'Garden grabbing' Bexley councillor's Bexleyheath house build application approved

Disgruntled residents at the meeting last night.

The spot where the house will be built.

Cllr Margaret O'Neill.

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

A councillor has been accused of being a “garden grabber” after a controversial application to build a house in her Bexleyheath back garden was approved.

Residents living near Erith Councillor Margaret O’Neill protested to News Shopper in January that the proposed building at the back of Garden Avenue will block out sunlight and damage wildlife.

But the application by council planning committee member Cllr O’Neill was recommended by planning officers and approved by councillors at a meeting last night.

Garden Avenue resident Tony Evan, 52, told News Shopper: “What we have got is a garden grabbing councillor. It just stinks.

“They didn’t tell us about it in time. By the time we got the letter we didn’t have any time to react.”

Mr Evan started a petition against the plans for a two-bedroom, two-storey, detached house with parking space fronting Palmar Road, gaining more than 50 signatures.

But the planning committee voted unanimously to approve the development with Cllr O’Neill required to absent herself from the council chamber at the Bexleyheath Civic Centre while the decision was made.

Mr Evan, a former prison officer, was joined by more than 10 other residents at the meeting, all of whom supported his charge the development would “decimate” the hedge sparrow population by removing two holly trees.

Pamela Bradley, 71, lives in Palmar Road. She said: “According to the RSPB their numbers have reduced by 50 per cent.

“They are an endangered species so by cutting down those trees you are damaging them even further.”

Mr Evan, who has lived in Garden Avenue for eight years, added: “At least it has brought us together.

“I never used to speak to anyone on Palmar Road so I suppose she has done one thing for the community.”

Cllr O’Neill said: “I am very pleased the integrity of the planning system was upheld” but did not wish to make any further comment.

Follow me on Facebook at facebook.com/tim.macfarlan.1 or on Twitter @NewsShopperTim

Comments (5)

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1:02pm Fri 28 Mar 14

elainey60 says...

the Councillors are looking out for themselves and themselves only , not one of these people have seen fit to come and see my daughters housing conditions despite being asked over and over ,They dont care about the normal working people in this borough .The Tory council looks after their selves and the richer parts of the borough not the working class men and women , who is going to live in this new house ? rented for ridiculously high rent or sold for a huge profit ? Not for one of the many people in London Borough of Bexleys many housing needy
the Councillors are looking out for themselves and themselves only , not one of these people have seen fit to come and see my daughters housing conditions despite being asked over and over ,They dont care about the normal working people in this borough .The Tory council looks after their selves and the richer parts of the borough not the working class men and women , who is going to live in this new house ? rented for ridiculously high rent or sold for a huge profit ? Not for one of the many people in London Borough of Bexleys many housing needy elainey60
  • Score: 8

5:38pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Bestbaz says...

Roll on the councils elections, hopefully we will get a better bunch voted in. I have the same problem with my Ward Councillor. IMHO he is an absolute waste of a salary. He has shown no interest in issue we experience in his ward
Roll on the councils elections, hopefully we will get a better bunch voted in. I have the same problem with my Ward Councillor. IMHO he is an absolute waste of a salary. He has shown no interest in issue we experience in his ward Bestbaz
  • Score: 0

7:17pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Gypo.Joe says...

"would “decimate” the hedge sparrow population by removing two holly trees."


Nice try but Tubby O’Neill could give a stuff. Its all about the $$$£££ boi.
"would “decimate” the hedge sparrow population by removing two holly trees." Nice try but Tubby O’Neill could give a stuff. Its all about the $$$£££ boi. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: -14

11:47am Tue 1 Apr 14

highway warrior says...

NIMBY alert. Doesn't matter if it is a councillor or a builder, if theres space it will happen. Everyone is make a big thing about it because a councillor owns it.
NIMBY alert. Doesn't matter if it is a councillor or a builder, if theres space it will happen. Everyone is make a big thing about it because a councillor owns it. highway warrior
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Fri 4 Apr 14

chunkybuster says...

guess what? Bexley councillor gets Bexley council to give her permission to stuff a house into her back garden against the wishes of 99% of the people who live in the road. No wonder we and America are going round the world imposing 'freedom and democracy ' on other places! pity we can't have it here!
guess what? Bexley councillor gets Bexley council to give her permission to stuff a house into her back garden against the wishes of 99% of the people who live in the road. No wonder we and America are going round the world imposing 'freedom and democracy ' on other places! pity we can't have it here! chunkybuster
  • Score: 0

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