IT TOOK 15 years but Crayford is set to benefit from a new £1 million nature conservation area.

Planning permission was granted in 1999 for developers Taylor Wimpey to build on Braeburn Park providing an area of open space was set aside.

The company was also required to pay £800,000 towards the future maintenance of the land, which has now grown to £1 million.

It is hoped the park will provide a habitat for a range of wild animal and plants, especially invertebrates such as bees, flower beetles and picture-winged flies.

After the final legal agreements were signed on February 4, the Land Trust and the London Wildlife Trust can look can look forward to managing what was the old Gun Club site along with Bexley Council.

Matthew Frith, director of policy and planning for the London Wildlife Trust said: "Braeburn Park provides an excellent opportunity to facilitate people’s positive engagement with the natural world.

"It is a site of borough-wide ecological importance in Bexley and has a unique range of features that have evolved from its previous land uses.

"London Wildlife Trust is keen to bring our expertise to the site, ensuring our conservation work goes hand-in-hand with making Braeburn a safe and attractive place for people to enjoy."

Bexley Council’s cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, Councillor Linda Bailey, added: "We are delighted this issue has finally been resolved and the area is set to gain a well maintained open space that will benefit local people and wildlife."

"We have worked hard for many years to find this solution and the result will be an area people can enjoy for many years to come."