The search for
the land use document that Deputy Director Toni Ainge said was a
struggle to find led me to look at a large scale map and I noticed something that I had
not come across in all my near 29 years in Bexley; even though I drive by it every week or two.
It is called Burr Farm and the council’s land ownership record shows it belongs to them.
It’s vacant and Bexley council owns the Freehold. Why had I never heard of it? It’s not all that far from home. Well as Google Earth reveals, it is well hidden behind a continuous circle of houses.
Take a good look…
Scroll or click to see all of Burr Farm.
Remind you of anything? Yes me too. It is
not all that different to Old Farm
Park complete with railway track along one side.
I went along to take a look but it was a very strange piece of publicly owned land; I couldn’t find a way in.
I asked a lady cleaning her car outside her house if there was a way in. She said that the occasional dog walker gets beyond the fence but she thought that they must be residents accessing the land through their own rear gardens. There is no legitimate access point, she said, as the spiked fences and padlock suggest.
The lady recalled that when she first lived there youngsters could be seen playing football but nothing like that has happened for many years. She always expected that someone would build on the land eventually but it never happened. I had to agree it looked a likely candidate so I came home and searched Bexley’s list of land for sale.
• Berwick Crescent (triangular site to east), Sidcup (Open Space)
• Bexley Road, Erith ( Open Space)
• Millfield Open Space, Crayford (Open Space)
• Wilde Road East, Northumberland Heath (Open Space)
• Wilde Road West, Northumberland Heath (Open Space)
• Hook Lane Open Space, Welling (Open Space)
• Land adjacent to 115 Frinsted Road, Erith (Highway)
• Gable Close and Maiden Lane, Crayford (Highway)
• Land adjacent to 44 Maximfeldt Road, Erith (Highway)
• Land adjacent to 1 Holly Hill Road, Erith (Highway)
• Land adjacent to 1 Slade Garden, Slade Green (Highway)
• Land adjacent to 14 Stuart Rd Welling (Highway)
• Junction of Napier Road and Wellington Road, Erith (Highway)
• Land fronting 11 and 12 Court Avenue, Belvedere (Highway)
• Land fronting 65-69 Blackfen Road, Sidcup (Highway)
• Land adjacent to 246 Bedonwell Road, Belvedere (Highway)
• Land adjacent to 95 The Grove, Bexley (Highway)
• Land at St James and North Cray Road, Sidcup (Highway)
• Land at Gayton Road adjacent to 28 Wilton Road, Abbey Wood (Highway)
• Land adjacent to 154 Upper Abbey Road (Highway)
• Berwick Crescent (two corner plots to south west), Sidcup (Open Space)
• Old Farm Park, Sidcup (Eastern half) (Open Space);
• West Street Small Park, Erith (Open Space)
• Erith Station/Stonewood Road, Erith (Highway)
• Land at junction of Fraser Road and Alford Road, Erith (Highway)
• Land adjacent to 1 Peareswood Road, Northend, Erith (Highway)
I drew a blank with Bexley’s secluded lost park.
When taking a detached view of things I almost understand why Bexley council is so keen on selling the family silver. After steering the financial ship ever closer to the mid-ocean iceberg, beaching on the rocks must seem almost attractive.
But the reason for keeping Burr Farm off the for sale list and a little known protected secret had me stumped - until I remembered this. A certain politician’s 2014 election nomination paper…
125 Church Road, Bexleyheath looks straight out on a totally empty green space. If you scroll the Google Earth image it is the road at the bottom of the picture.
In fact the first two of the park photos above were taken from the service track which runs behind the houses of which Bexley council’s leader’s is one.
As deputy council leader Alex Sawyer said last week, if he had a park behind his house and it was sold for development he wouldn’t like it one bit.
Perhaps he was speaking on behalf of of his boss, but unlike Alex and the residents of Old Farm Avenue she is in a position to do something about it.
From the moment deputy leader Teresa O’Neill OBE (Outrageous Backyard Exclusion) said in 2009 she knew absolutely nothing about leader Ian Clement’s abuse of his council credit card everyone suspected she could not be trusted.
And it’s not getting any better.