Congratulations are due to the Friends of Well Wood in Coney Hall who, last week, picked up a London RE:LEAF Tree and Woodland Award.
The Council’s Community Forest Development Officer writes:
“The ward was The Tree Council’s Trees and Learning Award for involving under 16 year olds in the transformation of Well Wood through sustainable tree-related educational and planting programmes; increasing knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the environment by the children and young people who have participated; and showing evidence of sustainable environmental improvements.
With 7 year olds designing a woodland trail for families, scouts planting hundreds of trees, and teachers empowered to use the woodland habitat in their teaching, “Transforming Well Wood” is a project inspired, driven and delivered by the local community. Local school children have attended interactive woodland workshops to learn about their local woodland. The creation of a new walking trail with a bright, colourful trail logo designed by the children gives families a starting point to explore the woodland using the improved paths, signage and entrances for easier buggy and pedestrian access. The thinned and coppiced woodland has increased the structural diversity and improved the ground flora for wildlife to thrive.”
As your councillors we would add that it’s a feather in the cap for the wider scheme of ‘friends’ groups in our parks, woodlands and other open spaces – an initiative that Bromley has pioneered over many years.
Over the spring we have been working to see suitable alternatives to the current public toilets in Coney Hall. The loos are currently earmarked for closure as the council fills the £33m funding gap as part of the government’s measures to reduce the national deficit.
We have already been successful in getting the closure deferred while participants in the replacement “Community Toilets” scheme for the area are signed up.
The Coney is already on board to provide free public access to their facilities, and the Council is keen to find another location as well, particularly to cover the earlier hours before The Coney opens as we know this is of concern to some residents.
Update (Nov. ’11): The Sini BBQ Grill has now agreed to take part, The Coney is no longer due to participate.
Late last summer, after a concerted campaign by residents, supported by your councillors, the backland development proposals in Chestnut Avenue were rejected by the council. Recently, however, the applicant lodged an appeal just days before the six month deadline. It is now understood that the Planning Inspectorate will deal with the appeal by the ‘written representations’ method without a public hearing.
They were joined by John Stone, Chairman of West Wickham South Residents’ Association and Cllr. Neil Reddin as local councillor. Neil promised that they would keep residents informed of progress. The application is expected to be determined in early July.
(Credit to Christine Riches for organising the gathering.)
A planning application has recently been received by the Council which resurrects the spectre of ‘backland’ or ‘garden grabbing’ development at the rear of 2-6 Chestnut Avenue.
Your local councillors have received many enquiries and objections to the plans from local residents, particularly in the light of the change in the law, announced by the new government a few days ago, which removes the automatic designation of back gardens as ‘brownfield’ sites. It is now harder (though certainly not impossible) for developers to get planning permission for so-called “backland development”,
Cllrs. Graham Arthur and Neil Reddin are opposing the plans. (Cllr. Anne Manning, as a member of two of the plans committees that might hear the application, must remain publicly neutral at this stage.)
A long running problem has been the leaking drainage system in Layhams Road, resulting in a collapsed drain at the roundabout at the junction with Addington Road.
The problem has taken longer to resolve due, in part, to unsuccessful attempts to persuade Thames Water to take responsibility for any repairs, rather than the private owners of the sewer/drain, plus convoluted legal problems. Formal notices were served on the owners but, in default, the Council has stepped in to actually carry out the works on their behalf.
Serving Hayes, Coney Hall, West Wickham Common and Hayesford Park