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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

12. Thames-side

12.1      Part One of this Plan refers to the strategic importance of Thames Gateway for London and the South East region and outlines the contribution that Bexley can make to meet the objectives of regional strategy. Bexley Borough, north of the A2, is included within Thames Gateway. Most opportunities for economic development and environmental improvements are, however, situated in the area to the north, or in the vicinity of, the South Thames Development Route (A2016 and A206) and the area has been designated a Zone of Change within Thames Gateway. This chapter is primarily concerned with this area that is the Thames‑side Area.

12.2      The strategy for Bexley's part of the Thames Gateway has the following elements.

Economic Activity * Major development sites and opportunities are identified, to be aided by the improvement of the transport network.

Environment * A range of measures are proposed aimed at improving the image and attractiveness of the area, including protecting and improving the character and appearance of the Thames‑side area, the protection of important ecological sites and environmental improvements to housing and industrial areas.

Transport * Completion of the South Thames Development Route through this borough, which includes the dualling of Thames Road, and encouragement of improvements to local access and circulation in conjunction with new development.

Housing * The revitalisation and selective development and renewal of riverside residential areas.

12.3      General policies in respect of these topics applying to the Thames‑side area are set out in Chapters 5-8.

Economic activity

12.4      Policies TS1 to TS12 below focus on specific sites in the Thames‑side area, in support of Policy G6.

Policy TS1

Subject to Policies E1 and E13, the Council will encourage development for business, general industry and storage and distribution purposes (as defined by paragraph 7.5) In the following locations (Sites A on the Proposals Map):

  • Eastern Industrial Estate, Thamesmead
  • Norman Road/Picardy Manorway, Belvedere
  • land east of Picardy Manorway, Belvedere
  • land west of Crabtree Manorway North, Belvedere

12.5      These sites, together with other sites referred to in this chapter, are identified in order to ensure that sufficient land is available for industry and commerce in the borough, having regard to Part One of the Plan. They contribute towards redressing the imbalance between development pressures in west and east London in a manner commended by Strategic Guidance. Most of the sites are located in or adjacent to areas of similar existing uses. It is anticipated that the development potential of these sites will be considerably enhanced by the completion of improvements to the transport network, described elsewhere in this Plan.

12.6      Site B on the Proposals Map is referred to in Policy TS16 of this chapter. Development of Site C, referred to in the 1996 UDP, is now complete. Future development of this site is subject to employment policies as shown on the Proposals Map and contained in Chapter 7 and Policies T6, T24 and TS6 covering the Belvedere Employment Area.

Former British Gypsum site (Site D on the Proposals Map)

Policy TS2

Within Site D on the Proposals Map, upon land becoming available for redevelopment, the following are the only land uses (as defined in paragraph 7.5), which, together with open space, associated buildings and infrastructure, will normally be permitted:

  • business; and
  • storage and distribution,

subject to the following:

  1. Policies E1, E13, T24 and TS20;
  2. appropriate siting in relation to existing and proposed residential uses;
  3. the visual improvement of Corinthian Manorway, Lower Road and riverside boundaries of the site, including the environmental improvement of appropriate parts of Corinthian Manorway or other locations in the vicinity of the site;
  4. the alternative residential development of the site fronting St. John the Baptist church (corner of Lower Road/Corinthian Manorway); and
    • general industry,

    which in addition to the above criteria is also subject to:

  5. adequate separation from existing and proposed residential areas, having regard, in particular, to visual amenities, noise, vibration and other emissions and, in any event, not adjoining the boundary with such areas.

Upon redevelopment, the Council will seek the closure of Corinthian Manorway to vehicular traffic and the provision of alternative access to the site.

12.7      This site adjoins existing housing in Lower Road and to the south‑east of Corinthian Manorway. A large part of the site has been redeveloped for warehousing. With regard to the remaining areas, redevelopment for general industrial purposes would be undesirable because of the close proximity of housing and industry unless adequate separation of uses and their impacts can be demonstrated.

12.8      Corinthian Manorway has the potential to be used as an access to the site. Upon redevelopment, it would be preferable to avoid routeing vehicles past dwellings on Lower Road or other proposed dwellings given an alternative route via Church Manorway.

12.9      The existing boundaries and their environs are in need of improvement and thus the requirement is made for their improvement upon redevelopment.

12.10    The small area of residential development proposed at the corner of Lower Road / Corinthian Manorway represents a continuation of the existing residential frontage of Lower Road and should benefit the setting of the listed building, St. John the Baptist Church.

Erith Quarry  (Site E on the Proposals Map)

Policy TS3

Within the Erith Quarry site, the following are the only land uses, which together with associated buildings and infrastructure, will be permitted:

  • residential;
  • business (as defined in paragraph 7.5);
  • open space; and
  • recreational/community/educational facilities,

subject, in all cases, to the following:

  1. appropriate siting in relation to existing and proposed residential uses; and
  2. investigations being carried out by the applicant to determine the source of contamination and landfill gas and apply any remedial measures to prevent it causing hazard either during the course of development or during subsequent use of the site. Developers should have regard to the advice contained in Circular 17/89 and PPG23.

Policy TS4

Subject to Policy TS3, within the Erith Quarry site, the Council will require applicants for planning permission to enter into planning obligations to secure, as appropriate, the following, in the event that the grant of planning permission is contemplated:

  1. the provision and maintenance of appropriate measures to ensure that any hazards from contamination and landfill gas are properly addressed;
  2. the provision and standards of open space areas together with access thereto;
  3. the provision of an appropriate proportion of affordable housing; and
  4. the phasing of development, including both off‑site works required and the sequence of provision of contamination and landfill gas remedial measures, open space, and affordable housing.

12.11    As one of the few remaining large development sites in the borough, the Council will seek its redevelopment on a comprehensive basis, in order to contribute to the following objectives:

Reference is made to 'long‑term' requirements as adequate land is identified elsewhere in the Plan for the plan period and in recognition of the constraints to development.

12.12    Whilst the principle of these types of development is supported, any proposed scheme must also comply with specific policies contained in the appropriate Plan chapters (i.e. Housing, Employment and Economic Activity, etc.). In accordance with Policy G1, there will be a presumption against development that would detract from the overall environmental quality of an area. Given the proximity of residential areas to the north, south and west of the site, only uses which are compatible with residential uses will be permitted, and these are as indicated above.

12.13    There is considerable doubt, however, as to the suitability of a large area of the site for building because of the sub‑soil conditions, particularly in relation to contamination and landfill gas. In line with Circular 17/89, PPG23 and the appeal decision on the site (88/1028U ‑ 7/1990), the responsibility for assessing whether or not land is suitable for a particular purpose, including whether it is contaminated, rests primarily with the developer. Specialist advice will have to be sought by the developer in providing a design, and constructing in a way that gives an adequate degree of protection against contamination and landfill gas. Applicants must normally demonstrate appropriate remedies to any landfill gas and contamination problems before planning permission can be granted. Given the importance of this and related matters and their complexity, it is unlikely that the Council would permit the development in the absence of planning obligations.

12.14    Any proposed development should also be well related to the surrounding area in terms of pedestrian and vehicular access. The Council is also mindful of the potential arising from development on the site to create a public open space on the disused railway sidings north‑east of the site, and a pedestrian link under the existing bridge in this location. Development should also retain the wooded area of Birch Walk and the remaining area of Lime Wood, and protect existing important views from higher ground to the west. The requirement for affordable housing is based on the Policy H14 and para. 6.29 and the location of this site in an appropriate location for such housing.

Manor Road (north-west)  (Site F on the Proposals Map)

Policy TS5

Within the Manor Road (north‑west) site, upon land becoming available for redevelopment, proposals will be subject to the following:

  1. any development should not prejudice the proposal to continue James Watt Way, to local traffic route standards, from Appold Street / Wheatley Terrace Road to Manor Road (in the vicinity of Turpin Lane);
  2. there is a preference for the riverside uses to be industrial / commercial with a direct use of the River Thames; and
  3. there is no conflict with other policies in the Plan.

It is likely that the Council will require planning obligations to secure features for development, including applicants' responses to the above provisos, in the event that grant of planning permission is contemplated.

12.15    The area is currently occupied by uses such as aggregate treatment/distribution and the processing of scrap metals. Problems exist with the proximity of industry and residential uses, particularly through road traffic. A planning brief has been prepared, in consultation with relevant interests, to guide the future development of this area.

12.16    The eastern part of the site offers opportunity to make use of the river frontage. Accordingly there is a preference for industrial and commercial uses. As these are in close proximity to existing and potential residential areas it is necessary to ensure that new industrial and commercial development is of high environmental standard, especially where close to residential properties.

12.17    A related issue arises from the phasing of development. As the site is not at present in one ownership and contains several types of business use, it may well be that some elements of the site come forward for development before others. In this event, applicants will need to demonstrate that their proposals are compatible with existing nearby uses and should include appropriate technical information in their applications for planning permission. Practical measures may well include intermediate uses to separate incompatible uses. The type of appropriate use may also be affected by contamination, given a general history of contaminating uses along the riverside at Erith.

12.18    Applicants will be required to demonstrate that their proposals are compatible with any contamination, taking account of appropriate remedies.

12.19    The Council has identified, as a priority, a new road proposal (a continuation of James Watt Way) from Appold Street/Wheatley Terrace Road to Manor Road (in the vicinity of Turpin Lane), so as to establish an alternative route that bypasses the residential part of Manor Road. Development of Site F should not prejudice an easterly extension of James Watt Way to Manor Road. Through the routeing of traffic from the site and environmental improvements, the development of the site should assist in improving the surroundings of housing in the Manor Road area.

12.20    Policies TS6 to TS12 below address the existing primarily industrial areas in the Thames‑side Area.

Belvedere Industrial Area

Policy TS6

Subject to Policies E1 and with the exception of the Special Industrial Zones as shown on the Proposals Map, within the Belvedere Industrial Area, the following are the only land uses as defined by paragraph 7.5 which, together with associated buildings and infrastructure, will normally be permitted:

  • business;
  • storage and distribution;
  • general industry;
  • road haulage and supporting services; and
  • hiring of plant and equipment.

12.21    Belvedere Industrial Area is the largest of the borough's industrial areas and is suited to a wide range of manufacturing, service industry, storage and distribution uses and special industrial uses in the identified zones. During the 1980s, the area saw much new development whilst other schemes are in the pipeline. With the extension of the Erith‑Thamesmead Spine Road (Bronze Age Way) and in the light of the Government's review of further river crossings on the Thames, the area is well placed to continue to meet the demand for sites for these uses. The Industrial Area contains dykes and other features of importance for nature conservation and these should be taken into account in formulating proposals. Details of drainage proposals showing how pollution is to be controlled should normally accompany applications.

Europa Estate / Fraser Road, Erith

Policy TS7

Subject to Policy E1, within the Fraser Road areas the following are the only land uses as defined by paragraph 7.5, which, together with associated buildings and infrastructure, will normally be permitted:

  • business;
  • storage and distribution;
  • general industry;
  • road haulage and supporting services; and
  • hiring of plant and equipment,

and at Fraser Road (former Atlas Interiates Works site) only:

  • retail warehousing.

12.22    This area is located on a relatively high standard road for industrial traffic with good links to the major roads of the borough. It is an important source of lower cost accommodation for industry and new enterprise and the Council wishes to protect the supply of accommodation from redevelopment for other uses, particularly residential and retail uses. Part of the site to the south of Fraser Road has now been developed for retail warehousing, following an appeal. This is reflected in the above policy. The Council will strongly resist additional retail warehousing proposals in the light of provision made elsewhere in the Plan.

Manor Road, Erith

Policy TS8

Within the Manor Road industrial area the following are the only uses as defined by paragraph 7.5, which, together with associated buildings and infrastructure, will be permitted:

  • business;
  • storage and distribution; and
  • general industry,

subject to:

  1. Policy E1; and
  2. all development that leads to increased lorry traffic generation will normally be resisted until relief has been provided for the residential section of Manor Road.

12.23    This is a long‑established industrial area, and the Plan seeks to ensure its continuity so as to contribute to the demand for land for industrial and commercial activity. The proximity of existing residential and industrial uses is addressed in Policy TS5. However, lorry traffic from the Manor Road Industrial Area passes through a residential area on Manor Road (West). Residents experience significant environmental and safety problems associated with traffic, and the area has been designated as an Air Quality Management area. In these circumstances, increases in lorry traffic will be resisted due to their impact on residents of the Manor Road area.

Crayford Ness  (Site G on the Proposals Map)

Policy TS9

Within the Crayford Ness area the following are the only uses as defined by paragraph 7.5, which, together with associated buildings and infrastructure, will be permitted:

  • business;
  • storage and distribution; and
  • general industry,

subject to:

  1. Policy E1; and
  2. there being no additional adverse highway safety or environmental impacts on Ray Lamb Way.

All development that would lead to increased lorry traffic generation will normally be resisted until relief has also been provided for the residential section of Manor Road.

12.24    Although the new road now bypasses the residential part of Slade Green, the unimproved section of Ray Lamb Way (formerly Wallhouse Road) is still well below modern standards in terms of the width and condition that is desirable for the amount and type of traffic carried. The road passes through Green Belt and abuts dykes of nature conservation interest, creating a difficulty in its upgrading.

12.25    Lorry traffic from the Crayford Ness Area also still passes through a residential area on Manor Road (west). Residents of that area experience significant environmental and safety problems associated with traffic and the area has been designated as an Air Quality Management area. In these circumstances, increases in lorry traffic will be resisted due to their impact on residents of the Manor Road area.

12.26    The range of proposed uses reflects the acceptance in principle of industrial uses in the area, but does not diminish the need for road access issues to be addressed upon consideration of development proposals.

Policy TS10

Within the Crayford Ness area, the Council will seek to mitigate the potentially detrimental impact of industrial uses on the nearby Green Belt and Areas of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and will normally expect all applications for planning permission to include:

  1. details of traffic generation;
  2. details of boundary treatment along land close to Areas of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and/or Green Belt including fencing and landscaping; and
  3. details of measures to ensure that any emissions or pollutants are properly controlled, with particular reference to drainage and noise.

12.27    These requirements are so as to enable the proper assessment of applications for planning permission in the exceptional circumstances of the vehicular access to the area and the proximity of the area to areas of nature conservation importance and the Green Belt.

Thames Road, Crayford

Policy TS11

Subject to Policies E1 and T6 (with specific reference to the prior availability of satisfactory access across the railway line to Thames Road as necessary); within the Thames Road Industrial Area the following are the only uses as defined by paragraph 7.5, which, together with associated buildings and infrastructure, will normally be permitted:

  • business;
  • storage and distribution;
  • general industry;
  • road haulage and supporting services; and
  • hiring of plant and equipment.

12.28    The area contains a range of industrial uses varying in size and character and gives rise to few environmental problems. Thames Road provides good links with the major road network of the area, forming part of the South Thames Development Route. The links will further be improved by the proposed dualling of Thames Road. Retailing uses will specifically be resisted in this location in order to safeguard the supply of good quality industrial land. Part of this site has, at present, inadequate access across the railway line.

Slade Green  (Site H on the Proposals Map)

Policy TS12

Subject to Policy E1, within the Slade Green Industrial Area, the following are the only uses, as defined by paragraph 7.5, which, together with associated buildings and infrastructure, will be permitted:

  • business;
  • general industry; and
  • storage and distribution.

Conditions will normally be attached to planning permissions limiting the overnight storage of lorries on sites in the area.

12.29    The traffic and environmental impact of industrial traffic on residential streets in Slade Green is a matter of concern to the Council and further increases in traffic could aggravate the problem. The Council considers that it will continue to be necessary to place some restrictions on employment uses in the area in order to minimise disturbance due to late night and early morning lorry movements.


12.30    As well as containing one of the borough's principal natural features, the River Thames, the Thames‑side area encompasses unspoilt areas of nature conservation interest, run‑down industrial areas, modern industrial and residential areas and the river frontage.

Policy TS13

The Council will protect and enhance the character of the Thames Policy Area  (see Map 12.1), giving particular attention to:

  1. Achieving good quality design appropriate to its context;
  2. The protection of views and skylines and the creation of new focal points, spaces, vistas and viewpoints as opportunities arise;
  3. Providing an attractive, safe and interesting riverside walk alongside the Thames, and safe routes to the riverside (see also Policy TS14)

Developers should prepare design statements for all significant development proposals within the Thames Policy Area.

Thames Policy Area Map

Thames Policy Area

12.31    Strategic Planning Guidance for the River Thames (RPG3B/9B) requires riparian planning authorities to reflect in their development plans the strategic importance of the River Thames by defining a Thames Policy Area and setting out land use and design policies to reflect the objectives of the guidance. Policy TS13 responds to this guidance. Other policies in this chapter set out more detailed land use policies for sites within the Thames Policy Area, whereas Policy ENV23 refers to the protection conferred on the Thames, its banks and foreshore as a result of its designation as an Area of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. In all cases the Council will have regard for the design considerations in Policy TS13 when considering applications for planning permission.

12.32    The Council has prepared more detailed design guidance for the Belvedere Employment Area, Erith Riverside and Erith Town Centre, which will be taken into consideration, when applying this policy. To accord with RPG3B/9B, this guidance will be reviewed and extended, and incorporated into a detailed appraisal of the River and environs within the defined Thames Policy Area.

12.33    When preparing design statements under this policy, developers should follow the advice set out in the Strategic Planning Guidance for the River, in particular paragraph 3.26. Where appropriate, for example for significant development sites, the Council will provide additional design guidance.

12.34    The boundary of the Thames Policy Area has been defined to include sites in close proximity to the Thames and to follow specific geographical features, such as the South Thames Development Route, Manor Road and Ray Lamb Way.

Policy TS14

Subject to Policies TS15 and TS20, the Council will require all developments on the waterside of the River Thames to provide improved access to the waterside for purposes of recreation on or adjacent to the river and, where appropriate, an extension and/or improvement of the publicly accessible river walk. This will usually be achieved by planning obligations. The existing riverside footpath and accesses will be safeguarded.

12.35    Strategic Guidance states that boroughs should aim to maintain and, where possible, improve public access alongside the river in considering development proposals. There are at present substantial lengths of the Thames‑side area in the borough that either lack a riverside walk or consist of a riverside walk with few access points, or are poorly suited to potential users. The Council recognises the recreational value of riverside walks and seeks to improve the existing state of affairs through this policy and Policy TAL8.

12.36    The Council also seeks to ensure that the potential of the walk to become a continuous route, adequately networked to other routes both within and outside the borough, is realised. It does, however, recognise the potential conflict with nature conservation interests and the operational requirements of river transport and river related industry, hence the reference to Policies TS15 and TS20.

12.37    There are many other potential recreational uses of the Thames and riverside and the Council recognises that limited access to the Thames is at present a constraint. Therefore, it seeks to improve access for these purposes, provided that any water-based activities on the Thames are compatible with the safety of navigation. Additionally, the Council has supported proposals for a Thames Valley cycle route along the Thames (see paragraph 8.41). In order to secure these matters, the Council will normally require developers to enter into planning obligations.

12.38    In order to improve the network of paths available and public access to the riverside, all existing access points to the riverside path and the path itself will be safeguarded.

Policy TS15

The Council will promote the protection of wildlife and the improvement for wildlife of the river and of habitats on Thames‑side, including its adjacent minor watercourses and dykes. Development that diminishes these habitats will be resisted.

12.39    Strategic Guidance (para. 2.71) states that boroughs should give particular attention to the value of the River and its shoreline for wildlife. The Council regards the Thames and its associated waterways, riverside and nearby areas as prime wildlife habitats. The policy seeks to protect and improve these habitats. Policy TS15 should also be read in conjunction with the nature conservation policies contained in Chapter 5 of the Plan, and in particular Policy ENV23 which identifies the Thames as an Area of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.

12.40    In addition to the above policies, the following policies apply to specific sites.

Crossness Sewage Treatment Works  (Site B on the Proposals Map)

Policy TS16

Within the Crossness Sewage Treatment Works:

  1. subject to the overriding requirements of Policies ENV14-16, the Council will prepare a Planning Brief to consider a redevelopment compatible with surrounding land uses in the event that all or part of the Crossness site is to be developed other than for the purposes of water authority functions;
  2. the Council will promote the extension of the riverside public footpath and the conservation and enhancement of the Crossness Beam Engine House, including the site and buildings within its curtilage and seek to effect these by means of planning obligations in the event of substantial planning permissions being contemplated in the vicinity; and
  3. all proposals for development should comply with the provisions of Policy ENV23 and make a positive contribution to the management, in the interests of nature conservation, of the sewage works and its surroundings.

12.41    The Crossness Sewage Treatment Works includes areas of primarily open land that contribute to the open nature of the locality and towards providing a break in the urban development. The water industry has been the subject of rapid change in recent years. It is, therefore, prudent to make allowance for changes in land‑use requirements. Within the broad framework of Metropolitan Open Land designation, the detail of planning policy and proposals are to be considered by a planning brief. The planning brief will have regard in particular to the following:

12.42    Crossness Beam Engine House, a Grade I Listed Building on this site and within a Conservation Area, is in need of renovation work. The riverside footpath diverts to the rear of the sewage works at present, introducing a break to the largely continuous riverside public footpath. In order to secure the implementation of the policy for the footpath and Beam Engine House, the use of a planning obligation is proposed, to be related to substantial development within the vicinity.

Policy TS17

Within the area identified on the Proposals Map as Thames Water Utilities operational land (Site B), the Council recognises the need to make adequate provision for future operational requirements. In considering development proposals, the Council will have regard to the following:

  1. the requirement for Thames Water to enhance and modernise its facilities in line with government directives;
  2. the need to reduce significant adverse environmental impacts, such as airborne or waterborne pollution, noise, smells and unreasonable traffic generation;
  3. the need to ensure that development in that part of the area designated as Metropolitan Open Land minimises the impact on the predominantly open character of the land; and
  4. the need to minimise the effects of development on wildlife habitats and the need to protect rare species.

12.43    The Crossness Sewage Treatment Works is a major facility serving a large part of south and southeast London. As part of the Government's emphasis on achieving environmental improvements, Thames Water Utilities Limited (TWUL) is in a continual process of enhancing and modernising its activities. While the Council is not directly involved with this service, it can help to ensure that it is able to function properly. To achieve this, it is essential for the Council and Thames Water to continue to work together to identify needs and promote positive solutions. It will also be necessary for the Council to ensure that this is done in such a way as to be compatible with environmental and other policy objectives in this Plan.

The Saltings  (Site J on the Proposals Map)

Policy TS18

The Council will not permit further development of land at the Saltings unless the following criteria are met:

  1. applicants can demonstrate that the proposed development would not be detrimental to the nature conservation interest of the area; and
  2. the proposed development complies with Metropolitan Green Belt and other nature conservation policies in this Plan.

12.44    The Saltings are located at the northern boundary of Crayford Marshes and form part of the Green Belt in this location. Crayford Marshes (site K) is subject to Policy ENV23 as an area identified as a site of metropolitan importance for nature conservation. Consisting of remnants of riverside salt marsh and pastures with an associated dyke system, Crayford Marshes supports a diverse wildlife, which includes several rare species.

12.45    The Council considers that it is unlikely that further development could take place without there being an unacceptably detrimental effect on the identified nature conservation interest of the area.

Crayford Marshes  (site K on the Proposals Map)

12.46    For the purposes of this Plan, Crayford Marshes refers to the area identified as Site K, although the Ordnance Survey map shows a wider area that has lost many of the marsh characteristics.

Policy TS19

The Council will encourage owners or occupiers in Crayford Marshes to act in the best interest of nature conservation.

12.47    Crayford Marshes was identified as an Area of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation by the London Ecology Unit and is subject to Policy ENV23. Consisting of a number of different habitats and supporting a diverse wildlife, the Council wishes to preserve this valuable nature conservation resource.

12.48    The Council will seek to implement the above policies by means of management agreements under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981).


Water borne transport

Policy TS20

The Council will encourage the continued use of river transport facilities and proposals which increase the proportion of transport that is water‑borne, both for freight and passenger traffic, subject to adequate links to land transport networks, Policy E13 and to other Thames‑side policies. Existing piers, wharves and sites suitable for supporting boatyards, marine construction and lighterage operations will be safeguarded.

12.49    Strategic Guidance states that boroughs should recognise the potential contribution of London's rivers and canals to the capital's transport systems and provide for piers and wharves where appropriate. River transport provides an uncongested alternative for both freight and passenger traffic and has the potential to relieve road traffic. Boroughs are encouraged to consider when new or enhanced facilities, with suitable access arrangements, should be supported. The Council will accordingly encourage the development of a pier out to low water line for passenger transport and safeguard existing riverside facilities and opportunities wherever there is a realistic prospect of river-related use.


12.50    The Thames‑side area contains substantial residential development opportunities. These are identified in Policies TS21 to TS23 below, which support Policy G6.

Policy TS21

Subject to Policies TS22 and TS23, within the sites identified on Map 12.2, the following are the only land uses that, together with open space, associated buildings, ancillary uses, and infrastructure, will normally be permitted upon redevelopment:


Site 1 St. John the Baptist Church area Church and churchyard
Site 2 Jessett Close to St. Francis Road Residential; landscaped walk
Site 3 St. Francis and St. Fidelis Roads Residential; offices; light industry
Site 4 St. Fidelis Road (former Burndept site) Residential; church hall
Site 5 Ocean Park Primarily Residential Use policies apply
Site 6 Former Ballast Wharf and Nordenfeldt Road Leisure uses including: riverside promenade; children's play area; footpath; cycleway; and open space
Site 7 Former Venesta Site and properties fronting West Street Residential with offices; financial services; professional services; health or medical services overlooking site 6; open space at west street gardens; and riverside promenade
Site 8 Stonewood Road Residential

Erith Riverside Redevelopment Area

Erith Riverside

12.51    At the end of the nineteenth century, Erith handled one of the largest water borne tonnage transhipments of any location between London and Southampton. Industrial development on the riverside was associated with this activity. The early industrialisation of Erith meant that in the area of West Street, housing and industry developed in close proximity to one another. However, changes in the structure of industry and transport left a legacy of traffic and environmental problems in this location.

12.52    The Council approved the Erith Riverside Redevelopment Area Master Plan in October 1989 (with amendments in July 1990), accepting the principle of a change of land use from industrial to residential. Implementation of the Master Plan is almost complete with most of the identified housing sites developed and the spine road (Bronze Age Way) in place.

12.53    The primarily residential redevelopment of the area in the manner proposed by this policy has delivered many local benefits. These include: the elimination of the long standing problems arising from the mixed industrial and residential land uses; the revitalisation of the area generally and of shops and services on West Street and Erith Town Centre, in particular; improved quality of the built environment; and an enlarged and improved stock of homes.

12.54    The site-specific uses are now considered.

Site 1 ‑ St. John the Baptist's Church area * Retention of the existing use of the church, churchyard and open space. The church and churchyard form an attractive and prominent local feature and an objective of this policy is to protect the setting in the interests of the amenities of local residents and users of the nearby public highways.

Site 2 - Jessett Close to St. Francis Road * This site is identified as suitable for residential use with landscaped walk. Some new housing has been completed with access from Corinthian Road. Pembroke Road (to the north of the railway line adjacent to the church) has been landscaped (in line with Policy ENV26, as part of the Green Chain Walk) incorporating a small area of parking for the Church and has been renamed Jessett Close. This scheme also serves to enhance the setting of the listed church.

Site 3 ‑ St. Francis and St. Fidelis Roads * As relatively recent buildings occupy most of this site, little development is anticipated in the Plan period and a continuation of existing uses is compatible with the proposals for adjoining sites.

Site 4 ‑ Burndept site * Residential development has already taken place on this site, leaving only a site of around a quarter of a hectare with a prospect of development in the Plan period. Either a continuation of the residential development or a church hall would be compatible with the adjoining developments.

Site 5 ‑ Ocean Park * This site is now almost complete in its redevelopment for residential use and Primarily Residential Use policies apply. Corinthian Manorway is identified as open space and it is intended that this should remain a landscaped walk as it forms part of the Green Chain Walk (Policy ENV26).

Site 6 - Former Ballast Wharf and Nordenfeldt Road * This area was identified to provide a focal open space and leisure facilities. Part of the former Ballast Wharf site to the north side of West Street has been developed as Ocean Park Open Space, including a children’s play area. The Nordenfeldt Road area has been landscaped and together these areas now provide an improved footpath link from south of the railway to the riverside.

Site 7 - Former Venesta site and sites fronting West Street * Residential redevelopment of the former Venesta site is nearing completion. The development includes the retention of West Street Gardens as a visual amenity area for recreation and provision of a new open space link from West Street to a new riverside promenade, in accordance with Policy TS21.

Site 8 ‑ Stonewood Road * The preferred use of the site upon redevelopment is residential. Most of this site has now been developed for housing although significant sites remain at the junction of West Street and Stonewood Road.

Policy TS22

Development of the remaining sections of Sites 1 to 8, having regard to Policy ENV56, is subject to the following:

  1. archaeology: the Council will expect applicants to have properly assessed and planned for archaeological implications and may require a preliminary archaeological site evaluation before proposals are considered;
  2. contamination: the Council will normally require an investigation to be undertaken by the applicant to identify any measures to remedy contamination or similar hazards, before planning permission is granted;
  3. at Site 1: buildings other than walls, monuments or similar structures, will normally be resisted;
  4. at Site 7, the provision of an extension to the existing open space at Ballast Wharf (Site 6) as an early part of any development; and
  5. proposals for riverside development should retain or create cycle and pedestrian links to the existing riverside public footpath, as shown on the Proposals Map.

12.55    The entire Erith Riverside Redevelopment Area (ERRA) falls within an area identified as being important archaeologically and it is thus necessary to cater for an investigation, prior to the Council’s consideration of development proposals, having regard to Policy ENV56.

12.56    Due to previous industrial users, ground contamination is possible throughout the ERRA and pursuant to PPG23; a remedy should be identified prior to the grant of planning permission. An exception would be where it can be shown that there is potentially only slight contamination and in these circumstances planning permission may be granted subject to a condition relating to further investigation of contamination and identification of remedial action. In all cases, remedial action should include a consideration of the interests of residents including the practicality of controlling action such as the digging up of private gardens and the successful cultivation of soft landscaping.

12.57    The resistance to buildings other than walls, monuments or similar structures, arises from the object of Policy ENV19, i.e. to retain the open appearance of the land.

12.58    The identified open space areas are needed to provide adequate open space in the vicinity for the purposes of recreation and visual amenity. The riverside pedestrian links form important access points to the riverside.

12.59    Proposals should have regard to the Design and Development Control Guidelines for the Erith Riverside Redevelopment Area. The appended guidelines provide general guidance on landscaping in the ERRA together with site‑by‑site guidelines on the form of development, so as to give applicants more details of the Council's preferences for the area. In the preparation of these guidelines, regard has been taken of the Erith Master Plan.

Policy TS23

Within Sites 2, 3, 7 and 8 on Map 12.2, the Council will expect applicants for planning permission to enter into planning obligations to secure the following if the grant of planning permission is contemplated:

  1. a contribution to the cost of the environmental improvement of West Street or other land within the vicinity of the application site based on the area of the application site relative to other potential contributor sites;
  2. the provision of any necessary off‑site road improvements of West Street (Site 7 only);
  3. the phasing of development in relation to the satisfactory completion of important on‑site features, including the riverside frontage and open spaces;
  4. the provision of a proportion of dwellings for affordable housing in each development of over 15 dwellings, subject to Policy H14; and
  5. the remedy to contamination and/or gas problems in cases where a need is identified (subject to site surveys).

12.60    The environmental improvement of West Street or other land, referred to in criterion 1 above, typically means the renewed top surfacing of the vehicular carriageway so as to achieve an improved visual appearance whilst being functionally adequate, footway renewal and widening, including new paving, tree planting and raised planters and the renewal of street furniture. The reference to other land means the open space identified at Site 6. The primarily residential development of the sites of this policy gives rise to a need for an improved local environment to reinforce the works already carried out. The land in question is abutting or in close proximity to the sites. The scale of contributions being sought is adjusted to relate to site size.

12.61    The on‑site features that are regarded as important planning objectives (the riverside promenade and principal open spaces are identified in Policy TS21). The use of a planning obligation is intended to secure an acceptable balance of uses and to ensure that they are provided at an acceptable stage of the development.

12.62    The requirement for affordable housing arises from Policies H14 and TS21. A planning obligation will be needed in order to secure the stage of development at which provision is made and in order to ensure that the affordable characteristics of the housing are retained.

12.63    The need for a remedy for contamination arises from Policy TS22. Given the potential complexity of the remedial action, it is likely that the use of a planning condition will be inappropriate and instead a planning obligation should be used.

12.64    In each of the above cases, the potential for sub‑division of the larger sites after the grant of planning permission adds another reason for using a planning obligation rather than a planning condition.