Whilst looking at the £1.2 million road upgrade from Plumstead to Woolwich I passed though the adjacent area of much post-war housing. It was all too evident once again to see very poor maintenance of public spaces and areas, and in particular council managed space in estates. In what is now a depressingly familiar tale, the area was a mess, and this post once again looks at neglect in Greenwich Council housing estates and the failures of various departments in the “Royal borough”.

London (11)

Greenwich Councillors should be angry at how Council Departments have allowed estates to decline this far. Various departments are failing at the most basic tasks. The area on the right in the above image is very unkempt. What impression does it give?

Why not do something with the space? Construct a play area perhaps. At the very least some basic maintenance would be a start. This would open up the area and provide visibility across the area.

Here’s another view from google streetview. It’s so bleak:

polthorne estate

The fencing on the left is broken in multiple places. It’s hard to find any walls and fences that aren’t falling apart in Greenwich managed estates. This spot could however be a Housing Association given it is a lot newer than surrounding buildings. However, the council can still act with such neglect. The area behind the fencing on the left is taken up with car parking, serves little purpose and could come down to open up the area. It’s falling down anyway.

There’s also some car parking behind the bushes on the right in the above photos which could be moved or even reduced. This spot is five minutes from the forthcoming Crossrail station and just around the corner on Perrott Street a ball court was demolished for a car park.

Ball Court

Football area in 2014 from Google Streetview. It now looks like this:

Ball Court 2

There is another ball court nearby but more than one would be welcome. It could be an outdoor gym or basketball court.

And then here’s the overgrown main entrance to the estate from the bus stops on the main road. A lovely welcome home:

Main entrance overgrown
Main entrance overgrown

Walking around reveals that even the most rudimentary design knowledge is absent. Things are installed at random in the cheapest way possible. Nothing is done to create a place people can be proud to call home. And then maintenance just doesn’t seem to happen.

Leaving some of the poorest in conditions so bad is shameful. It’s similar to the abject neglect in west Greenwich just outside the historic core which is surrounded by many new developments bringing Greenwich council millions.

And once again, this all predates cuts by a long time and is in the shadow of multi-million pound development bringing in millions of pounds. It’s a question of priorities. Ensuring some of the poorest and most deprived areas and people live in decent conditions often doesn’t seem to be one. Greenwich Council have to change how they spend money coming into their coffers from big developments to lift up these long-forgotten areas.