Bexley’s Cabinet has approved a Growth Strategy for the borough. It sets out the Council’s long-term vision and principles for good growth, particularly over the 30 years from 2020 to 2050.
The final version of the Strategy has been shaped by comments from residents, businesses and other key stakeholders. It is the result of over two years’ work, involving collaboration, research, engagement and public consultation.
“The final strategy sets out how we plan to ensure that the borough thrives and grows in a way that works for local people and is sustainable,” said Council Leader Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE. “It’s about much more than building new homes and workplaces: it’s about creating sustainable, healthy and high-quality neighbourhoods of which we can all be proud.”
Subject to significant investment in the right infrastructure in the right places, the Strategy sets out how up to 31,500 new homes and 17,500 new jobs could be secured across the borough by 2050.
Cllr Linda Bailey, Cabinet member for Regeneration & Growth said: “Growth is already taking place in the borough and unfortunately some of it is having a negative impact. The Strategy will help us take control and make growth something positive for people who live and work in the borough. We want the borough and its residents to prosper and enjoy a good quality of life, while preserving its heritage and essential character.”
The eight outcomes that the Council wants to secure through the Strategy are –
• achieve a step change in strategic transport infrastructure improvements and regeneration opportunities, particularly in the north of the borough – the former radically enhancing Bexley’s connectivity to London;
• enhance social and green infrastructure for the wellbeing of the borough’s residents and its environment;
• secure and enhance educational, skills and employment prospects locally and on the London employment stage, including the Place and Making Institute;
• create a network of flexible working spaces;
• increase the flow and diversity of housing availability for all tenures, households, sizes and life stages;
• increase vitality and investment opportunities, make best use of private and public sector landholdings in a tough financial setting; and
• protect the things that already make Bexley a good place to live and work and be ambitious in seeking to develop new assets for future generations.
The final version of the Strategy includes amendments in response to the feedback received and to clarify issues that were highlighted during the consultation. It now includes examples of good growth inside and outside the key opportunity areas identified in the strategy and more on the benefits that well managed growth will deliver.
All the papers considered by the Cabinet are available on the Council’s website, including a Statement of Consultation Report. This sets out how the Council consulted people on the draft Growth Strategy, the responses received, the main issues raised, the Council’s response to them and how the document was changed as a result.
Once adopted, the Council will use the Strategy as the primary source of its high level approach to growth and associated infrastructure requirements. It will help to inform future planning documents, such as the local plan, and responses to the growth plans of others, such as the emerging London Plan.