NCRA NewsMail

23 December 2017

NEWS FROM THE SECRETARY: December Committee Meeting

Report from Cllr Don Massey In this, Don reported that due to the commitment of both the Council and residents, Bexley remains the No. 1 borough in London for recycling. The Garden Waste collection service brings £1.4m a year in to Bexley's funds! Bexley was on-course for a further underspend; but faces several challenges such as Homelessness. However, it did have a Reserve Fund and a grip on its Finances - and has been working hard towards 'Self-sufficiency'.

Orchard View Farm, upper Parsonage Lane The Committee welcomed the decision by Bexley's Planning Committee (PC) at its meeting on December 14th to overturn the planning officer's surprising recommendation to allow the existing buildings on this site to be demolished and replaced by three dwellings. This was an important one to win as it represented a major threat to North Cray's Green Belt. If lost, it would have opened the floodgates to further breaches of Green Belt Policy (national and local) by encouraging other landowners, or developers, to make similar applications.

Orchard View is a particularly sensitive site as it runs alongside an unmade track leading to Joydens and Chalk Woods, one used every day by local people walking their dogs, and by visitors from other parts of Bexley and beyond who use this bridleway for leisure pursuits such as horse riding and rambling. If allowed, the extra number of cars and service vehicles coming and going at all times, seven days a week would have affected the lives of people living in Parsonage Lane - which in places is narrow and has no pavements.

In refusing Planning's recommendation, the PC said that the proposal was an inappropriate development in the Green Belt and contrary to several of Bexley's planning policies, the National Planning Policy Framework and the London Plan. It added that by reason of its design and incongruous appearance, the development would not represent good design and would fail to preserve the individual quality or character of the Cray Valley Heritage Land. To see what they meant you can view the drawings on Bexley's Planning Web Page by searching on the ref 17/02176/FUL, or by following this LINK.

A 'webcast' of the debate, available on Bexley's website can be viewed by following this LINK

Special appeal by our Webmaster A large part of the information published in our NewsMail service by our webmaster Nik Carter, consists of information on crime and crime prevention sent to him by Neighbourhood Watch and our local police team. We are concerned that this could create a false impression that North Cray is an unsafe area in which to live and want to balance this kind of information with more items of local interest. Members are invited to send him any material of this kind for publication in a NewsMail ideally supported by photographs. Perhaps something like the NewsMail that he recently published about David Phillips' safe return from the Round the World Clipper Race. Please do support Nik in this way by sending contributions to The Committee

Jean Gammons