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Minister letter boosts Erith Riverside protest

PUBLISHED: 12:41 22 September 2011 | UPDATED: 12:41 22 September 2011

MP for Erith and Thamesmead Teresa Pearce being presented with the petition by members of FORG

MP for Erith and Thamesmead Teresa Pearce being presented with the petition by members of FORG

Campaigners protesting about plans to build new homes, shops and leisure services on green space are one step closer to their goal after the Secretary of State personally responded to their petition.

Their appeal, against the development on the Riverside Gardens, opposes council plans, which have been dubbed the Erith Western Gateway.

In response to the petition delivered to the House of Commons, Eric Pickles said:

“The government believes that local people know best the green spaces that are special to them and are, therefore, proposing that communities should be able to use their local and neighbourhood plans to designate these areas.”

The area was gifted to the people of Erith by the former coal company William Cory and Son.

If the development does go ahead a portion of the 
green space would be retained.

Friends of Erith Riverside Gardens chairman, Alec Tapper, said: “We think it’s a positive and hopeful step forward. We understand that the ultimate decision rests with Bexley council.

“If the government of the day expresses its views on the importance of green spaces and recognise where local communities have concerns to respect areas, it is a heartening response.

“We’re hoping that there will be a positive outcome for Erith community.”

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