Pothole hell of Sidcup retirement park's 'forgotten community'

The track at its worst.

The track at its worst.

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

Residents of a Sidcup retirement park say they feel like a "forgotten community" because no one will fix their pothole-studded access road.

Stonehill Woods Park itself is in Dartford but a stretch of the half-mile track leading to it from Maidstone Road is part of Bexley.

Where the lane is just gravel and dirt there are potholes up to a foot deep and it is only one car-width wide and steep in places.

This causes problems for many elderly residents of the park who struggle to walk or drive down it.

Resident Chris Turpin, 58, told News Shopper: "We feel like the forgotten community.

"These homes have modern structures but they are predominantly wooden.

"Would it take somebody to burn out here because the fire brigade couldn’t reach us?

"Someone eventually will die in this park."

As well as concerns about access for emergency services, residents complain of damaged exhausts and say some taxi drivers refuse to pick up or drop off there.

Marilyn Bowditch, 45, is a carer for her mum Cecilia Pomfret, 70, and visits her at the park five times a week from her home in Mayfield Road, Belvedere.

News Shopper:

Residents of Stonehill Woods Park are not happy. 

The mother-of-one said: "It’s an absolute disgrace.

"When autumn comes it starts to get dark. Because you can’t see anything and there’s quite a big ditch on one side it’s scary driving up."

John Ellis owns the worst stretch of the track, which also passes his Timbertop Equestrian Centre, but is not obliged to maintain the road on behalf of the Sawyers Park Homes-owned site.

He said: "I feel very sorry for them up there but the park keeps growing without any provision being made to sort out the road.

"I will give them any help they want but to do this road would cost me a lot of money."

A Bexley Council spokesman said: "A public footpath runs along this private road.

"The council has a duty to ensure the footpath is maintained to a footpath standard and for a rural area an un-made natural surface is appropriate.

"As such the council, as the highway authority, is fulfilling its obligations."

Sawyers Park Homes could not be reached for comment.

Comments (2)

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10:48am Wed 20 Aug 14

madras says...

Isn't this down to the owners of the caravan park, the people to whom presumably the residents pay rent / maintenance fees?
Isn't this down to the owners of the caravan park, the people to whom presumably the residents pay rent / maintenance fees? madras
  • Score: 13

10:41am Thu 21 Aug 14

highway warrior says...

I can't believe these inconsiderate people have ruined a footpath by driving down it! Problem is the caravan site is in Kent and the footpath in Bexley. They want a road, they need to cough up for it. Simple.
I can't believe these inconsiderate people have ruined a footpath by driving down it! Problem is the caravan site is in Kent and the footpath in Bexley. They want a road, they need to cough up for it. Simple. highway warrior
  • Score: 3
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