What happened to Woolwich Road’s £35,000?

Woolwich Road
It’s all go at the bottom of Victoria Way, where Greenwich Council is moving the zebra crossing in response to safety concerns. It’s not clear what’s going on at all; after the consultation which went to just a handful of households, actual news of what’s happening is thinner on the ground.

Simon commented a couple of weeks ago:

Please note everyone work now is underway – moving the zebra crossing 2 metres to the east. Well that really is going to help. Not even a raised crossing, no lights. I have asked the Council what is happening and have received no response as yet – will update if I know. Please contact Mary and the other Councillors locally if you are as disappointed as I am.

So far, there’s been no news…

Even more mysterious is the matter of a missing £35,000. As part of the Sainsbury’s/M&S development, developer LXB paid Greenwich Council £35,000 as part of what’s known as a Section 106 agreement. These are meant to offset the negative impact of a development by building or improving something positive in the area, and it was thought that this money would go into improving Woolwich Road.

But nobody’s sure where this money has gone. It’s not a process that’s well-known outside town halls, and it’s not certain whether this cash is actually ring-fenced in this way. With a council as notoriously opaque as Greenwich, the whole thing’s a mystery.

So is LXB’s cash going towards this zebra crossing shift, or is it going to something else? Or will it end up getting spent miles from Charlton? So far, nobody knows – unless you can enlighten us, dear reader.

17 thoughts on “What happened to Woolwich Road’s £35,000?

  1. Mary January 21, 2013 / 07:47

    Well you haven’t asked me have you??

    • Dave January 21, 2013 / 08:52

      it would be much easier if the council announced this sort of thing in the local press, rather people having ferret around trying to find out information

  2. Hayley January 21, 2013 / 10:34

    I’ve asked officers and will post a response as soon as I have one.

  3. Gavin January 21, 2013 / 10:59

    I think we may have had a similar situation in the development I live on (Hither Farm Rd/Nelson Mandela Rd – SE3). We have no streetlights on our road and have suffered a number of car break-ins. I wrote to Cllr Mick Hayes in 2009 and was told that the road is private. Bovis Homes, the developers, see the land as the councils. There was also mention of money paid to the council by Bovis upon ‘handing over’ the roads to the council.
    Bottom line is we have no streetlights on our road and neither Bovis or the council are interested. Me and my neighbours often joke that we should erect a gate at the bottom of the road since it’s ‘private’.

  4. Mary January 21, 2013 / 12:54

    Hayley – will talk to you, and Dick is also looking at it. Darryl – the rules for 106 agreements are quite strict and I suspect that the money can’t be spent yet. And I agree that all these complications should be better known – unless of course the Government takes to abolishing them, in which case …………………………………

  5. Paul Webbewood January 22, 2013 / 16:50

    I’ve never managed to get to the bottom of how Section 106 works in Greenwich. I think quite a lot of the money goes to support Greenwich Local Labour and Business (GLLaB) which never seems to have been properly scrutinised so we don’t know how cost effective it is.

    I once heard Deputy Leader Peter Brooks boast that he knew nothing about S106 and left it all to officers which was a pretty characteristic way of avoiding answering questions on the subject.

  6. Raymondo78 January 22, 2013 / 19:05

    With regards to the crossing, whatever happened to the Travelodge construction? I thought this was going to go ahead 2 years ago, subsequently moving the terrible zebra crossing to the west?

  7. fromthemurkydepths January 22, 2013 / 20:32

    Good post raising an interesting point. This is an intruiging subject that does need better scrutiny. I think there were some schemes on a Local Implementation Plan (money given from TfL to boroughs each year) from a while back that I have seen no evidence of. Will look into it a bit more when I have time.

    The councils ability to spend money on pointless road tinkering while other areas are crying out for funding has been puzzling for years. Whether the funding comes from from section 106 payments from developments, LIP funds from TfL, or general budgets, there’s waste and misguided priorities. Funding could, and should be better used on cycling provision and urban realm improvements. Other innovative and creative authorities have used funding for some great schemes that have really improved local areas.

  8. Mary January 24, 2013 / 12:17

    with reference to the £35,000 – I think Hayley will be putting something more definite on here about this – don’t want to tread on her toes – but the legal process is that the 106 can’t be signed until the planning consent has been granted, and it then has to be legally checked – and that only once it is signed is the money available – and many 106s will include trigger points in the development only after which the money can be spent.

    Over to Hayley for the detail …

    ok – Mr. Murky Depths – i will see what has happened to that. I put something on marysdiary blog a couple of days ago about a document we were given at Highways Committee which listed out all the current schemes with details. That should be on the council web site with the committee papers for that meeting – please get back to me if it isn’t. From my perspective in Peninsula Ward some of the road schemes being dealt with now are straightforward road safety issues – i.e. the bus ramp on the corner of Bugsbys Way/Commercial Road. An officer is due to report on cycling round the riverside path to the next Sustainable Communities panel and I understand more schemes will follow. Come along if you want.

    Raymondo – Travellodge – not sure – will check up – like a lot of other local developments, it has been delayed – although I must say I noticed the one in London Road,Bromley, has gone up in double quick time.

    Paul – as you know – in most 106s some money is allocated to getting jobs for local people – I can try and find out the standard proportion if you want.

  9. Hayley January 24, 2013 / 14:29

    No toe treading at all 🙂

    Mary is right that monies coming from the s106 for the hotel site have not yet been received because although planning permission has been approved the actual agreement has not been signed. There are also discussions about the s106 for the new Sainsbury’s site following approval at the last meeting. This will also include specific monies for transport improvements for the area. It may be that some of these monies can be used to improve cycle facilities in the area as councillors have called for. I’m told the Council will work with TfL to see what would be the most practical solution for the area. I’d prefer segregated lanes ‘Dutch style’ but we may not get that. I know that Dick and Mary are working hard in the area and I’m sure they’ll continue to call for as much as possible to improve the area.

    Everyone is welcome to the scrutiny meeting on the 12th February. I am usually there at about 6.30pm if anyone wants to come along and raise any specific issues.


  10. Mary January 24, 2013 / 16:55

    Thanks Hayley – I keep on hearing about ‘Dutch’ style for cycling as an ideal – for the record my only ever attempt at cycling in Holland was terrifying – and in the end I walked, too frightened to carry on.
    (hire bike much too big for me, the sort of brakes you have to back pedal, unforgiving heavy traffic)

    • Rejory January 30, 2013 / 20:35

      Just my penneth’s worth about cycling in Holland. It was such a revelation for me. Admittedly, it was in Neijmegen which can’t be fairly compared to London. What I saw was a four lane Highway (the main route out of town) narrowed to two lanes to accommodate segregated cycle lanes, a narrow road bridge made into a single file vehicle crossing with traffic lights at either end to accommodate a segregated cycle lane. Escalators installed for cyclists to carry bikes up different levels. Genuine, logical, continuous routes with separate traffic lights for cycle lanes. Not to mention the different priorities in cities: 1. pedestrian, 2. cyclists, 3. vehicles. So logical and so human.

  11. Darryl January 24, 2013 / 21:24

    Mary/ Hayley – thank you for hunting this down.

  12. Raymondo78 January 25, 2013 / 19:50

    I just don’t think ‘Dutch style’ is appropriate for the Woolwich Road… it needs some real investment, some foresight, a visionary urban planner. There seems little point spending such small sums for quick fixes. The junction at Victoria Way is dreadful, and the stretch of road is extremely unappealing for pedestrians and cyclists (almost wiped out again this evening by a souped-up BMW driving straight across the zebra).

    PS keep up the good work on the blog. I’m a newbie to Charlton, well we’ve lived here for a year, and would very much like to settle in the area.

  13. Stuart February 14, 2013 / 23:57

    We have a worthy cause for section 106 funding. Send it our way. We’d use it for a facility that would engage the youth & provide an alternative to lining the local dealers pockets.. much better than those ridiculous outdoor gyms.

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