Old Farm Park sell-off: where next?

20 March 2016

Green London Assembly member Roisin Robertson with Bexley Green Party volunteers and representatives from Divest Bexley and Bexley Natural Environment Forum at Bexley Council.  

Image left to right: Derek Moran and Alison Wise (Green Party volunteers), Roisin Robertson (Green Party London Assembly Candidate for Bexley and Bromley), Sam Martin (Founder of Divest Bexley), Ray Gray (Chair of Bexley Natural Environment Forum).


Roisin Robertson, Green Party London Assembly Candidate for Bexley and Bromley, joined residents, local Green Party activists and campaigners from Save Old Farm Park and other local groups in observing Bexley Council’s General Purposes committee on Tuesday. The committee voted to progress the sale of green spaces in Bexley and accepted legal advice that this sale was not a matter for an Independent Public Inquiry. 

Roisin said:

“Although the decision is in line with the Conservative government’s aims for local authorities to sell off these green sites, it was far from a unanimous one. Labour Councillor Daniel Francis brought up many points of contention, and along with other Labour councillors, voted against the motion.

“All the health studies quoted in reports to Councillors say that green spaces are invaluable for mental and physical health. Childhood obesity is on the rise too, yet the council is selling off valuable local amenity spaces which local people, especially children, need for their physical health.

“What we now have to be vigilant about is what is proposed for these sites once they are sold. Old Farm Park is losing 1.45 hectares, about two full sized football fields. That’s a lot of space for development. We need to make sure some of this is for public rented accommodation, not just ‘affordable’ homes with starting prices at £450,000, which would be out of the financial reach of many Bexley residents.

“If elected as London Assembly Member for Bexley and Bromley on 5 May, I would be looking to ensure future developments in our constituency are providing real benefit for residents and future residents, enabling a society focused on healthy, clean air, proper levels of social housing and suitable development; with public transport, ultra-low emissions, a commitment to UK climate agreements and green housing and energy supply all factored in.”

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