Blackheath Westcombe: Local News Roundup

Licensing

When he learnt that the Royal Standard, the only pub in the ward, was proposing to extend its licensing laws to as late as 3 am , and that local residents had not been notified of its application to the council, to do so, Rhodri personally wrote to nearby properties to inform them. Despite the lack of notice, Rhodri only found out 10 days before the closing date for objections, a large number of local residents wrote to the council to oppose the application. As a result, the pub closing times have been set at 12:30 am on Sunday to Thursday and 1:30 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

These extended hours are still too late. The new licensing process works against the interests of neighbours potentially affected by it. The new laws have tied council’s hands but it seems ridiculous that they no longer write to neighbouring houses to inform them about applications.

Masts

Orange mobile phone masts on Westcombe CourtMany readers will know that residents of Westcombe Court and neighbouring homes have been fighting to persuade the council not to renew the lease for the Orange mobile phone substation and masts on top of the building. It appears that they may have succeeded. “If this is so, then the residents are to be congratulated. Orange would probably still be able to appeal to the courts but this would be an important first step” said local Conservative activist Alex Wilson. “To prevent a gap in their coverage, Orange may have to find an alternative site, but it cannot be right for them to override the wishes of the people who live just feet below the existing facility.”

Buses

Transport for London has shelved their plans to for a new 228 service to run between Blackheath village and Greenwich town centre, a route that conservative councillors and many others have been asking for over many years. For a while it appeared that the council might step in with a locally subsidised service until TFL find the necessary fund. Now even this appears to be a non-starter.
Trains

Westcombe Park StationPressure form Conservative councillors in the borough, which culminated in the presentation of at massive petition against their proposals, has helped to persuade Network Rail to change their minds about ending the Victoria service from Eltham via Blackheath.

However, there is no such good news for the Charing Cross services from Westcombe Park, Maze Hill and Greenwich stations which are to be re-routed to Cannon Street. Everyone, even the council, opposes this, but rail bosses seem immovable. “Ever since I was a child I have used this service to easily get up to the West End, now my commute will become harder than ever,” says local Conservative activist Peter Whittle. “This change will also make it harder for the many tourists who use the service to get to the historic Greenwich Village and Royal Park.”

Blackheath Village

The roads works in the village were completed fairly quickly, but what have they achieved? The speed tables and speed bumps are almost undetectable in a car and, anyway, you are lucky to be able to do 20 miles per hour in the village most of the time, says local resident Geoffrey Brighty. Meanwhile, the unworkable bus lane on Wemyss Road, remains. This was surely not the best use of Tax payer’s money”.
Kidbrooke Park Estate

A general meeting Kidbrooke park estate resident’s assoc in October saw a presentation of the Ferrier redevelopment. While little new information emerged, residents were pleased to have the opportunity to impress on council’s staff their concerns about affects upon local traffic movements, particularly in Kidbrooke park road, upon demand for schools places and GP services and upon local shopping facilities, particularly in Rochester way. Rhodri who attended the meeting, remarked, “This may be a 10-year project, but the association is absolutely right to highlight their concerns now, I trust the council is listening.”