Councillors lead Call-In on Hambledown decision

All three Eltham South councillors attended a meeting of Greenwich Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss the council's decision to develop housing on Hambledown Green, at the end of Hambledown Road.  Despite this being a decision of the Leader of the Council, Cllr Roberts seemed to be too busy to attend the meeting and no Cabinet Member came to defend the decision.

Over 100 Local residents living in both Greenwich and Bexley boroughs had made an application for the Green to be preserved as a Village Green, putting forward strong arguments regarding the fact that it is widely used by residents.  However this application was turned down by a Labour Party dominated committee, which even refused to refer the matter to an independent Inspector, event though it was the council making the planning application to build on the Green.

Conservative councillors therefore used the Call-In process to raise concerns regarding the fact that the council had not produced evidence to show they had considered alternative sites, concerns around drainage and flooding problems, as well as the fact that the council had not given proper notification of the decision.

Cllr Eileen Glover spoke to the committee about the possibility of building on alternative sites to allow the Green to be preserved, she also raised significant concerns about possible problems with flooding and drainage on the site, as in previous years the site had flooded, affecting homes across the border in Bexley, as well as significant drainage maintenance that had been require don the Avery Hill estate.

Cllr Adam Thomas raised concerns about the lack of information and transparency in the decision making process, as no evidence had been produced by the council as its consideration of alternative sites and the fact that local residents and ward councillors had not been involved in helping to identify possible development sites.  He also raised concerns about the councils costings for the development, with the council admitting that it had 'no data available' to be bale to provide a break down of the outline costs of £1 million.  Cllr Thomas raised serious concerns over value for money and that if drainage and flooding problems did arise the council could be left with significant extra costs as a result.

The Labour dominated committee however voted to ignore these issues and the concerns of residents and forced through the decision refusing to ask the Leader of the Council to think again.

Local councillors Matt Clare and Eileen Glover at the soon to be developed Hambledown Green