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  1. Introduction
  2. Background to the Plan

Part One

  3. General strategy and Part One policies

Part Two

  4. The reasons for the Council's strategy
  5. Environment
  6. Housing
  7. Employment and economic activity
  8. Traffic and transportation
    Annex 1 - Parking policy standards
  9. Shopping and town centres
  10. Tourism and leisure
  11. Bexleyheath Town Centre
  12. Thames-side
  13. Community services
  14 Minerals and waste processing
  15. Monitoring and review

Maps and plans

  4.1 Context diagram
  7.1 Crayford Industrial Area
  9.1 Sidcup - Major district centre
  9.2 Crayford - Major district centre
  9.3 Erith - Major district centre
  9.4 Welling - Major district centre
  9.5 Blackfen - District centre
  9.6 Belvedere - District centre
  9.7 Northumberland Heath - District centre
  9.8 Old Bexley - District centre
  11.1 Bexleyheath – Strategic centre
  12.1 Thames Policy Area
  12.2 Erith Riverside Redevelopment areas referred to in Policy TS21
    Lesnes Abbey Woods Nature Reserve
    Danson Park Bog Garden Nature Reserve
    Foots Cray Meadows Nature Reserve
    Crossness Nature Reserve
  K. Controlled Parking Zones

Design and Development Control guidelines

  1. New residential development
  2. Extensions to houses
  3. Residential conversions
  4. Considerate design for the less agile
  5. Highways considerations in Development Control
  6. Erith Riverside
  7. Shopfronts and advertisements
  8. Industrial and commercial development
  9. Temporary planning permissions
  10. Playspace provision in new developments


  A Glossary
  B Local Nature Reserves
  C Areas and Sites of Nature Conservation
  D1 Statutorily listed buildings
  D2 Locally listed buildings
  D3 Scheduled ancient monuments
  D4 Registered historic parks and gardens
  E Conservation Areas
  F1 Housing provision in Bexley (April 2004)
  F2 Housing proposals schedule
  F3 Residential Areas of Special Character
  G Neighbourhood Centres
  H Hierarchy of public open space
  I Business land provision
  J Additional uses for which Policy E13 applies
  K Existing and proposed Controlled Parking Zones
  L Key indicators and targets for the UDP
  M Index to policies by subject
Policy list
Policy text

Appendix A: Glossary

Access Statement - A statement accompanying an application for planning consent or approval under the Building Regulations to identify the approach adopted towards inclusive design and highlight relevant aspects of the submitted scheme. It might mention sources of advice and guidance relied upon and might be revised both before and after the issuance of an Approval to reflect decisions made on site or by a future occupier. Many Building Regulation applications for non-residential premises have to be accompanied by an Access Statement. It may explain why a scheme appears to deviate from sections of Approved Document Part M and offer a justification for any such non-conformity.
Areas of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation - Areas which contain the best examples of London's habitats, sites that contain rare species, rare assemblages of species, important populations of species, or which are of particular significance within large areas of otherwise built-up London. They are of highest priority for protection.
Article 4 Direction - A Direction made under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 removing specified permitted development rights granted under that order from a defined area. Such orders are used to ensure that planning permission is sought for relatively minor developments that may have an effect on the character or visual amenity of an area. Article 4 (1) Directions must be submitted to the Secretary of State for the Environment for approval.
Bexleyheath Town Centre Local (Action Area) Plan - A plan adopted by the Council in February 1983 as the statutory land use plan for Bexleyheath Town Centre. The Unitary Development Plan supersedes this plan.
Bexley Borough Plan - The statutory Local Plan for the Borough adopted in 1985. In July 1996 the Unitary Development Plan superseded this plan.
Buildings of local interest - Buildings which appear on the Council's register because of their recognised importance to the locality.
Care in the community - A programme to replace large, institutional homes and hostels for the mentally disabled with small group homes within the community.
Comparison shopping - Shopping trips undertaken less frequently for items other than food, such as clothing, footwear, electrical and household goods.
Conservation Area - An area of special architectural or historical interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. Buildings in such areas are protected from unauthorised demolition (Sections 69 and 70 Town and Country Planning [Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas] Act 1990).
Convenience shopping - Shopping trips undertaken on a fairly regular basis mainly for food and other goods used on a day-to-day basis, such as newspapers and toiletries.
Core shopping frontage - Shopping frontages within the defined town centres which are their foci of retail activity (see maps in Chapter 9). A justification for the classification of town centre property as core and non-core frontages may be found in PPS6, published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)
English Heritage   Popular name for the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England set up by the Government to oversee historic buildings and Conservation Areas.
English Nature - Formerly the Nature Conservancy Council. Its functions include the establishment, maintenance and management of nature reserves, advisory and research work.
Environment Agency - This Agency was established on 1.4.96 and combines the work previously carried out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP), the National Rivers Authority (NRA), and the County Council or London Waste Regulation Authorities (WRAs).
Free-standing advertisement - A freestanding advertisement includes those advertisements separate or remote from another building or structure, whether illuminated or non-illuminated or located on a forecourt, footway or any other land. The definition includes, for example, pole signs, flag advertisements, single and joined boards or panel signs, advertising drums, etc., but excludes advertisement hoardings.
GLA - The Greater London Authority seeks to oversee the planning work of 33 local authorities in London. It is a regional body consisting of a Mayor and an Assembly elected by a method of proportional representation. It also takes a leading role in the delivery of transport networks and the emergency services across London and in some adjoining areas. It adopted a London Plan in February 2004.
GLDP - The Greater London Development Plan. Approved in 1976, this was the Structure Plan for all boroughs in Greater London prior to the introduction of Unitary Development Plans.
Green Chains - Public and private open spaces, largely in recreational use, linked together visually or functionally by footpaths or other means. The South East London Green Chain extends in a virtually continuous arc through the boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham.
Groundwork Trust - Organisations established by the Countryside Commission for the management and improvement of the countryside based on a partnership between Central and Local Government, the business community and voluntary organisations.
Habitable room - All rooms used for living purposes except kitchens with a floor area of less than 13m², bathrooms, toilets, corridors and halls. Rooms of 28m² or more are defined as two habitable rooms.
Heritage Land - Primarily open areas of land, of strategic importance to London, including areas of nature conservation, high landscape quality and historic importance
Initial Development Plan for Greater London - For Bexley Borough, this comprised the Kent County Plan and Thames-side/West Kent Town Maps. This was the statutory development plan for the area from 1958 until the adoption of the Bexley Borough Plan and Bexleyheath Town Centre Plan in 1985 and 1983 respectively.
Intermediate housing - Sub-market housing which is above target rents but is substantially below open market levels and is affordable by households on incomes of less than £40,000 (as at 2003/4, to be reviewed annually to reflect changes in income: house-price ratios.) This pan London figure will be adapted to the Bexley context through supplementary Planning Guidance and will be kept under review. This category can include shared ownership, sub-market rent provision and key worker housing which meets this criterion. It may also include some low-cost market housing where its price is equivalent to other forms of intermediate housing.
Key worker - Key workers are considered to be workers who provide essential services to the public on low or moderate incomes who cannot access market housing and for whom there is a local problem in recruitment. Examples of relevant services will be specified in Supplementary Planning Guidance, which will be updated throughout the Plan period.
Leisure facilities - The term "leisure" used throughout this document refers to the wide range of activities undertaken during the time a person may have beyond the necessary demands of work, school/college and the home. It encompasses passive and active, participatory and spectator, formal and casual recreational activities offered by the full range of provider organisations from the commercial and voluntary sectors as well as the Council and other public bodies.
  • Leisure facilities, therefore, offer a wide range of activities as defined above;
  • Recreational facilities may be very similar, but focus on the sport, health and exercise aspects of leisure;
  • Social facilities are again a variation of leisure facilities, but where the focus is on the sociability/club ability aspects of leisure other than the actual activities offered there; and
  • Community facilities tend to be those facilities of a local nature, which often provide a venue for community groups.
Listed Building - A building included on a list compiled by the Secretary of State because of its special architectural or historic interest. Buildings on the list may not be altered or demolished without consent from the local authority.
Local Development Framework - The next round of local land use plans will be closely allied to Community Plans and more amenable to partial revision to take economic or political changes into proper account. They should be shorter and better focussed than UDPs or Local Plans with sustainable development a clear, over-arching goal. Work to prepare an LDF for Bexley is already underway to meet central government’s expectations.
Local Nature Reserve (LNR) - An area of local nature interest safeguarded for public education and enjoyment.
London Ecology Unit (LEU) - The LEU provided an ecological service to subscribing local authorities and other agencies in London on all aspects of nature conservation and applied ecology. It has now been subsumed within the GLA.
London Plan - A Plan relating to the entire region of Greater London first produced in February 2004.It should deal only with matters considered to be of strategic importance to the area.
London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC) - A statutory advisory body set up in 1985 by all 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation to assist the boroughs in strategic planning matters. It was one of several unelected bodies superseded by the GLA in 2000.
London Waste Regulation Authority - The LWRA was until 1.4.96 the Waste Regulation Authority for the London boroughs, responsible for the licensing and regulation of public and private waste disposal operations in London. This role has since been taken over by the Environment Agency (See above).
Metropolitan Green Belt - An area of open country encircling Greater London and extending into the Home Counties in which development is strictly controlled, giving definition to the built-up area and limiting urban sprawl.
Metropolitan Open Land - Areas of predominantly open land that are of significance to London as a whole. The strict control of development in the Metropolitan Green Belt applies equally to Metropolitan Open Land.
Minerals Planning Guidance (MPG) - Minerals Planning Guidance Notes, numbered and prefixed MPG are statements of Government planning policy in relation to the extraction of minerals.
Non-core shopping frontage - For the purposes of Policy SHO5, non-core shopping frontages are the combined frontage widths of properties in a defined town centre, but outside its defined core shopping frontage. Certain types of use such as residential buildings, places of worship, police stations and some offices are generally excluded from shopping frontage calculations.
North West Kent Countryside Project - NWKCP was set up in 1984 to respond to the problems of neglected sites with potential wildlife and amenity value. NWKCP aims to act as a catalyst in self-help, small-scale projects which improve and enhance the local environment.
Open space - A park, sports ground, playing field, golf course or area of woodland for outdoor recreational use.
Planning Brief - A document normally prepared by the Council to formulate its proposals for a site and publicise its requirements for development prior to detailed proposals being drawn up or planning applications being submitted. A Planning Brief draws together the advice of various departments of the Council and is usually published for public consultation before a decision is made on the future use and development of a site.
Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) - Planning Policy Guidance Notes, numbered and prefixed PPG, are statements of Government planning policy relating to specific topics. Such notes set out a range of material considerations, to which decision makers, including local planning authorities, should have proper regard. If a choice is made not to follow such guidance, clear and convincing reasons must be given for so doing. From 2003 onwards a gradual replacement of these documents by Planning Policy Statements (PPS) occurred.
Public open space - An open space available for use by the general public.
Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) - An assessment, led by Transport for London and periodically reviewed, of a site’s proximity to and regularity of public transport services, ranked on a scale of 0-6 (6 being the highest accessibility).
Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) - Regional Planning Guidance Notes, numbered and prefixed RPG, are statements of Government planning policy in relation to specific regions or sub-regions. This guidance formerly provided a framework for the preparation of Local, Structure and Unitary Development Plans and was taken into account by the appropriate local authorities. See also, entry under ‘Strategic Guidance for London’ (RPG3). The London Plan (see entry above) has replaced RPG3 as the operative regional guidance for London.
Retail warehouses - Large single-level stores specialising in the sale of household goods (such as carpets, furniture and electrical goods) and bulky DIY items, catering mainly for car-borne customers and often in out-of-centre locations.
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) - Area of special interest by reason of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographic features, notified to Local Authorities by English Nature.
Social housing - Housing provided by a landlord where access is on the basis of housing need and rents are no higher than target rents set by the government for housing association and local authority rents.
South Thames Development Route (STDR) - A road route through Thames Gateway from the Blackwall Peninsula, incorporating: an improved A206 past Woolwich; the A2016 Thamesmead Spine Road, being extended to Erith; the A206, Thames Road, Crayford and the Dartford northern by-pass (University Way); to the Dartford river crossing. From here the STDR continues eastwards to Gravesend and as the A226 to Rochester, leading to the Medway Towns northern relief road.
Spatial Development Strategy - The name given to the London Plan and other regional planning strategies in the enabling legislation. The emergence of other elected regional assemblies in England remains the subject of political debate.
Special Industrial Zone (SIZ) - Site reserved for industrial uses which give rise to nuisance. These sites are located to minimise any adverse effects such activities may have on residential and other uses.
Statutory undertaker - A provider of public utilities such as electricity, water and gas supplies, with statutory powers in relation to the provision of those utilities.
Strategic London road network - The network of roads within London identified by the Secretary of State for Transport, which comprise the major routes in London connecting to the M25 and the national road network.
Strategic Guidance for London (RPG3) - Government planning policy published in July 1989 to assist London Boroughs preparing Unitary Development Plans, providing guidance on planning matters of London-wide importance. This was revised in May 1996 and the Government Office for London published "Strategic Guidance for Planning Authorities" which endured until the London Plan was adopted by the Greater London Authority in February 2004.
Supermarkets - Single level, self-service stores selling mainly food, with a gross trading floor space of between about 500 and 2,500m2, often with their own car parks.
Superstores - Single level, self-service stores selling mainly food, or food and non-food goods, usually with at least 2,500m2 gross trading floor space with dedicated car parks at surface level.
Thames Gateway - The Thames Gateway initiative represents the Government's response to the East Thames Corridor study described above. The area covered by the Gateway matches the former ETC and was, until the adoption of a London Plan, the subject of Supplementary Planning Guidance (RPG9a).
This Common Inheritance - The Government's White Paper on the Environment - the first comprehensive survey of all aspects of environmental concern including both local and global issues.
Travel Plan - A Travel Plan may be required through a condition imposed or agreement negotiated when a planning permission is granted. It will indicate how an applicant or others involved in the delivery or use of a development will seek to achieve sustainable travel objectives. Circumstances in which they seem most appropriate are described in Planning Policy Guidance Note 13.
Tree Preservation Order (TPO) - An Order made under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in order to preserve trees of amenity value. The cutting down, topping or lopping of such trees cannot be done without Council consent. There are additional provisions protecting trees in Conservation Areas (Section 61(a) of the Act).
Unitary Development Plan (UDP) - A borough-wide statutory development plan which that Council was required to prepare under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It sets out the Council's proposals for the development and use of the land. Bexley’s first UDP was adopted in 1996. The current UDP (2004) is a partial alteration of that Plan.
Urban fringe - Areas of countryside immediately beyond the edge of the built-up area of major conurbations prone to pressures from urban development, such as trespass and vandalism.
Use Classes Order - This categorises the various uses for buildings (eg. shops, offices, industrial) into a number of Classes. Planning permission must generally be obtained for a change of use from one Class to another.
Waste Disposal Authority - Bexley Waste Disposal Authority came into being as a statutory body under the Local Government Act 1985 on the abolition of the Greater London Council and the transfer of responsibilities for waste disposal to Bexley Council in March 1986.
Waste Disposal Plan - A plan setting out the arrangements proposed to dispose of waste for a specified period, required to be prepared by boroughs under the Control of Pollution Act 1974. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the responsibility for preparing the Waste Disposal Plan was originally the Borough's. This transferred to the Environment Agency on 1.4.96.
Watford Study - A study of demand for local shops undertaken in 1969 and published in "Shopping in Watford" by the Building Research Establishment.