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Traders condemn high street redevelopment

PUBLISHED: 17:50 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 25 August 2010

TRADERS have protested against plans to spend £1.3 million redeveloping their high street.

TRADERS have protested against plans to spend £1.3 million redeveloping their high street.

Members of Belvedere Residents and Traders Association (BRTA) congregated in Nuxley Road last Saturday to demonstrate against proposals they say would kill the high street.

Bexley council wanted to renew the road's lighting, trees, pavement, roads and CCTV, but its plans were snubbed by residents and traders at a public meeting on September 4.

Instead, it held a postal ballot to decide whether there is community support for the Transport for London (TfL) funded plans.

BRTA trader and resident Samantha Rhodes, 22, of Nuxley Road, said: "It is very unfair what the council is doing.

"When they held a public meeting on this in September, all 165 people there voted against the plans.

"Now they want a private ballot to get it through."

But Peter Craske, Bexley councillor for transport, said: "I can exclusively tell you that as of last Friday the votes were 60 per cent in favour and 40 per cent against.

"Traders were worried about losing parking spaces, but we changed our plans so that now only two parking bays would be removed. Before, up to 10 would have gone.

"We've listened to residents and will be considering other votes and comments until the end of the week."

But campaigners say the plans will not be as car friendly as the current layout, and fear it will effect trading in Nuxley Road if it partially closes during the 18-month works.

Meanwhile, after reporting that the council delivered its latest consultation leaflet to 2,000 homes, the Times received complaints from residents whose flats never received it.

Belvedere Community Forum and BRTA member John Livingston, 72, said residents felt the council was not listening to their concerns.

He said: "What people in the village want really matters.

"TfL require the council to do certain things to give it the money, and their ultimate goal is to encourage public transport and reduce traffic.

"Yet these are small traders that rely on customers' ability to drop in by car."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk


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