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News and Comment October 2012

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4 October - Slade Green. Bexley council’s dumping ground

Slade Green wind turbine Slade Green wind turbine Slade Green wind turbineBexley council has said that the 285 foot high wind turbine which appeared a few hundred yards east of Erith town centre last week was the subject of a consultation. According to a council statement “Consultation did take place but not as far away as where Mr. Saunders [featured in a News Shopper report] lives, as there is no requirement to do so. A site notice was also displayed”.

Having made a visit to the site this morning I have to say there are not many houses closer to the turbine than Mr. Saunders’ address. The first turbine photograph was taken from the next road along from Mr. Saunders’.

Bexley council has also said that “a site notice was also displayed”. The site is down a road occupied by trade premises. Close though it is to their homes, there is no reason for any local resident to go there.

I searched the planning committee agendas for April and May this year and the word turbine appears only once - on another site and the idea was rejected. A call to Bexley council found a helpful young lady who told me that was correct, it was a ‘nod through job’ by one, Mark Watling. She had had enough enquiries to know everything pretty much off by heart and gave me the planning application number. It is 12/00230/FUL.

An examination of the on line files shows a consultation dated 5th April 2012 with a last date for comments three weeks later. On 22nd May 2012 Mr. Mark Watling took the decision to blight the Erith skyline and take ten thousand pounds or so off the value of each and every house in the immediate vicinity. Contrary to what I read on some News Shopper readers’ comments, and perhaps my own expectations, the nearby houses were rather nice and very far from being run down slums.

I don’t trust Bexley council when it comes to consultations. I and all my neighbours were mysteriously not consulted about Abbey Road when Bexley council insisted they had consulted with all nearby addresses so I have asked Mr. Barnbrook to do us all a favour. Submit a Freedom of Information request for a copy of all the consultation documents, the addresses (roads) to which they were distributed plus a breakdown of the approval and objection figures. Additionally all noise assessment reports. Perhaps he will send it in a brown envelope.

Down in Bexley village businesses aren’t allowed to put up so much as a brightly coloured advertisement but in Erith it is OK to erect a turbine in the middle of an urban area without, apparently, any councillor being consulted.

Bexley council’s on line planning application portal can be notoriously difficult to find, which is why a link is available from the Bonkers’ Home page. See Links>Council and it is the last item on the list.


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