Bexley Council has been touting its plans for a shopping centre in
Belvedere for the past couple of years and I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that it would be built along the more
northerly section of Picardy Manorway and be close to where the Morgan restaurant and Starbucks, shortly to be
joined by Lidl, currently are.
There are signs that I was wrong
Bexley Council has asked the GLA for the £150,000 required to pursue “a master plan” for Belvedere. Nothing will happen immediately if for no other reason that it is to some extent Crossrail dependent. Remember that? There was a plan to provide a new rail service to Abbey Wood and perhaps beyond. Whatever happened to it?
The Council has in mind “a significant net increase in new homes, a reinvigorated retail offer, reprovision of services for children and families, high quality public realm improvements and creating new employment and training opportunities”.
The map below and the Council’s statement suggest that Orbit Housing may do something drastic with their housing stock within the red boundary line. They have “commenced an initial engagement exercise with their residents”.
Mrs. Richardson who is Bexley’s Assistant Chief Executive and responsible for Growth and Regeneration spoke on the subject recently.
She said that while development plans for Thamesmead and Erith were well advanced the same did not hold true for Belvedere but it is “essential that we have a clear vision here as well”.
The map has gone to the Mayor’s Office as part of the bid for money to fund the detailed plans and Mrs. Richardson noted that the Belvedere public house to the south of Station Road will be included despite the line indicating otherwise.
If the Mayor fails to come up with the £150k. contingency plans are in place to cover it.
Deputy Leader Louie French said he hoped that the Mayor shared Bexley’s ambitions and that “he put his money where his mouth is. There is is huge potential under the Growth Strategy for regeneration in the Belvedere area”.
Councillor Sally Hinkley (Labour) who represents the area thanked Jane Richardson and her team for the work put into the Belvedere scheme. “Belvedere is an integral part of the future [of the North of the borough].”
“Belvedere was once and maybe still is perceived by some to be the poor relation to Upper Belvedere and the rest of Bexley but the area is evolving and big names are investing in the area already. The number of young professionals willing to call Belvedere home is growing.”
“We must be careful to protect what makes Belvedere such a strong community. Some of the traders [within the red line] have been there for generations.”
She made the same point about the housing stock. “It is not a transient population and many residents have been there for many years. They take a pride in their homes and have very substantial roots in the area.”
She wanted “wide ranging consultation” and for the Council to “listen to their voices”.
Cabinet Member Louie French said he would want to see consultation “but at present we are at a very early stage”.