’s this strategy all about, then? Well, it’s essentially the bible for the borough’s future planning policy. The council would probably say that because most of the south of the borough is already developed, it doesn’t need such fine attention – while much of the riverfront presents new opportunities. So we have some changes to planning guidelines – the west side of the Greenwich Peninsula and the Charlton riverside will now be opened up to housing development, for example.
Another eye-catching paragraph gives the go-ahead for tall buildings on the riverfront and around Abbey Wood station (right on the edge of Bexley borough) – something which would change the face of south-east London forever. There’s a breakdown of what’s planned for each area here.
It’s been open to consultation for nearly 12 weeks – what do you mean, you hadn’t heard of it before? There were also some exhibitions, laid on when you were probably at work. I went to one a couple of weeks ago, buried within Charlton House with no signs outside enticing people to come in or helping anyone find it. Inside, two boards gave very little information about what the Draft Core Strategy was about, not even enough to spur questions to the two friendly chaps from the council, who then apologised to a couple of visitors because they were blocking panels detailing Charlton House’s history.
But time’s running out – the consultation closes at 5pm on
Sunday Saturday. It’s online, though – so you can read the whole thing – and comment on it here.
After all, you’ve not got anything else on this weekend, have you?