Activists fear a new development being pushed by Bexley Borough Council will result in the destruction of one of Erith’s last remaining green spaces.

The authority has submitted plans through their property arm, BexleyCo, to build 30 residential units at the junction of Macarthur Close and West Street.

The council says the part four-storey, part five-storey block would be an ideal utilization of an “under-used” site, though the proposal has already ruffled feathers among local groups.

Community group the Erith Think Tank are among those opposing the project, and have launched a campaign to “save the green space”.

The think tank’s main concern is the potential loss of what they described as a “key” park area for Erith.

“This would mean the loss of key green space in Erith. Aside from the Riverside Gardens there is very little open green space in Erith for communities to enjoy,” the group said in a statement.

“It was a criticism of the council’s Growth Strategy, by the Greater London Authority, that not enough provision for green space was allowed for in their regeneration plans. It is too costly to lose another Erith asset.”

The proposal also doesn’t include any affordable housing, with units to be leased or sold at market value after initial studies showed it wouldn’t be “financially viable”.

“This is due to the high construction costs associated with providing a high quality residential development on a constrained site,” the plans state.

However, BexleyCo would instead make a commuted sum contribution of £100,000 in lieu of on-site provision, they state. 

In a planning statement, BexleyCo state their intention to create “a simple elegant building that addresses the corner and enhances the streetscene“.

The plans state that the storey heights take “direct reference” to the nearby Chichester Wharf buildings, which extend up to seven storeys.

According to the planning statement, brick has been used as the principal material, while an extensive landscaping scheme has been predicted to help  “sensitively integrate the new building in a green setting”.

While the think tank are concerned about the removal of 20 trees for the development, 13 new trees are proposed for the site.

Because it is a council application, the proposal will be required to front the authority’s council planning committee for decision in the future.