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Delight for traders as street revamp is axed

PUBLISHED: 11:15 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:30 25 August 2010

CAMPAIGN: The traders’ bid to save their high street has proved a success.

CAMPAIGN: The traders’ bid to save their high street has proved a success.

TRADERS have celebrated their triumph over plans that would kill their high street.

TRADERS have celebrated their 'triumph' over plans that would 'kill' their high street.

The Times can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that a controversial £1.3 million plan to revamp Nuxley Road, in Belvedere Village, has been completely abandoned by Bexley council.

In a second consultation, 52 per cent of residents voted against the council's plans to improve the area's lighting, roads, pavement, trees, CCTV and road safety over 18 months.

The decision delighted traders who campaigned passionately against the changes, fearing they would divert passing trade away from the road.

Mike Sales, a leading committee member of Belvedere Residents and Traders Association (BRTA), said: "This has been a triumph for the people of Belvedere, not just for us.

"I honestly think that if the plans had gone ahead businesses would have closed and the little soul of this place would have been damaged.

"I am just sad that we couldn't tailor something that would have met them half way."

The proposals, drawn up by the council, were to be submitted to Transport for London for funding.

The consultation was the second held by the council, after traders were outraged by original proposals to axe 'vital' street parking bays.

Transport councillor Peter Craske claimed the vote was close, but admitted that 539 'no' votes collected by BRTA members were not counted as they were photocopies and thus invalid.

With the extra responses, the consultation would have shown 13 per cent support for the plans.

Mr Craske said: "If people are standing over residents, waiting for them to fill in a form - given the residents' and traders' association have said completely untrue things about the proposals - it makes you question those responses.

"But I really don't care about who has won and who has lost. I'm quite happy to put money into another part of the borough.

"Our slogan is listening to you, working for you. This is an absolute example of that."

Mr Craske said the council would now draw up a list of other areas in Bexley that have suffered low investment.

BRTA expect to hold a meeting next week to announce the news to the Belvedere community.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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