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Hexagon Estate

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  • Tom Crispin
    I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this: www.britishschoolofcycling.com/special/bellfield.htm It shows a Sustrans cycle route going
    Message 1 of 17 , Oct 31, 2009
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      I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
      www.britishschoolofcycling.com/special/bellfield.htm

      It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

      This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

      The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
      www.sustrans.org.uk/map

      I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

      Tom

      --
      Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
      www.britishschoolofcycling.com

    • Tom Crispin
      Dear Alex, An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry. When can we expect this enquiry
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 9, 2009
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        Dear Alex,
         
        An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?
         
        As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.
         
        And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 
         
        I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.
         
        Kind regards,
        Tom Crispin
         


        From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
        Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
        To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
        Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

        Dear Tom
         
        Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached
         
        I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.
         
        I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.
         
        I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.
         
        I look forward to hearing from you.
         
        Bets wishes
         
        Alex Grant
         
        Alex Grant
        Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

        Greenwich Council
        Town Hall
        Wellington Street
        Woolwich
        London SE18 6PW

        alex.grant@...
        Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
        Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

         


        From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
        Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
        To: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: Alex Grant
        Subject: Hexagon Estate

        I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
        www.britishschoolofcycling.com/special/bellfield.htm

        It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

        This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

        The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
        www.sustrans.org.uk/map

        I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

        Tom

        --
        Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
        www.britishschoolofcycling.com 

         

        Dear Roger Stocker
         
        Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.
         
        I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.
         
        Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.
         
        This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.
         
        Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?
         
        Best wishes
         
        Alex Grant

        Alex Grant
        Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

        Greenwich Council
        Town Hall
        Wellington Street
        Woolwich
        London SE18 6PW

        alex.grant@...
        Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
        Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

         


         


        From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@...]
        Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
        To: Tom Crispin
        Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
        Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

        Tom.
         
        I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo.org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?
         
        Roger

         


        This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

        Greenwich Council has scanned this e-mail for viruses but does not accept any responsibility once this e-mail has been transmitted. You should scan attachments (if any) for viruses.

        Greenwich Council can be contacted by telephone on +44 (0) 20 8854 8888


        Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch for Greenwich.

      • Tom Crispin
        Dear Alex, I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists. I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 12, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Alex,
           
          I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 
           
          Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:
           
          1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?
          2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?
           
          Kind regards,
          Tom
           


          From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
          Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
          To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
          Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

          Dear Tom
           
          Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?
           
          I look forward to hearing from you.
           
          Best wishes
           
          Alex Grant
           

          Alex Grant
          Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

          Greenwich Council
          Town Hall
          Wellington Street
          Woolwich
          London SE18 6PW

          alex.grant@...
          Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
          Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

           


          From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
          Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
          To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
          Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

          Dear Alex,
           
          An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?
           
          As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.
           
          And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 
           
          I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.
           
          Kind regards,
          Tom Crispin
           


          From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
          Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
          To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
          Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

          Dear Tom
           
          Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached
           
          I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.
           
          I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.
           
          I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.
           
          I look forward to hearing from you.
           
          Bets wishes
           
          Alex Grant
           
          Alex Grant
          Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

          Greenwich Council
          Town Hall
          Wellington Street
          Woolwich
          London SE18 6PW

          alex.grant@...
          Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
          Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

           


          From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
          Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
          To: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: Alex Grant
          Subject: Hexagon Estate

          I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
          www.britishschoolofcycling.com/special/bellfield.htm

          It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

          This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

          The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
          www.sustrans.org.uk/map

          I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

          Tom

          --
          Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
          www.britishschoolofcycling.com 

           

          Dear Roger Stocker
           
          Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.
           
          I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.
           
          Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.
           
          This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.
           
          Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?
           
          Best wishes
           
          Alex Grant

          Alex Grant
          Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

          Greenwich Council
          Town Hall
          Wellington Street
          Woolwich
          London SE18 6PW

          alex.grant@...
          Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
          Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

           


           


          From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@...]
          Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
          To: Tom Crispin
          Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
          Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

          Tom.
           
          I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo.org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?
           
          Roger

           


          This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

          Greenwich Council has scanned this e-mail for viruses but does not accept any responsibility once this e-mail has been transmitted. You should scan attachments (if any) for viruses.

          Greenwich Council can be contacted by telephone on +44 (0) 20 8854 8888


          Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch for Greenwich.


          This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

          Greenwich Council has scanned this e-mail for viruses but does not accept any responsibility once this e-mail has been transmitted. You should scan attachments (if any) for viruses.

          Greenwich Council can be contacted by telephone on +44 (0) 20 8854 8888


          Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch for Greenwich.

        • Tom Crispin
          Dear Alex, As I said in my reply to you earlier today, I do not represent Greenwich Cyclists. You have said before that a report will be going to Greenwich
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 13, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Alex,
             
            As I said in my reply to you earlier today, I do not represent Greenwich Cyclists.
             
            You have said before that a report will be going to Greenwich area planning committee shortly, but you have not specified a date.  I have noted that the issue of the obstruction of the right-of-way is not on the agenda for the next meeting.  Please can you provide some dates?
             
            Kind regards,
            Tom Crispin


            From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
            Sent: 13 November 2009 10:21
            To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
            Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

            Dear Tom
             
            As I said, a report is going to Greenwich area planning committee shortly which will answer these questions.
             
            May I please repeat my question, which has not been answered: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions? Can I conclude from your reply that Greenwich Cyclists has not tried to have any discussions with them?
             
            Best wishes
             
            Alex Grant
             
             

            Alex Grant
            Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

            Greenwich Council
            Town Hall
            Wellington Street
            Woolwich
            London SE18 6PW

            alex.grant@...
            Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
            Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

             


            From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
            Sent: 13 November 2009 06:51
            To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
            Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

            Dear Alex,
             
            I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 
             
            Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:
             
            1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?
            2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?
             
            Kind regards,
            Tom
             


            From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
            Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
            To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
            Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

            Dear Tom
             
            Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?
             
            I look forward to hearing from you.
             
            Best wishes
             
            Alex Grant
             

            Alex Grant
            Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

            Greenwich Council
            Town Hall
            Wellington Street
            Woolwich
            London SE18 6PW

            alex.grant@...
            Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
            Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

             


            From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
            Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
            To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
            Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

            Dear Alex,
             
            An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?
             
            As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.
             
            And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 
             
            I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.
             
            Kind regards,
            Tom Crispin
             


            From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
            Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
            To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
            Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

            Dear Tom
             
            Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached
             
            I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.
             
            I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.
             
            I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.
             
            I look forward to hearing from you.
             
            Bets wishes
             
            Alex Grant
             
            Alex Grant
            Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

            Greenwich Council
            Town Hall
            Wellington Street
            Woolwich
            London SE18 6PW

            alex.grant@...
            Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
            Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

             


            From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
            Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
            To: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: Alex Grant
            Subject: Hexagon Estate

            I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
            www.britishschoolofcycling.com/special/bellfield.htm

            It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

            This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

            The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
            www.sustrans.org.uk/map

            I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

            Tom

            --
            Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
            www.britishschoolofcycling.com 

             

            Dear Roger Stocker
             
            Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.
             
            I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.
             
            Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.
             
            This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.
             
            Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?
             
            Best wishes
             
            Alex Grant

            Alex Grant
            Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

            Greenwich Council
            Town Hall
            Wellington Street
            Woolwich
            London SE18 6PW

            alex.grant@...
            Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
            Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

             


             


            From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@...]
            Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
            To: Tom Crispin
            Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
            Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

            Tom.
             
            I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo.org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?
             
            Roger

             


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          • Tom Crispin
            Dear Alex, Again you miss the point. The link through the Hexagon Estate is an important part of the London Cycle Network, linking to National Cycle Routes
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 15, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear Alex,
               
              Again you miss the point.  The link through the Hexagon Estate is an important part of the London Cycle Network, linking to National Cycle Routes and International Cycle Routes which pass through Greenwich, as well as being a local safe route for pedestrians compared with the Blackheath Standard Gyratory.
               
              This is not a matter between local cycling groups and local residents.  It is a matter for the landowner; it is the council's duty to ensure the landowner complies with rights-of-way legislation.
               
              Now can you please give a date for the public enquiry, or give a date when you will discuss the public enquiry?  'Shortly' is not good enough, and is quite simply pathetic.  This public right-of-way has been obstructed now for five years, and whether used for a safe route to Invicta Primary School or as part of a London to Paris cycle ride is beside the point.  The council has a duty of enforcement and you personally are deliberately stalling and deliberately putting people's safety and lives at risk.
               
              Kind regards,
               
              Tom Crispin


              From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
              Sent: 15 November 2009 22:14
              To: Tom Crispin; Stuart Broom
              Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@...
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

              Thanks for your replies. I am sure there must be a better way of finding a cycle route from London to Paris via Dieppe than through the Schofield Walk/Dornberg Close estate!
               
              I hope that local cycling groups will now listen to local residents and find a compromise.
               
              Alex Grant
               

              Alex Grant
              Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

              Greenwich Council
              Town Hall
              Wellington Street
              Woolwich
              London SE18 6PW

              alex.grant@...
              Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
              Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

               


              From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
              Sent: 13 November 2009 18:36
              To: 'Stuart Broom'; Alex Grant
              Cc: 'Gill Wood'; gill.wood@...
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

              Dear Stuart,
               
              Thank you for your reply which does go some way to explaining your position.
               
              The right-of-way is long established and was created in the 60s to provide an alternative when the A102(M) was built and cyclists and pedestrians prohibited from using that road.  When the road was transferred from the Highways Agency to Transport for London, the A102(M) was downgraded from motorway to A road and renamed the A102, but the cycling prohibition remained.  The link through the Hexagon Estate is part of a longer safe route for cyclists and pedestrians.  It starts in Kidbrooke, passes under the Sun-in-Sands roundabout, and crosses the A206 at the toucan crossing (cyclists and pedestrians) between Combedale Road and Tunnel Avenue.  It then links to NCR1 Dover to Shetland Cycle Route, NCR4 Greenwich to Fishguard cycle route and NCR21 Greenwich to Eastbourne cycle route, three major National Cycle Routes, indeed, NCR21 is part of the much longer International 'Avenue Verte' London to Paris motor traffic free route, crossing the Channel from Newhaven to Dieppe.
               
              It is of note that a cyclist was killed earlier this year by a hit and run driver just yards from this safe cycle route, at the junction of the A102 and A206.
               
              The benefits of the right-of-way extend way beyond that of the local residents and cyclists.  It extends to shoppers, school children requiring a safe route to school, library users, dog walkers and those choosing to go for a walk.  The police have not noted any change in the crime rate since the construction of the barriers.
               
              I agree that a public enquiry would be a waste of public money.  The enquiry will listen to all sides and decide the matter according to the law and rule the obstruction must be removed, of that I am completely confident.  As the councillors have already decided to ignore the advice of its officers to demolish the obstruction, and call a public enquiry, my only concern is that their decision is carried out expediently.  I will put whatever pressure I can on the councillors to ensure this happens without undue delay.  This has included friends asking open questions of the Council Leader and they have, or will, contact the local government ombudsman in an attempt to speed things up.  When I have the time, I plan to set up a web site dedicated to having this important safe route re-opened.  This will include photos from both sides of the obstruction so people can make up their own minds as to its purpose.
               
              Kind regards,
              Tom Crispin
               

               

              From: Stuart Broom [mailto:stuartbroom@...]
              Sent: 13 November 2009 16:33
              To: tom@...; alex.grant@...; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@...
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

              I have tried to avoid getting into this dispute as it feels like going round in circles with a new set of complainents but the cyclist lobby is starting to waste a considerable amount of the Councillor's time without actually considering those directly affected by the walls, the residents.

              The walls principle benefit is not stopping cyclists or any vendatta against that group but much more importantly it has vastly improved safety and reduced anti-social behaviour on both sides of the walls. At previous council meetings petitions have had signatures from both sides of the walls in support of keeping them which, as the Councillor says, are mostly council housing with some leaseholding/shared ownership, certainly no social divide to keep one another apart which you seem to be inferring.

              On the specifics of cycling, despite whatever maps you have, as far as residents are concerned,there never has been a cycling route through the estate. Certainly no one was consulted on having one if there was and there are in fact "no cycling" signs on the Schofield Walk side which date back many years by the look of them. There is an easy alternative routes along Charlton Road on one side and Banchory Road on the other so the inconvenience to cyclists I would view as minimal. In addition the nature of the area has changed, what was once derelict land has now become the Hexagon Housing Estate with parked cars and children playing, it has therefore probably become less suitable as a through route than the alternatives I mention.

              As you infer in your emails Hexagon did not follow the correct procedure in building the walls but the consequences of the walls has in fact proved hugely beneficial for residents on both sides. The reduction in signs of drug use, graffitti, and petty crime such as litter (particularly from the school children) and fires in the bins, for us, outweighs the inconvenience of the walk around and I hope you would respect those views should you continue to pursue this matter.

              This small local urban issue has got caught in the misery of right of way legislation designed to protect the right to roam in the countryside. It is therefore unfortunate that to maintain the, for us, happy status quo the objections from non-residents to officially diverting the "right of way" (only existing through usage not through anything written down) means the Council has to use taxpayers money to fund a costly planning inquiry which I am guessing will take a while to set up and is rightly, a fairly low priority for a busy Council.

              Rather than reply to my points, can I politely suggest you read the minutes of the previous planning meetings on this which date back over the last 3 or 4 years from the Council website and back issues of the Westcombe News so you know what the various issues are?

              Also, given residents would have preferred this to have been resolved years ago, with a diversion of the "right of way" to maintain the walls, I hope you can take my comment that the Council is not the enemy here and has tried to do its best to listen to the differing views, with the sincerity with which it is meant and therefore in dealing with Councillor Grant give him the respect he is due for acting in an impartial manner on a difficult issue.

              Regards,

              Stuart Broom
              Schofield Walk






              From: tom@...
              To: Alex.Grant@...; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
              CC: gill.wood@...; Gill.Wood@...; stuartbroom@...
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate
              Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 14:23:23 +0000

              Dear Alex,
               
              As I said in my reply to you earlier today, I do not represent Greenwich Cyclists.
               
              You have said before that a report will be going to Greenwich area planning committee shortly, but you have not specified a date.  I have noted that the issue of the obstruction of the right-of-way is not on the agenda for the next meeting.  Please can you provide some dates?
               
              Kind regards,
              Tom Crispin


              From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
              Sent: 13 November 2009 10:21
              To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

              Dear Tom
               
              As I said, a report is going to Greenwich area planning committee shortly which will answer these questions.
               
              May I please repeat my question, which has not been answered: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions? Can I conclude from your reply that Greenwich Cyclists has not tried to have any discussions with them?
               
              Best wishes
               
              Alex Grant
               
               
              Alex Grant
              Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward
              Greenwich Council
              Town Hall
              Wellington Street
              Woolwich
              London SE18 6PW
              alex.grant@...
              Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
              Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)
               


              From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
              Sent: 13 November 2009 06:51
              To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

              Dear Alex,
               
              I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 
               
              Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:
               
              1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?
              2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?
               
              Kind regards,
              Tom
               


              From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
              Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
              To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

              Dear Tom
               
              Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?
               
              I look forward to hearing from you.
               
              Best wishes
               
              Alex Grant
               
              Alex Grant
              Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward
              Greenwich Council
              Town Hall
              Wellington Street
              Woolwich
              London SE18 6PW
              alex.grant@...
              Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
              Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)
               


              From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
              Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
              To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

              Dear Alex,
               
              An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?
               
              As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.
               
              And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 
               
              I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.
               
              Kind regards,
              Tom Crispin
               


              From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
              Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
              To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
              Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

              Dear Tom
               
              Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached
               
              I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.
               
              I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.
               
              I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.
               
              I look forward to hearing from you.
               
              Bets wishes
               
              Alex Grant
               
              Alex Grant
              Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward
              Greenwich Council
              Town Hall
              Wellington Street
              Woolwich
              London SE18 6PW
              alex.grant@...
              Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
              Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)
               


              From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
              Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
              To: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
              Cc: Alex Grant
              Subject: Hexagon Estate

              I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
              www.britishschoolofcycling.com/special/bellfield.htm
              It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.
              This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!
              The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
              www.sustrans.org.uk/map
              I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.
              Tom
              --
              Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
              www.britishschoolofcycling.com 
               
              Dear Roger Stocker
               
              Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.
               
              I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.
               
              Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.
               
              This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.
               
              Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?
               
              Best wishes
               
              Alex Grant
              Alex Grant
              Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward
              Greenwich Council
              Town Hall
              Wellington Street
              Woolwich
              London SE18 6PW
              alex.grant@...
              Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
              Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)
               

               

              From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@...]
              Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
              To: Tom Crispin
              Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
              Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

              Tom.
               
              I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo.org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?
               
              Roger


               



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            • Anthony Austin
              Dear All, I m the coordinator (chair) of Greenwich Cyclists, and I suggest an on-site meeting to see if we can move this forward before the Council arranges a
              Message 6 of 17 , Nov 16, 2009
              • 0 Attachment

                Dear All,

                I’m the coordinator (chair) of Greenwich Cyclists, and I suggest an on-site meeting to see if we can move this forward before the Council arranges a public inquiry.

                At the April planning meeting Councillor Grant surprised some of us by saying that Greenwich Cyclists had refused to consider any alternative and he saw fit to comment that this was “not our finest hour;” but as Tom Crispin has explained, we’re not aware of any good alternative and we seem to have unintentionally emerged as the sole champions of an established right of way for pedestrians and cyclists.

                I’m available in the week beginning Nov. 23 and would welcome a chance to work with you all towards a solution.

                Kind regards

                Anthony Austin

                 

                 

                 

                 

                Dear Alex,

                 

                Again you miss the point.  The link through the Hexagon Estate is an important part of the London Cycle Network, linking to National Cycle Routes and International Cycle Routes which pass through Greenwich , as well as being a local safe route for pedestrians compared with the Blackheath Standard Gyratory.

                 

                This is not a matter between local cycling groups and local residents.  It is a matter for the landowner; it is the council's duty to ensure the landowner complies with rights-of-way legislation.

                 

                Now can you please give a date for the public enquiry, or give a date when you will discuss the public enquiry?  'Shortly' is not good enough, and is quite simply pathetic.  This public right-of-way has been obstructed now for five years, and whether used for a safe route to Invicta Primary School or as part of a London to Paris cycle ride is beside the point.  The council has a duty of enforcement and you personally are deliberately stalling and deliberately putting people's safety and lives at risk.

                 

                Kind regards,

                 

                Tom Crispin

                 


                From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                Sent: 15 November 2009 22:14
                To: Tom Crispin; Stuart Broom
                Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@erinaceou s.com
                Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                Thanks for your replies. I am sure there must be a better way of finding a cycle route from London to Paris via Dieppe than through the Schofield Walk/Dornberg Close estate!

                 

                I hope that local cycling groups will now listen to local residents and find a compromise.

                 

                Alex Grant

                 

                Alex Grant
                Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                Greenwich Council
                Town Hall
                Wellington Street
                Woolwich
                London SE18 6PW

                alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                 

                 


                From: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com [mailto:greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Crispin
                Sent: 13 November 2009 06:51
                To: 'Alex Grant'; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                Subject: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                 

                 

                Dear Alex,

                 

                I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 

                 

                Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:

                 

                1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?

                2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?

                 

                Kind regards,

                Tom

                 

                 


                From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
                To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                Dear Tom

                 

                Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?

                 

                I look forward to hearing from you.

                 

                Best wishes

                 

                Alex Grant

                 

                Alex Grant
                Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                Greenwich Council
                Town Hall
                Wellington Street
                Woolwich
                London SE18 6PW

                alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                 

                 


                From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com]
                Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
                To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                Dear Alex,

                 

                An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?

                 

                As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.

                 

                And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 

                 

                I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.

                 

                Kind regards,

                Tom Crispin

                www.britishschoolof cycling.com

                 

                 


                From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
                To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                Dear Tom

                 

                Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached

                 

                I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.

                 

                I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.

                 

                I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.

                 

                I look forward to hearing from you.

                 

                Bets wishes

                 

                Alex Grant

                 

                Alex Grant
                Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                Greenwich Council
                Town Hall
                Wellington Street
                Woolwich
                London SE18 6PW

                alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                 

                 


                From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com]
                Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
                To: greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                Cc: Alex Grant
                Subject: Hexagon Estate

                I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
                www.britishschoolof cycling.com/ special/bellfiel d.htm

                It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

                This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

                The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
                www.sustrans. org.uk/map

                I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

                Tom

                --
                Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
                www.britishschoolof cycling.com
                 

                 

                Dear Roger Stocker

                 

                Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.

                 

                I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.

                 

                Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.

                 

                This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.

                 

                Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?

                 

                Best wishes

                 

                Alex Grant

                Alex Grant
                Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                Greenwich Council
                Town Hall
                Wellington Street
                Woolwich
                London SE18 6PW

                alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                 


                 


                From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@ gmail.com]
                Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
                To: Tom Crispin
                Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

                Tom.

                 

                I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo. org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?

                 

                Roger

                 


                This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

                Greenwich Council has scanned this e-mail for viruses but does not accept any responsibility once this e-mail has been transmitted. You should scan attachments (if any) for viruses.

                Greenwich Council can be contacted by telephone on +44 (0) 20 8854 8888


                Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch for Greenwich .


                This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

                Greenwich Council has scanned this e-mail for viruses but does not accept any responsibility once this e-mail has been transmitted. You should scan attachments (if any) for viruses.

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                Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch for Greenwich .

              • roger stocker
                Anthony, I think that everyone is slightly missing the point here. Councillor Grant is representing the views of some of his constituents - as he is elected to
                Message 7 of 17 , Nov 16, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Anthony,
                   
                  I think that everyone is slightly missing the point here. Councillor Grant is representing the views of some of his constituents - as he is elected to do - and they have the view that they would wish to see this route closed. It is up to Greenwich Council to ensure that due process is gone through to legally close any public right of way (and you have asked a public question to find out what is happening to re-open this route until this due process has been exhausted). Until you receive a response from Greenwich officers then there is little else you can do. If no response is forthcoming - or the response does not give a sensible timetable for the reopening of this route - you can lodge a formal complaint to the Local Government Obusman - a fairly simple procedure - as it would appear the council is not following the rules regarding public rights of way/stopping up orders etc.
                   
                  Meanwhile Councillor Grant is, rightly, representing his constituents. Whether or not a cycleroute goes thorough this area is irrvelant - to extinguish a public right of way is a formal process which does not seem to have been followed as yet. 
                   
                  Roger Stocker
                  Local cyclist 

                   
                  On 16/11/2009, Anthony Austin <austin970@...> wrote:
                   

                  Dear All,

                  I’m the coordinator (chair) of Greenwich Cyclists, and I suggest an on-site meeting to see if we can move this forward before the Council arranges a public inquiry.

                  At the April planning meeting Councillor Grant surprised some of us by saying that Greenwich Cyclists had refused to consider any alternative and he saw fit to comment that this was “not our finest hour;” but as Tom Crispin has explained, we’re not aware of any good alternative and we seem to have unintentionally emerged as the sole champions of an established right of way for pedestrians and cyclists.

                  I’m available in the week beginning Nov. 23 and would welcome a chance to work with you all towards a solution.

                  Kind regards

                  Anthony Austin

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Dear Alex,

                   

                  Again you miss the point.  The link through the Hexagon Estate is an important part of the London Cycle Network, linking to National Cycle Routes and International Cycle Routes which pass through Greenwich, as well as being a local safe route for pedestrians compared with the Blackheath Standard Gyratory.

                   

                  This is not a matter between local cycling groups and local residents.  It is a matter for the landowner; it is the council's duty to ensure the landowner complies with rights-of-way legislation.

                   

                  Now can you please give a date for the public enquiry, or give a date when you will discuss the public enquiry?  'Shortly' is not good enough, and is quite simply pathetic.  This public right-of-way has been obstructed now for five years, and whether used for a safe route to Invicta Primary School or as part of a London to Paris cycle ride is beside the point.  The council has a duty of enforcement and you personally are deliberately stalling and deliberately putting people's safety and lives at risk.

                   

                  Kind regards,

                   

                  Tom Crispin

                   


                  From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                  Sent: 15 November 2009 22:14
                  To: Tom Crispin; Stuart Broom
                  Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@...
                  Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                  Thanks for your replies. I am sure there must be a better way of finding a cycle route from London to Paris via Dieppe than through the Schofield Walk/Dornberg Close estate!

                   

                  I hope that local cycling groups will now listen to local residents and find a compromise.

                   

                  Alex Grant

                   

                  Alex Grant
                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                  Greenwich Council
                  Town Hall
                  Wellington Street
                  Woolwich
                  London SE18 6PW

                  alex.grant@...
                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                   

                   


                  From: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com [mailto:greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Crispin
                  Sent: 13 November 2009 06:51
                  To: 'Alex Grant'; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                  Subject: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                   

                   

                  Dear Alex,

                   

                  I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 

                   

                  Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:

                   

                  1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?

                  2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?

                   

                  Kind regards,

                  Tom

                   

                   


                  From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                  Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
                  To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                  Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                  Dear Tom

                   

                  Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?

                   

                  I look forward to hearing from you.

                   

                  Best wishes

                   

                  Alex Grant

                   

                  Alex Grant
                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                  Greenwich Council
                  Town Hall
                  Wellington Street
                  Woolwich
                  London SE18 6PW

                  alex.grant@...
                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                   

                   


                  From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
                  Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
                  To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                  Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                  Dear Alex,

                   

                  An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?

                   

                  As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.

                   

                  And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 

                   

                  I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.

                   

                  Kind regards,

                  Tom Crispin

                  www.britishschoolofcycling.com

                   

                   


                  From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                  Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
                  To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                  Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                  Dear Tom

                   

                  Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached

                   

                  I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.

                   

                  I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.

                   

                  I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.

                   

                  I look forward to hearing from you.

                   

                  Bets wishes

                   

                  Alex Grant

                   

                  Alex Grant
                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                  Greenwich Council
                  Town Hall
                  Wellington Street
                  Woolwich
                  London SE18 6PW

                  alex.grant@...
                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                   

                   


                  From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
                  Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
                  To: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc: Alex Grant
                  Subject: Hexagon Estate

                  I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
                  www.britishschoolofcycling.com/special/bellfield.htm

                  It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

                  This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

                  The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
                  www.sustrans.org.uk/map

                  I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

                  Tom

                  --
                  Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
                  www.britishschoolofcycling.com
                   

                   

                  Dear Roger Stocker

                   

                  Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.

                   

                  I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.

                   

                  Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.

                   

                  This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.

                   

                  Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?

                   

                  Best wishes

                   

                  Alex Grant

                  Alex Grant
                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                  Greenwich Council
                  Town Hall
                  Wellington Street
                  Woolwich
                  London SE18 6PW

                  alex.grant@...
                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                   


                   


                  From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@...]
                  Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
                  To: Tom Crispin
                  Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                  Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

                  Tom.

                   

                  I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo.org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?

                   

                  Roger

                   


                  This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

                  Greenwich Council has scanned this e-mail for viruses but does not accept any responsibility once this e-mail has been transmitted. You should scan attachments (if any) for viruses.

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                  Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch for Greenwich.


                  This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

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                  Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch for Greenwich.


                • Anthony Austin
                  Please find attached my questions to Council last month, and the replies; though the council says it will bring the question back to the area planning meeting
                  Message 8 of 17 , Nov 16, 2009

                  Please find attached my questions to Council last month, and the replies; though the council says it will bring the question back to the area planning meeting “in the near future” I understand it is not on the agenda of the next meeting.

                   


                  From: Ray [mailto:rayfinland@...]
                  Sent: 16 November 2009 12:46
                  To: Anthony Austin; roger stocker
                  Cc: Tom Crispin; Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom; L F T Smith; Dick Allard; david senior; Sarah Ellis; Liz Delap
                  Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] Hexagon Estate

                   

                  Just out of curiosity, is councillor Grant suggesting that the residents have something to put onto the table regarding reopening a route through Hexagon Estate? If he is representing his constituents then it would be fair to say he would know if there is something to put on the table.

                   

                  It would seem to me that if there is something to discuss regarding a route through Hexagon Estate then let's have that stated. That gives some hope for any discussion. No point in meeting if it is to hear that the residents oppose the right of way. That is already known and evidenced in the building of the wall (pretty obvious position statement).

                   

                  On a slightly different angle, if the residents want to discuss a different route through the estate who has the authority to agree that? Certainly not the cycling groups as this affects more than just cyclists? Who needs to be consulted as well?

                   

                  It all seems to lead back to the same point, some form of formal process needs to be convened to either re-open the existing route or ratify an alternative route through the estate.

                   

                  What is not at issue is that a public right of way has been denied to the public. If that right is being denied and those that have a duty to enforce the right fail to do so then there is no other way forward but to push the issue forward through the appropriate formal avenues.

                   

                  There are now 3 issues on the table.

                  1. The loss of the right of way

                  2. The failure of the council to enforce the right of way

                  3. The failure of the council to act in a timely way to address the issue.

                   

                  Tend to agree with Roger on this one but would put all 3 above issues to the Ombudsman.

                   

                   

                  ----- Original Message -----

                  Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 11:19 AM

                  Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] Hexagon Estate

                   

                   

                  Anthony,

                   

                  I think that everyone is slightly missing the point here. Councillor Grant is representing the views of some of his constituents - as he is elected to do - and they have the view that they would wish to see this route closed. It is up to Greenwich Council to ensure that due process is gone through to legally close any public right of way (and you have asked a public question to find out what is happening to re-open this route until this due process has been exhausted). Until you receive a response from Greenwich officers then there is little else you can do. If no response is forthcoming - or the response does not give a sensible timetable for the reopening of this route - you can lodge a formal complaint to the Local Government Obusman - a fairly simple procedure - as it would appear the council is not following the rules regarding public rights of way/stopping up orders etc.

                   

                  Meanwhile Councillor Grant is, rightly, representing his constituents. Whether or not a cycleroute goes thorough this area is irrvelant - to extinguish a public right of way is a formal process which does not seem to have been followed as yet. 

                   

                  Roger Stocker

                  Local cyclist 

                   

                  On 16/11/2009, Anthony Austin <austin970@btinterne t.com> wrote:

                   

                  Dear All,

                  I’m the coordinator (chair) of Greenwich Cyclists, and I suggest an on-site meeting to see if we can move this forward before the Council arranges a public inquiry.

                  At the April planning meeting Councillor Grant surprised some of us by saying that Greenwich Cyclists had refused to consider any alternative and he saw fit to comment that this was “not our finest hour;” but as Tom Crispin has explained, we’re not aware of any good alternative and we seem to have unintentionally emerged as the sole champions of an established right of way for pedestrians and cyclists.

                  I’m available in the week beginning Nov. 23 and would welcome a chance to work with you all towards a solution.

                  Kind regards

                  Anthony Austin

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Dear Alex,

                   

                  Again you miss the point.  The link through the Hexagon Estate is an important part of the London Cycle Network, linking to National Cycle Routes and International  Cycle Routes which pass through Greenwich , as well as being a local safe route for pedestrians compared with the Blackheath Standard Gyratory.

                   

                  This is not a matter between local cycling groups and local residents.  It is a matter for the landowner; it is the council's duty to ensure the landowner complies with rights-of-way legislation.

                   

                  Now can you please give a date for the public enquiry, or give a date when you will discuss the public enquiry?  'Shortly' is not good enough, and is quite simply pathetic.  This public right-of-way has been obstructed now for five years, and whether used for a safe route to Invicta Primary School or as part of a London to Paris cycle ride is beside the point.  The council has a duty of enforcement and you personally are deliberately stalling and deliberately putting people's safety and lives at risk.

                   

                  Kind regards,

                   

                  Tom Crispin

                   


                  From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@greenwic h.gov.uk]
                  Sent: 15 November 2009 22:14
                  To: Tom Crispin; Stuart Broom
                  Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@erinaceou s.com
                  Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                  Thanks for your replies. I am sure there must be a better way of finding a cycle route from London to Paris via Dieppe than through the Schofield Walk/Dornberg Close estate!

                   

                  I hope that local cycling groups will now listen to local residents and find a compromise.

                   

                  Alex Grant

                   

                  Alex Grant
                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                  Greenwich Council
                  Town Hall
                  Wellington Street
                  Woolwich
                  London SE18 6PW

                  alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                   

                   


                  From: greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Tom Crispin
                  Sent: 13 November 2009 06:51
                  To: 'Alex Grant'; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                  Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                  Subject: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                   

                   

                  Dear Alex,

                   

                  I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 

                   

                  Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:

                   

                  1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?

                  2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?

                   

                  Kind regards,

                  Tom

                   

                   


                  From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@greenwic h.gov.uk]
                  Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
                  To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                  Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                  Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                  Dear Tom

                   

                  Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?

                   

                  I look forward to hearing from you.

                   

                  Best wishes

                   

                  Alex Grant

                   

                  Alex Grant
                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                  Greenwich Council
                  Town Hall
                  Wellington Street
                  Woolwich
                  London SE18 6PW

                  alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                   

                   


                  From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
                  Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
                  To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                  Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                  Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                  Dear Alex,

                   

                  An unauthorised  blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?

                   

                  As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.

                   

                  And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 

                   

                  I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could  this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.

                   

                  Kind regards,

                  Tom Crispin

                  www.britishschoolof cycling.com

                   

                   


                  From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@greenwic h.gov.uk]
                  Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
                  To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                  Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                  Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                  Dear Tom

                   

                  Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached

                   

                  I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.

                   

                  I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.

                   

                  I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.

                   

                  I look forward to hearing from you.

                   

                  Bets wishes

                   

                  Alex Grant

                   

                  Alex Grant
                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                  Greenwich Council
                  Town Hall
                  Wellington Street
                  Woolwich
                  London SE18 6PW

                  alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                   

                   


                  From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
                  Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
                  To: greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                  Cc: Alex Grant
                  Subject: Hexagon Estate

                  I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
                  www.britishschoolof cycling.com/ special/bellfiel d.htm

                  It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

                  This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

                  The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
                  www.sustrans. org.uk/map

                  I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

                  Tom

                  --
                  Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
                  www.britishschoolof cycling.com
                   

                   

                  Dear Roger Stocker

                   

                  Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.

                   

                  I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.

                   

                  Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.

                   

                  This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.

                   

                  Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?

                   

                  Best wishes

                   

                  Alex Grant

                  Alex Grant
                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                  Greenwich Council
                  Town Hall
                  Wellington Street
                  Woolwich
                  London SE18 6PW

                  alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                   


                   


                  From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@gmail. com]
                  Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
                  To: Tom Crispin
                  Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                  Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

                  Tom.

                   

                  I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

                • Tom Crispin
                  Dear Alex, Accuse me of being thick if there is something I have not grasped, but why is it incumbent on the cycling fraternity to make their case to
                  Message 9 of 17 , Nov 20, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Dear Alex,
                     
                    Accuse me of being thick if there is something I have not grasped, but why is it "incumbent on the cycling fraternity to make their case to residents why the path should be reopened"?
                     
                    I would have thought that it is incumbent on the council to ensure that the process to extinguish a right-of-way if followed before allowing obstructions to be built blocking the right-of-way, and if residents are unhappy with a right-of-way it is incumbent on the council to explain to residents the proper procedure to extinguish a right-of-way, and to ensure that procedure is followed before allowing obstructions to be built across a right-of-way.
                     
                    You have alluded to the matter going to committee for decision.  Can you please provide a date?
                     
                    Kind regards,
                     
                    Tom Crispin


                    From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                    Sent: 20 November 2009 16:35
                    To: Anthony Austin; Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                    Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom; L F T Smith; Dick Allard; david senior; Sarah Ellis; Liz Delap
                    Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                    Dear Anthony
                     
                    Thanks for your email. I very much hope that the meeting can go ahead with Stuart, Gill, and other residents of Schofield and Dornberg (many of whom are not on email) to try and find a way forward if at all possible that both cyclists and residents of the estate are happy with. I don;t think it is wise for me or other cllrs to be invoked in this, as the final decision will be taken at committee not at a site meeting and I don't want to pre-judge what
                     
                    The only reason I have said that this episode has "not been Greenwich Cyclists' finest hour" is that thus far Greenwich Cyclists appeared unable or unwilling to engage with people who live on the estate to listen to their concerns. I am glad this is being put right.
                     
                    I am afraid Tom Crispin continues to misunderstand me. No-one is arguing against safe cycle routes. The point is that the putting a cycle path through the Bellfield Close and Schofield/Dornberg close strikes many residents there as potty. The council has not ignored public opinion and failed to consult, as the full council questions allege: in agreeing to reroute the cycle path it was responded to serious concerns expressed by residents over many years, and which could not simply;y be ignored.
                     
                    It is incumbent on the cycling fraternity to make their case to residents why the path should be reopened, not the other way around. What goes around comes around: If cycling groups want to be listened to by the council then they should at least try and listen to residents who are saying that in this particular case, a cycle route along this particular route makes little sense.
                     
                    Best wishes
                     
                    Alex Grant
                     

                    Alex Grant
                    Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                    Greenwich Council
                    Town Hall
                    Wellington Street
                    Woolwich
                    London SE18 6PW

                    alex.grant@...
                    Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                    Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                     


                    From: Anthony Austin [mailto:austin970@...]
                    Sent: 16 November 2009 09:33
                    To: 'Tom Crispin'; Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                    Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'; 'L F T Smith'; 'Dick Allard'; 'david senior'; 'Sarah Ellis'; 'Liz Delap'
                    Subject: Hexagon Estate

                    Dear All,

                    I’m the coordinator (chair) of Greenwich Cyclists, and I suggest an on-site meeting to see if we can move this forward before the Council arranges a public inquiry.

                    At the April planning meeting Councillor Grant surprised some of us by saying that Greenwich Cyclists had refused to consider any alternative and he saw fit to comment that this was “not our finest hour;” but as Tom Crispin has explained, we’re not aware of any good alternative and we seem to have unintentionally emerged as the sole champions of an established right of way for pedestrians and cyclists.

                    I’m available in the week beginning Nov. 23 and would welcome a chance to work with you all towards a solution.

                    Kind regards

                    Anthony Austin

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    Dear Alex,

                     

                    Again you miss the point.  The link through the Hexagon Estate is an important part of the London Cycle Network, linking to National Cycle Routes and International Cycle Routes which pass through Greenwich , as well as being a local safe route for pedestrians compared with the Blackheath Standard Gyratory.

                     

                    This is not a matter between local cycling groups and local residents.  It is a matter for the landowner; it is the council's duty to ensure the landowner complies with rights-of-way legislation.

                     

                    Now can you please give a date for the public enquiry, or give a date when you will discuss the public enquiry?  'Shortly' is not good enough, and is quite simply pathetic.  This public right-of-way has been obstructed now for five years, and whether used for a safe route to Invicta Primary School or as part of a London to Paris cycle ride is beside the point.  The council has a duty of enforcement and you personally are deliberately stalling and deliberately putting people's safety and lives at risk.

                     

                    Kind regards,

                     

                    Tom Crispin

                     


                    From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                    Sent: 15 November 2009 22:14
                    To: Tom Crispin; Stuart Broom
                    Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@erinaceou s.com
                    Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                    Thanks for your replies. I am sure there must be a better way of finding a cycle route from London to Paris via Dieppe than through the Schofield Walk/Dornberg Close estate!

                     

                    I hope that local cycling groups will now listen to local residents and find a compromise.

                     

                    Alex Grant

                     

                    Alex Grant
                    Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                    Greenwich Council
                    Town Hall
                    Wellington Street
                    Woolwich
                    London SE18 6PW

                    alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                    Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                    Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                     

                     


                    From: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com [mailto:greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Crispin
                    Sent: 13 November 2009 06:51
                    To: 'Alex Grant'; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                    Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                    Subject: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                     

                     

                    Dear Alex,

                     

                    I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 

                     

                    Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:

                     

                    1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?

                    2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?

                     

                    Kind regards,

                    Tom

                     

                     


                    From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                    Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
                    To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                    Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                    Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                    Dear Tom

                     

                    Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?

                     

                    I look forward to hearing from you.

                     

                    Best wishes

                     

                    Alex Grant

                     

                    Alex Grant
                    Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                    Greenwich Council
                    Town Hall
                    Wellington Street
                    Woolwich
                    London SE18 6PW

                    alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                    Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                    Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                     

                     


                    From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com]
                    Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
                    To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                    Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                    Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                    Dear Alex,

                     

                    An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?

                     

                    As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.

                     

                    And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 

                     

                    I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.

                     

                    Kind regards,

                    Tom Crispin

                    www.britishschoolof cycling.com

                     

                     


                    From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                    Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
                    To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                    Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                    Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                    Dear Tom

                     

                    Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached

                     

                    I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.

                     

                    I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.

                     

                    I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.

                     

                    I look forward to hearing from you.

                     

                    Bets wishes

                     

                    Alex Grant

                     

                    Alex Grant
                    Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                    Greenwich Council
                    Town Hall
                    Wellington Street
                    Woolwich
                    London SE18 6PW

                    alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                    Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                    Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                     

                     


                    From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com]
                    Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
                    To: greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                    Cc: Alex Grant
                    Subject: Hexagon Estate

                    I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
                    www.britishschoolof cycling.com/ special/bellfiel d.htm

                    It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

                    This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

                    The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
                    www.sustrans. org.uk/map

                    I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

                    Tom

                    --
                    Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
                    www.britishschoolof cycling.com
                     

                     

                    Dear Roger Stocker

                     

                    Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.

                     

                    I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.

                     

                    Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.

                     

                    This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.

                     

                    Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?

                     

                    Best wishes

                     

                    Alex Grant

                    Alex Grant
                    Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                    Greenwich Council
                    Town Hall
                    Wellington Street
                    Woolwich
                    London SE18 6PW

                    alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                    Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                    Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                     


                     


                    From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@ gmail.com]
                    Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
                    To: Tom Crispin
                    Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                    Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

                    Tom.

                     

                    I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo. org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?

                     

                    Roger

                     


                    This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

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                    This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

                    Greenwich Council has scanned this e-mail for viruses but does not accept any responsibility once this e-mail has been transmitted. You should scan attachments (if any) for viruses.

                    Greenwich Council can be contacted by telephone on +44 (0) 20 8854 8888


                    Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch forGreenwich .


                    This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

                    Greenwich Council has scanned this e-mail for viruses but does not accept any responsibility once this e-mail has been transmitted. You should scan attachments (if any) for viruses.

                    Greenwich Council can be contacted by telephone on +44 (0) 20 8854 8888


                    Greenwich Council: Carrying the torch for Greenwich.

                  • Tom Crispin
                    Dear Stuart, I find it mildly troubling that you mistake my quoting Alex Grant to some of the more eccentric members of the Westcombe Society . I have never
                    Message 10 of 17 , Nov 20, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Stuart,
                       
                      I find it mildly troubling that you mistake my quoting Alex Grant to "some of the more eccentric members of the Westcombe Society".
                       
                      I have never considered this a matter (or conspiracy) between Hexagon and residents.  I have considered it a matter between the landowner and users inconvenienced by the blockage; it is the council's duty to enforce compliance with rights-of-way legislation.  As there is absolutely no chance of the right-of-way being extinguished, I see no problem with the walls being removed immediately.  You say that the cycle route was "officially diverted (and permanently)" four years ago.  I have trawled through the Council's planning meeting minutes and can find no record.  Perhaps you can provide a pointer to this meeting.
                       
                      I have updated the map on the website with the circuitous route you suggest.
                       
                      Kind regards,
                      Tom Crispin


                      From: Stuart Broom [mailto:stuartbroom@...]
                      Sent: 20 November 2009 21:08
                      To: tom@...; alex.grant@...; austin970@...; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@...; lftsmith@...; r.j.allard@...; david.senior13@...; sarah.ellis@...; liz.delap@...
                      Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                      I think the misunderstandings you perhaps have come from the point that residents were not in a conspiracy with Hexagon to put up the walls, it happened without input from us and it just happens the estate as a result is safer (I notice you using the dubious language of some of the more eccentric members of the Westcombe Society which I think you need to be careful quoting). If you think about it logically there would seem little point in removing the walls whilst the Council was in the process of consulting on removing an "acquired right of way" which would then in effect mean the walls coul be putback up, surely that makes sense to you?

                      From the cyclists point of view the cycle path was officially diverted (and permanently) 4 years ago at a proper Council planning meeting up Craigerne Road/Banchory Road and the signage currently there reflects that change. These are two fairly quiet roads with minimal inconvenience to cyclists so one of the things I would be interested in knowing is how the diverted route is such an additional danger/inconvenience? It would also be better if your new website with map/photo reflected the current situation which diverts the route through those roads rather than pointing out an obstruction to pedestrians and scaremongering around the dangers of Charlton Road side which is not part of the official route.

                      Hope this helps,

                      Stuart


                      From: tom@...
                      To: Alex.Grant@...; austin970@...; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                      CC: gill.wood@...; Gill.Wood@...; stuartbroom@...; LFTSmith@...; r.j.allard@...; david.senior13@...; sarah.ellis@...; liz.delap@...
                      Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate
                      Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2009 19:01:13 +0000

                      Dear Alex,
                       
                      Accuse me of being thick if there is something I have not grasped, but why is it "incumbent on the cycling fraternity to make their case to residents why the path should be reopened"?
                       
                      I would have thought that it is incumbent on the council to ensure that the process to extinguish a right-of-way if followed before allowing obstructions to be built blocking the right-of-way, and if residents are unhappy with a right-of-way it is incumbent on the council to explain to residents the proper procedure to extinguish a right-of-way, and to ensure that procedure is followed before allowing obstructions to be built across a right-of-way.
                       
                      You have alluded to the matter going to committee for decision.  Can you please provide a date?
                       
                      Kind regards,
                       
                      Tom Crispin


                      From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                      Sent: 20 November 2009 16:35
                      To: Anthony Austin; Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom; L F T Smith; Dick Allard; david senior; Sarah Ellis; Liz Delap
                      Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                      Dear Anthony
                       
                      Thanks for your email. I very much hope that the meeting can go ahead with Stuart, Gill, and other residents of Schofield and Dornberg (many of whom are not on email) to try and find a way forward if at all possible that both cyclists and residents of the estate are happy with. I don;t think it is wise for me or other cllrs to be invoked in this, as the final decision will be taken at committee not at a site meeting and I don't want to pre-judge what
                       
                      The only reason I have said that this episode has "not been Greenwich Cyclists' finest hour" is that thus far Greenwich Cyclists appeared unable or unwilling to engage with people who live on the estate to listen to their concerns. I am glad this is being put right.
                       
                      I am afraid Tom Crispin continues to misunderstand me. No-one is arguing against safe cycle routes. The point is that the putting a cycle path through the Bellfield Close and Schofield/Dornberg close strikes many residents there as potty. The council has not ignored public opinion and failed to consult, as the full council questions allege: in agreeing to reroute the cycle path it was responded to serious concerns expressed by residents over many years, and which could not simply;y be ignored.
                       
                      It is incumbent on the cycling fraternity to make their case to residents why the path should be reopened, not the other way around. What goes around comes around: If cycling groups want to be listened to by the council then they should at least try and listen to residents who are saying that in this particular case, a cycle route along this particular route makes little sense.
                       
                      Best wishes
                       
                      Alex Grant
                       
                      Alex Grant
                      Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward
                      Greenwich Council
                      Town Hall
                      Wellington Street
                      Woolwich
                      London SE18 6PW
                      alex.grant@...
                      Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                      Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)
                       


                      From: Anthony Austin [mailto:austin970@...]
                      Sent: 16 November 2009 09:33
                      To: 'Tom Crispin'; Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'; 'L F T Smith'; 'Dick Allard'; 'david senior'; 'Sarah Ellis'; 'Liz Delap'
                      Subject: Hexagon Estate

                      Dear All,

                      I’m the coordinator (chair) of Greenwich Cyclists, and I suggest an on-site meeting to see if we can move this forward before the Council arranges a public inquiry.

                      At the April planning meeting Councillor Grant surprised some of us by saying that Greenwich Cyclists had refused to consider any alternative and he saw fit to comment that this was “not our finest hour;” but as Tom Crispin has explained, we’re not aware of any good alternative and we seem to have unintentionally emerged as the sole champions of an established right of way for pedestrians and cyclists.

                      I’m available in the week beginning Nov. 23 and would welcome a chance to work with you all towards a solution.

                      Kind regards

                      Anthony Austin

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      Dear Alex,

                       

                      Again you miss the point.  The link through the Hexagon Estate is an important part of the London Cycle Network, linking to National Cycle Routes and International Cycle Routes which pass through Greenwich, as well as being a local safe route for pedestrians compared with the Blackheath Standard Gyratory.

                       

                      This is not a matter between local cycling groups and local residents.  It is a matter for the landowner; it is the council's duty to ensure the landowner complies with rights-of-way legislation.

                       

                      Now can you please give a date for the public enquiry, or give a date when you will discuss the public enquiry?  'Shortly' is not good enough, and is quite simply pathetic.  This public right-of-way has been obstructed now for five years, and whether used for a safe route to Invicta Primary School or as part of a London to Paris cycle ride is beside the point.  The council has a duty of enforcement and you personally are deliberately stalling and deliberately putting people's safety and lives at risk.

                       

                      Kind regards,

                       

                      Tom Crispin

                       


                      From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                      Sent: 15 November 2009 22:14
                      To: Tom Crispin; Stuart Broom
                      Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@erinaceou s.com
                      Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                      Thanks for your replies. I am sure there must be a better way of finding a cycle route from London to Paris via Dieppe than through the Schofield Walk/Dornberg Close estate!

                       

                      I hope that local cycling groups will now listen to local residents and find a compromise.

                       

                      Alex Grant

                       

                      Alex Grant
                      Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward
                      Greenwich Council
                      Town Hall
                      Wellington Street
                      Woolwich
                      London SE18 6PW
                      alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                      Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                      Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                       

                       


                      From: greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com [mailto:greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tom Crispin
                      Sent: 13 November 2009 06:51
                      To: 'Alex Grant'; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                      Subject: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                       

                       

                      Dear Alex,

                       

                      I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 

                       

                      Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:

                       

                      1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?

                      2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?

                       

                      Kind regards,

                      Tom

                       

                       


                      From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                      Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
                      To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                      Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                      Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                      Dear Tom

                       

                      Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?

                       

                      I look forward to hearing from you.

                       

                      Best wishes

                       

                      Alex Grant

                       

                      Alex Grant
                      Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward
                      Greenwich Council
                      Town Hall
                      Wellington Street
                      Woolwich
                      London SE18 6PW
                      alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                      Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                      Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                       

                       


                      From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com]
                      Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
                      To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                      Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                      Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                      Dear Alex,

                       

                      An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?

                       

                      As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.

                       

                      And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 

                       

                      I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.

                       

                      Kind regards,

                      Tom Crispin

                      www.britishschoolof cycling.com

                       

                       


                      From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                      Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
                      To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                      Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                      Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                      Dear Tom

                       

                      Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached

                       

                      I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.

                       

                      I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.

                       

                      I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.

                       

                      I look forward to hearing from you.

                       

                      Bets wishes

                       

                      Alex Grant

                       

                      Alex Grant
                      Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                      Greenwich Council
                      Town Hall
                      Wellington Street
                      Woolwich
                      London SE18 6PW
                      alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                      Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                      Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                       

                       


                      From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com]
                      Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
                      To: greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                      Cc: Alex Grant
                      Subject: Hexagon Estate

                      I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
                      www.britishschoolof cycling.com/ special/bellfiel d.htm

                      It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.
                      This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!
                      The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
                      www.sustrans. org.uk/map

                      I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.
                      Tom
                      --
                      Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
                      www.britishschoolof cycling.com
                       
                       

                      Dear Roger Stocker

                       

                      Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.

                       

                      I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.

                       

                      Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.

                       

                      This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.

                       

                      Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?

                       

                      Best wishes

                       

                      Alex Grant

                      Alex Grant
                      Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward
                      Greenwich Council
                      Town Hall
                      Wellington Street
                      Woolwich
                      London SE18 6PW
                      alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                      Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                      Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                       


                       


                      From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@ gmail.com]
                      Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
                      To: Tom Crispin
                      Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                      Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

                      Tom.

                       

                      I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo. org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?

                       

                      Roger

                       

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                      This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.
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                    • Tom Crispin
                      Dear Ray, There is certainly something very strange going on. The cycle path goes around the outside of the old estate, not through it, but goes through the
                      Message 11 of 17 , Nov 20, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dear Ray,
                         
                        There is certainly something very strange going on.  The cycle path goes around the outside of the old estate, not through it, but goes through the middle of the new estate.  I can understand there being some objection from residents of the new estate as they would have some loss or privacy and would lose one parking place, but they would gain so much by having a convenient access to the local shops and library.
                         
                        And of course there is the access to the school.  Perhaps we should try to involve the governors of Invicta School; most schools now have travel plans, and safe routes to school should be in their travel plan.  If Invicta does have a travel plan there should be a named governor, and certainly the Chair of Governors will have signed the travel plan.  There is absolutely no way that a responsible school governor would allow a safe route to school be extinguished, and would fight tooth and nail to keep such a route open.  Anything else would be a scandal.
                         
                        Regards,
                         
                        Tom Crispin


                        From: Ray [mailto:rayfinland@...]
                        Sent: 20 November 2009 23:03
                        To: 'Alex Grant'; 'Anthony Austin'; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Tom Crispin
                        Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'; 'L F T Smith'; 'Dick Allard'; 'david senior'; 'Sarah Ellis'; 'Liz Delap'
                        Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                        I see that Councillor Grant has made the point that there is no interest in there being a cycle route through the estate. As he says, a cycle path....stikes many residents as potty. He goes on to imply that Greenwich Council agreed to the re-routing of the cycle path. From what I can read between the lines here is that this re-routing was intended to be permanent not temporary.
                         
                        Again I go back to my point. If there is no interest by the residents to discuss a route through the estate, as it is potty, then what is the purpose of such a meeting? Does councillor Grant really believe that the residents will accept any arguement no matter how well presented or reasoned? I just do not understand why Councillor Grant insists that such a meeting would provide any useful purpose other than stating the obvious positions of both groups.
                         
                        Sure, meet and get that bug out of the way so that the process can progress to the next step.
                         
                        Odd that councillor Grant does not want to be involved in the meeting given the level of involvement in the ongoing emails.  
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 7:01 PM
                        Subject: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                         

                        Dear Alex,
                         
                        Accuse me of being thick if there is something I have not grasped, but why is it "incumbent on the cycling fraternity to make their case to residents why the path should be reopened"?
                         
                        I would have thought that it is incumbent on the council to ensure that the process to extinguish a right-of-way if followed before allowing obstructions to be built blocking the right-of-way, and if residents are unhappy with a right-of-way it is incumbent on the council to explain to residents the proper procedure to extinguish a right-of-way, and to ensure that procedure is followed before allowing obstructions to be built across a right-of-way.
                         
                        You have alluded to the matter going to committee for decision.  Can you please provide a date?
                         
                        Kind regards,
                         
                        Tom Crispin


                        From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                        Sent: 20 November 2009 16:35
                        To: Anthony Austin; Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                        Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom; L F T Smith; Dick Allard; david senior; Sarah Ellis; Liz Delap
                        Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                        Dear Anthony
                         
                        Thanks for your email. I very much hope that the meeting can go ahead with Stuart, Gill, and other residents of Schofield and Dornberg (many of whom are not on email) to try and find a way forward if at all possible that both cyclists and residents of the estate are happy with. I don;t think it is wise for me or other cllrs to be invoked in this, as the final decision will be taken at committee not at a site meeting and I don't want to pre-judge what
                         
                        The only reason I have said that this episode has "not been Greenwich Cyclists' finest hour" is that thus far Greenwich Cyclists appeared unable or unwilling to engage with people who live on the estate to listen to their concerns. I am glad this is being put right.
                         
                        I am afraid Tom Crispin continues to misunderstand me. No-one is arguing against safe cycle routes. The point is that the putting a cycle path through the Bellfield Close and Schofield/Dornberg close strikes many residents there as potty. The council has not ignored public opinion and failed to consult, as the full council questions allege: in agreeing to reroute the cycle path it was responded to serious concerns expressed by residents over many years, and which could not simply;y be ignored.
                         
                        It is incumbent on the cycling fraternity to make their case to residents why the path should be reopened, not the other way around. What goes around comes around: If cycling groups want to be listened to by the council then they should at least try and listen to residents who are saying that in this particular case, a cycle route along this particular route makes little sense.
                         
                        Best wishes
                         
                        Alex Grant
                         

                        Alex Grant
                        Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                        Greenwich Council
                        Town Hall
                        Wellington Street
                        Woolwich
                        London SE18 6PW

                        alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                        Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                        Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                         


                        From: Anthony Austin [mailto:austin970@ btinternet. com]
                        Sent: 16 November 2009 09:33
                        To: 'Tom Crispin'; Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                        Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'; 'L F T Smith'; 'Dick Allard'; 'david senior'; 'Sarah Ellis'; 'Liz Delap'
                        Subject: Hexagon Estate

                        Dear All,

                        I’m the coordinator (chair) of Greenwich Cyclists, and I suggest an on-site meeting to see if we can move this forward before the Council arranges a public inquiry.

                        At the April planning meeting Councillor Grant surprised some of us by saying that Greenwich Cyclists had refused to consider any alternative and he saw fit to comment that this was “not our finest hour;” but as Tom Crispin has explained, we’re not aware of any good alternative and we seem to have unintentionally emerged as the sole champions of an established right of way for pedestrians and cyclists.

                        I’m available in the week beginning Nov. 23 and would welcome a chance to work with you all towards a solution.

                        Kind regards

                        Anthony Austin

                        Dear Alex,

                        Again you miss the point.  The link through the Hexagon Estate is an important part of the London Cycle Network, linking to National Cycle Routes and International Cycle Routes which pass through Greenwich , as well as being a local safe route for pedestrians compared with the Blackheath Standard Gyratory.

                        This is not a matter between local cycling groups and local residents.  It is a matter for the landowner; it is the council's duty to ensure the landowner complies with rights-of-way legislation.

                        Now can you please give a date for the public enquiry, or give a date when you will discuss the public enquiry?  'Shortly' is not good enough, and is quite simply pathetic.  This public right-of-way has been obstructed now for five years, and whether used for a safe route to Invicta Primary School or as part of a London to Paris cycle ride is beside the point.  The council has a duty of enforcement and you personally are deliberately stalling and deliberately putting people's safety and lives at risk.

                        Kind regards,

                        Tom Crispin


                        From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                        Sent: 15 November 2009 22:14
                        To: Tom Crispin; Stuart Broom
                        Cc: Gill Wood; gill.wood@erinaceou s.com
                        Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                        Thanks for your replies. I am sure there must be a better way of finding a cycle route from London to Paris via Dieppe than through the Schofield Walk/Dornberg Close estate!

                        I hope that local cycling groups will now listen to local residents and find a compromise.

                        Alex Grant

                        Alex Grant
                        Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                        Greenwich Council
                        Town Hall
                        Wellington Street
                        Woolwich
                        London SE18 6PW

                        alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                        Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                        Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)


                        From: greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:greenwichcy clists@yahoogrou ps.com] On Behalf Of Tom Crispin
                        Sent: 13 November 2009 06:51
                        To: 'Alex Grant'; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                        Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                        Subject: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                         

                        Dear Alex,

                        I represent Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists, not Greenwich Cyclists.  I would have thought that it would be obvious by now: the obstruction of a right-of-way is not a matter between cyclists and residents.  It is the landowners duty to ensure that rights-of-way remain unobstructed; it is the council's duty to ensure landowners keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed. 

                        Now can you please have the courtesy to answer my questions:

                        1.  What is the council planning to do about the obstruction of the right-of-way?

                        2.  What is the timescale for enforcement?

                        Kind regards,

                        Tom


                        From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                        Sent: 12 November 2009 22:31
                        To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                        Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                        Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                        Dear Tom

                        Thanks. However, my main question remains unanswered I am afraid: what dialogue has taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of SChofield Walk, Dornberg Close and Bellfield Close, and what is the outcome of those discussions?

                        I look forward to hearing from you.

                        Best wishes

                        Alex Grant

                        Alex Grant
                        Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                        Greenwich Council
                        Town Hall
                        Wellington Street
                        Woolwich
                        London SE18 6PW

                        alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                        Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                        Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)


                        From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com]
                        Sent: 09 November 2009 19:46
                        To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                        Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'
                        Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                        Dear Alex,

                        An unauthorised blockage of a right-of-way is a legal matter and you have already decided to hold a public enquiry.  When can we expect this enquiry be held?

                        As cycling officer for Southwark, it is not Roger's remit to open discussions with Greenwich residents about the removal of a blockage across a right-of-way over private land.  It is the landowner's duty to keep rights-of-way open and unobstructed, and the Local Authority's duty to enforce this.

                        And thank you for your concern about my visiting the site, and yes I have.  It was not until then that I formed the opinion that the wall was erected to keep the two communities apart. 

                        I am mildly alarmed that you now feel that a Public Enquiry to close the right-of-way might not be possible.  Could this be because planning consent is required to close a right-of-way and no planning application has been received to close the right-of-way?  If this is the case I suggest that the landowner be made to demolish the barrier across the right-of-way without further delay.

                        Kind regards,

                        Tom Crispin

                        www.britishschoolof cycling.com


                        From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk]
                        Sent: 08 November 2009 20:02
                        To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                        Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                        Subject: RE: Hexagon Estate

                        Dear Tom

                        Thanks for your email. A report on the council's next steps is going to planning committee soon and Greenwich Cyclists, as well as residents of the area, will be able to come and have their say before a decision is reached

                        I am surprised I do not seem to have had any reply to my email to Roger Stocker of Oct 1st 2009 - pasted below. I would be grateful if you could let me know what discussions have taken place between Greenwich Cyclists and residents of the two estates (both Bellfield Close and Schofield Walk) about a possible compromise. For example, there are in fact two routes through the estate that Greenwich Cyclists are seeking to reopen - one at the western end of Schofield Walk and one around the back of the "L" formed by the SChofield Walk blocks. Reopening one of the routes but not the other may be more acceptable to residents than opening both.

                        I remain doubtful that Tom has ever visited the site - the walls erected quite clearly are not "separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing". Schofield Walk is a council housing estate and the new Hexagon development is another form of social housing - a mix of rented housing association and shared ownership homes. Hexagon is not a private developer but a well-known housing association.

                        I and other councillors remain of the view that a public enquiry is the fairest and appropriate way of settling this, though if this is not feasible then I think dialogue between the cyclists and the residents is the way forward. I remain concerned that this dialogue does nto appear to have even started. I am copying this to Stuart Broom and Gill Wood, two residents among many on SChofield Walk who believe the rerouting of the cycle paths was appropriate and that the quality of life on the estate has improved as a result.

                        I look forward to hearing from you.

                        Bets wishes

                        Alex Grant

                        Alex Grant
                        Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                        Greenwich Council
                        Town Hall
                        Wellington Street
                        Woolwich
                        London SE18 6PW

                        alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                        Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                        Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)


                        From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com]
                        Sent: 31 October 2009 20:13
                        To: greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                        Cc: Alex Grant
                        Subject: Hexagon Estate

                        I was browsing Sustrans map of cycle routes when I spotted this:
                        www.britishschoolof cycling.com/ special/bellfiel d.htm

                        It shows a Sustrans cycle route going straight through the wall separating two communities: one in social housing or former social housing, and the other in private housing or privately rented housing.

                        This is the very same wall that Cllr Alex Grant believes is not illegal, even though it blocks a right-of-way; and he feels it is undemocratic to demolish the wall without a public enquiry to decide if the right-of-way can be closed!

                        The original Sustrans map can be seen here:
                        www.sustrans. org.uk/map

                        I think that now is the time to bring the press in on this sorry saga.

                        Tom

                        --
                        Vote for cycling in the Social Change Awards
                        www.britishschoolof cycling.com
                         

                        Dear Roger Stocker

                        Thanks for your email. You are right that the council has resolved to go to a public enquiry on this and Mike Freestone can update you on the process. This was not a "decree" from me alone, as Tom Crispin states, but a unanimous decision by members of the planning committee - both Labour and Conservative - that we wanted the permanent closure of the path considered by a public enquiry as most of the residents who live along it want.

                        I am slightly confused by Tom Crispin's earlier comments. The walls themselves are not illegal as they are less than 2m in height, or only just over 2m in height, so are permitted development. A legal process has to be gone through to close the acquired right of way off and this is exactly what the council has started.

                        Nor do the walls separate an area of social housing from private housing - one one side if the wall is the Dornberg/Schofield estate (council housing with some leaseholders) and on the other is a Hexagon estate which is mostly tenants with some shared ownership homes. So the mixture of housing tenures is almost identical on both sides of the wall. A majority of both groups of residents want the paths to remain closed.

                        This does all raise a question mark over how often Greenwich Cyclists have actually visited the site to talk to residents of the two estates, listen to why they would prefer the paths to remain closed, and try and agree a compromise, as I have suggested you should do.

                        Can you please update me on what visits to the site have been made by Greenwich Cyclists, what discussions have been had with residents there (Stuart Broom and Gill Wood are two of them) and what scope for compromise there is?

                        Best wishes

                        Alex Grant

                        Alex Grant
                        Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                        Greenwich Council
                        Town Hall
                        Wellington Street
                        Woolwich
                        London SE18 6PW

                        alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk
                        Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                        Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)


                         


                        From: roger stocker [mailto:rgstocker@ gmail.com]
                        Sent: 28 September 2009 11:10
                        To: Tom Crispin
                        Cc: Len Duvall; Alex Grant; Simon Robinson; david senior; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com; Ellis, Sarah; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom
                        Subject: Re: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Bellfield Close Right of Way.

                        Tom.

                        I would have thought that Greenwich officers have to follow what is legal - if they are not doing this then someone should make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. http://www.lgo. org.uk/ As you say this is a illegal closure of a public right of way and due legal process has to be gone through to close this. I can appreciate the councillors position but am sure they wouldn't support any illegal closure of any route in their ward. I would guess that officers are taking enforcement action against the developers - these things always take time. Perhaps a FOI request might help?

                        Roger


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                        This message is for the named person's use only.  It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information.  No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.  If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. Greenwich Council reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks, in accordance with legislation.

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                      • Tom Crispin
                        Dear Alex, It is clear that you re-interpreted my comments and deliberately so. I did not imply that parents, staff and governors of Invicta Primary School
                        Message 12 of 17 , Nov 23, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Dear Alex,
                           
                          It is clear that you re-interpreted my comments and deliberately so.  I did not imply that parents, staff and governors of Invicta Primary School are irresponsible for allowing the route closure; I did imply that if the safe route to school closure is drawn to the attention of school governors, a school governor would be irresponsible if he or she supported the safe route to school to be extinguished.  You have now declared yet another interest in the matter, as a school governor of Invicta, and you can decide for yourself if you have acted irresponsibly in that role by rejecting the advice of council officers and forcing young children onto dangerous roads.  I hope that you support safe routes to schools, and will now support the removal of this illegal obstruction of the pedestrian route and reopening of LCN route 59.  A good start would be to provide a date for the public enquiry or a date when the planning board you chair will send this matter to a public enquiry.
                           
                          However, better than a public enquiry would be the immediate demolition of the obstruction to the east of the estate blocking the footpath and cycleway as advised by council officers.  This episode has not been Greenwich Council's Planning Board's finest hour.
                           
                          Kind regards,
                          Tom Crispin
                           


                          From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                          Sent: 23 November 2009 21:58
                          To: Tom Crispin; Ray; Anthony Austin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                          Cc: Gill Wood; Gill Wood; Stuart Broom; L F T Smith; Dick Allard; david senior; Sarah Ellis; Liz Delap
                          Subject: RE: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                          Dear Tom
                           
                          I have been a governor at Invicta for the last five years (and I was pupil there in the distant early 1980s!) and have been a Labour councillor for the area since 1998. No parent, teacher or governor or pupil has ever expressed concern about the path being closed at any meeting I have ever attended at the school. I resent the implication that parents, staff and governors are somehow being irresponsible in not agreeing with Greenwich Cyclists and demanding for the path to be reopened!
                           
                          Turning to the other emails that have circulated, I welcome Anthony Austin's offer of a meeting with residents to see if there is some cope for a compromise. There are in fact two routes through he estate whose reopening have been requested: one tot eh west of Schofield Walk and the other to the east at the side of the motorway. It may be that residents want neither reopened, or would be prepared to see one open but not the other. So I see a meeting as potentially useful, but then again I don;lt live there.
                           
                          Best wishes
                           
                          Alex

                          Alex Grant
                          Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                          Greenwich Council
                          Town Hall
                          Wellington Street
                          Woolwich
                          London SE18 6PW

                          alex.grant@...
                          Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                          Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                           


                          From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
                          Sent: 20 November 2009 23:55
                          To: 'Ray'; Alex Grant; 'Anthony Austin'; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                          Cc: 'Gill Wood'; 'Gill Wood'; 'Stuart Broom'; 'L F T Smith'; 'Dick Allard'; 'david senior'; 'Sarah Ellis'; 'Liz Delap'
                          Subject: RE: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                          Dear Ray,
                           
                          There is certainly something very strange going on.  The cycle path goes around the outside of the old estate, not through it, but goes through the middle of the new estate.  I can understand there being some objection from residents of the new estate as they would have some loss or privacy and would lose one parking place, but they would gain so much by having a convenient access to the local shops and library.
                           
                          And of course there is the access to the school.  Perhaps we should try to involve the governors of Invicta School; most schools now have travel plans, and safe routes to school should be in their travel plan.  If Invicta does have a travel plan there should be a named governor, and certainly the Chair of Governors will have signed the travel plan.  There is absolutely no way that a responsible school governor would allow a safe route to school be extinguished, and would fight tooth and nail to keep such a route open.  Anything else would be a scandal.
                           
                          Regards,
                           
                          Tom Crispin
                        • Tom Crispin
                          Dear Alex, Again you mis-interpret what I have said. I have never inferred that it is a crime to disagree with the cycling lobby on this particular issue.
                          Message 13 of 17 , Nov 25, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Dear Alex,
                             
                            Again you mis-interpret what I have said.  I have never inferred that it is a crime to disagree with the cycling lobby on this particular issue.
                             
                            Safe routes to school are part of the strategic remit of a school's governing body, and I am surprised that you, as a school governor, support the removal of a safe route to school.
                             
                            When are you going to provide a date to discuss sending the issue of the obstruction on the safe route to school to a public enquiry?
                             
                            Kind regards,
                            Tom Crispin


                            From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                            Sent: 24 November 2009 22:37
                            To: Tom Crispin; Ray; Anthony Austin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                            Cc: L F T Smith; Dick Allard; david senior; Sarah Ellis; Liz Delap
                            Subject: RE: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                            Dear Tom
                             
                            Sorry to have to extend this correspondence as we clearly do not agree. I suspect some governors will be aware of the path closure, but none has opposed it as far as I know. Again, I must point out it is not a crime to disagree with the cycling lobby on this particular issue.
                             
                            Of course I have an interest in the area- I have been elected as a councillor to represent it.
                             
                            Alex Grant
                          • Stephen Craven
                            Just a tongue-in-cheek suggestion: if someone removed a brick in the wall for each exchange in this full and frank online discussion, it would have gone by now
                            Message 14 of 17 , Nov 25, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Just a tongue-in-cheek suggestion: if someone removed a brick in the wall
                              for each exchange in this full and frank online discussion, it would have
                              gone by now anyway :-)

                              Stephen
                            • Tom Crispin
                              Dear Alex, Over the past weeks I have been left wondering if you are truly ignorant of sustainable transport issues, or if you deliberately pretend to be so
                              Message 15 of 17 , Nov 28, 2009
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Dear Alex,
                                 
                                Over the past weeks I have been left wondering if you are truly ignorant of sustainable transport issues, or if you deliberately pretend to be so because you have something to hide.
                                 
                                In case it is the former, "Safe routes to school" is a government backed initiative led by the charity Sustrans.  Details can be found here:
                                 
                                As for Greenwich Council, you may like to take a look at this web page:
                                Especially point 4 under, objectives and targets:
                                "Improved accessibility of schools – removing barriers to sustainable school travel"
                                Take careful note- it says, 'removing barriers', not 'building barriers'.
                                 
                                Having looked at the above, would you now assert that Invicta governors should be disinterested in the closure of the safe route to school by Hexagon Estates?
                                 
                                You now make a number of assertions about why the obstruction was built across the right of way, could you please answer the following:
                                - Which cycling groups were consulted over the suitability or otherwise of the route for cycling?
                                - Which local walking groups consulted over the obstruction?
                                - Which local schools, including governing bodies and school councils consulted?
                                - Were the police consulted?
                                 
                                Anthony Austin, as Chair of Greenwich Cyclists, has contacted local residents requesting a site meeting.  I understand that no residents of the estates through which the right-of-way runs have accepted his invitation to a meeting.  I have said that I will attend any meeting provided it is after 6pm.
                                 
                                Kind regards,
                                Tom Crispin
                                 


                                From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                                Sent: 28 November 2009 13:08
                                To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                                Tom
                                 
                                Who said the route is safe? The residents in the area wanted it closed off because it was unsuitable for cyclists, hardly ever used by them, and was dangerous for pedestrians at night. You clearly disagree, but cannot simply assert that this is a "safe route to school" which Invicta governors are obliged to be asking to be kept open.
                                 
                                I have already replied to say that this is going to Greenwich area planning, and do not yet know the date. It will not be before January.
                                 
                                Can you please let me know what discussions you have had/are having with reminders of the area in the meantime?
                                 
                                Thanks
                                 
                                Alex
                                 

                                Alex Grant
                                Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                                Greenwich Council
                                Town Hall
                                Wellington Street
                                Woolwich
                                London SE18 6PW

                                alex.grant@...
                                Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home)
                                Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                                 


                                From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@...]
                                Sent: 25 November 2009 21:28
                                To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                                Dear Alex,
                                 
                                Again you mis-interpret what I have said.  I have never inferred that it is a crime to disagree with the cycling lobby on this particular issue.
                                 
                                Safe routes to school are part of the strategic remit of a school's governing body, and I am surprised that you, as a school governor, support the removal of a safe route to school.
                                 
                                When are you going to provide a date to discuss sending the issue of the obstruction on the safe route to school to a public enquiry?
                                 
                                Kind regards,
                                Tom Crispin
                              • Christopher Le Breton
                                Alex You say the route was closed because it was unsuitable for cyclists, hardly ever used by them . Can you let us know which cyclists were consulted over
                                Message 16 of 17 , Nov 28, 2009
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Alex

                                  You say the route was closed "because it was unsuitable for cyclists, hardly ever used by them". 

                                  Can you let us know which cyclists were consulted over whether a closure would obstruct their journey, or not make any difference to it? (and when)   I have never saw any attempt by Greenwich Council to consult with Greenwich Cyclists, among other cyclists in Greenwich.  

                                  Yours sincerely, 

                                  Chris Le Breton 


                                  - - - 


                                  Christopher Le Breton
                                  Founder and CEO:  Earth Partners Foundation
                                  Registered UK Charity. no. 1132002


                                  Thereafter (2010-2012) -  in a cycle race against time -  between New Zealand, Japan and UK,  to educate a cadre of awake citizenry, stimulating resilient societies, forging and bridging partnerships - with the support of The Pachamama Alliance, Be the Change, Sustrans, Transition Towns, and our patron Sir Ranulph Fiennes. 















                                  On 28 Nov 2009, at 15:07, Tom Crispin wrote:


                                  Dear Alex,
                                   
                                  Over the past weeks I have been left wondering if you are truly ignorant of sustainable transport issues, or if you deliberately pretend to be so because you have something to hide.
                                   
                                  In case it is the former, "Safe routes to school" is a government backed initiative led by the charity Sustrans.  Details can be found here:
                                   
                                  As for Greenwich Council, you may like to take a look at this web page:
                                  Especially point 4 under, objectives and targets:
                                  "Improved accessibility of schools – removing barriers to sustainable school travel"
                                  Take careful note- it says, 'removing barriers', not 'building barriers'.
                                   
                                  Having looked at the above, would you now assert that Invicta governors should be disinterested in the closure of the safe route to school by Hexagon Estates?
                                   
                                  You now make a number of assertions about why the obstruction was built across the right of way, could you please answer the following:
                                  - Which cycling groups were consulted over the suitability or otherwise of the route for cycling?
                                  - Which local walking groups consulted over the obstruction?
                                  - Which local schools, including governing bodies and school councils consulted?
                                  - Were the police consulted?
                                   
                                  Anthony Austin, as Chair of Greenwich Cyclists, has contacted local residents requesting a site meeting.  I understand that no residents of the estates through which the right-of-way runs have accepted his invitation to a meeting.  I have said that I will attend any meeting provided it is after 6pm.
                                   
                                  Kind regards,
                                  Tom Crispin
                                   


                                  From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex. Grant@greenwich. gov.uk] 
                                  Sent: 28 November 2009 13:08
                                  To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                                  Subject: RE: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                                  Tom
                                   
                                  Who said the route is safe? The residents in the area wanted it closed off because it was unsuitable for cyclists, hardly ever used by them, and was dangerous for pedestrians at night. You clearly disagree, but cannot simply assert that this is a "safe route to school" which Invicta governors are obliged to be asking to be kept open.
                                   
                                  I have already replied to say that this is going to Greenwich area planning, and do not yet know the date. It will not be before January.
                                   
                                  Can you please let me know what discussions you have had/are having with reminders of the area in the meantime?
                                   
                                  Thanks
                                   
                                  Alex
                                   

                                  Alex Grant 
                                  Chair of the Planning Board and Labour councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward

                                  Greenwich Council 
                                  Town Hall 
                                  Wellington Street 
                                  Woolwich 
                                  London SE18 6PW

                                  alex.grant@greenwic h.gov.uk 
                                  Tel: 020 8855 7292 (home) 
                                  Tel: 020 8921 5045 (PA)

                                   


                                  From: Tom Crispin [mailto:tom@ britsc.com] 
                                  Sent: 25 November 2009 21:28
                                  To: Alex Grant; greenwichcyclists@ yahoogroups. com
                                  Subject: RE: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                                  Dear Alex,
                                   
                                  Again you mis-interpret what I have said.  I have never inferred that it is a crime to disagree with the cycling lobby on this particular issue.
                                   
                                  Safe routes to school are part of the strategic remit of a school's governing body, and I am surprised that you, as a school governor, support the removal of a safe route to school.
                                   
                                  When are you going to provide a date to discuss sending the issue of the obstruction on the safe route to school to a public enquiry?
                                   
                                  Kind regards,
                                  Tom Crispin


                                • Tom Crispin
                                  Dear Alex, I have said this before, and I shall say it again: I do not speak for or represent Greenwich Cyclists. Neither have I lectured parents or staff of
                                  Message 17 of 17 , Nov 28, 2009
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Dear Alex,
                                     
                                    I have said this before, and I shall say it again: I do not speak for or represent Greenwich Cyclists.
                                     
                                    Neither have I lectured parents or staff of Invicta school about safe routes to school.  I tried to inform you, as a school governor, of Government and Council policy about safe routes to school.  I have also suggested that Invicta Governors should support the removal of the obstructions, but I have not mentioned parents or staff and it is very wrong of you to say that I have.
                                     
                                    My sole purpose in this debate has been to try to pressure you out of your prevarication over the issue of the obstructions to the right of way.  I strongly suspect that you have dug yourself into a hole by allowing these obstructions to be built and giving local residents false assurances.  I believe that you know that at least one of these obstructions will have to be removed, and your chain of email replies has been to try to get Greenwich Cyclists to help you out of the hole you have dug for yourself.
                                     
                                    I would like to remind you of something you said in your email dated 17 April 2009:
                                    "The committee did not vote last week to permanently close the cycle path here - all we decided to do was to refer it to a public enquiry - in my view the only fair course of action to take given the serious concerns of a lot of residents in the area."
                                     
                                    Why, after seven months, has this matter not been referred?  And why does the planning committee you chair need to discuss sending the matter to a public enquiry for a second time?
                                     
                                    Kind regards,
                                    Tom Crispin
                                     
                                    Lewisham and Greenwich Young cyclists
                                    2008 winner of the Best Cycling Initiative; Smarter Travel Awards
                                    2008 winner of the Creative Solutions Award; Transport for London
                                    2007 winner of the Best Cycling Initiative; Transport for London
                                    2007 runner-up of the Best Cycling Initiative for young people; London Cycling Campaign
                                    2006 winner of the London Schools' Environment Award; Mayor of London


                                    From: Alex Grant [mailto:Alex.Grant@...]
                                    Sent: 28 November 2009 17:40
                                    To: Tom Crispin; greenwichcyclists@yahoogroups.com; Tom Sharland; Christopher Le Breton; Anthony Austin
                                    Subject: RE: [greenwichcyclists] RE: Hexagon Estate

                                    Dear Tom
                                     
                                    Thanks for your email.
                                     
                                    All these questions have already been answered, and I think this correspondence is best closed now.
                                     
                                    I dislike your patronising tone and think that lecturing the parents, staff and governors of Invicta School about what routes are and are not safe (none of whom you have met, as far as I know) does not put Greenwich Cyclists- an organisation I used to have a lot of respect for - in a good light.
                                     
                                    I do think Anthony and his committee should ask themselves whether Tom Crispin's emails on this subject have served any purpose, and whether having him act as a spokesman for Greenwich Cyclist/Young Cyclists is a good idea.
                                     
                                    Chris,  thanks for your interest in this matter. Greenwich Cyclists and lots of other local groups were fully consulted on the relocation of the cycle route. If you wish to know more I suggest knocking on some doors on Schofield Walk/Dornberg Close and asking residents there why they don't want the path reopened and what they thinking of the cycling groups that are trying to get it reopened.
                                     
                                    Alex Grant
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