Thamesmead Garden City?

An interesting blog post from Peabody over here:

As many know, Gallions has been taken over, merged, subsumed, or supplemented by Peabody recently, in the wake of accusations over bad internal policy and overblown staff payoffs. It’s quite a time of change internally for the staff manning the agency, but from the outskirts it’s not been clear what’s changed, really. That’s fine, I don’t need to know the internal politics of local companies, but I will be paying attention as and when it affects me, obviously. Sometime in the near future there’s a possibility I’ll be taken along with some other South Thamesmead residents to see how Peabody have improved other places and what could be in our future – although it does depend on whether I can fit it around work and other commitments, and there’s no set date as yet.

It’s interesting, then, to read that Peabody are to publish some form of prospectus for the area in the near future. I wonder how well this will be aligned with the documents regarding the regeneration plans that are speculative to some degree, going far into the future and talking about the potential to change garages into home fronts – an idea rife with difficulty when you throw building ownership into the mix along with the mixture of freehold and leasehold properties. But I digress…

The blog entry talks about how Thamesmead could support many more homes and be a better area. It talks of the potential to become a “garden city” whatever that means, since it’s become a focus of attention after the Budget announcements included such plans for nearby Ebbsfleet. But it’s not housing that we need more of in Thamesmead, it’s the stuff that supports homes – banks, schools, playgrounds and entertainment for people who aren’t into sports. Where’s our cinema, ice rink, bowling alley or theatre? The Link is a good start but it’s not a theatre, and for other leisure activities you need to travel to the likes of Bexleyheath. The bus routes are there, but why isn’t there anything on the doorstep? The golf course has closed down, officials say for the winter but others say that if this is the case it’s curious that they let the staff go and moved out all the furniture…

Yes, as the blog post says, we have canals and lakes – but they need cleaning and maintaining more than they are getting right now. And there may be a lot of green space, but when you start aggressive development a lot of that gets swallowed up. I’m intrigued to see what plans Peabody is brewing up for us.

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