Policies and guidance

Bexley has planning policies and guidance related to conservation, heritage and biodiversity in the borough. This guidance aims to ensure that new development respects the local context, character, wildlife and biodiversity, at the same time as creating buildings and places that make Bexley a great place to live and work.

Bexley has over 150 listed buildings and structures, around 400 locally listed buildings and structures, 23 conservation areas, four registered historic parks and gardens, and four scheduled ancient monuments. They are all protected by conservation and heritage legislation.

Sites of importance for nature conservation (SINCs) consultation

Places in Bexley that are valuable for wildlife have been identified as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs).

There are 60 individual SINC sites in Bexley. In addition, 14 strategic wildlife corridors are formally recognised. A map of these sites is shown at Figure 1 and 2 of the SINC Report.

Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) Report 2016 (PDF) *

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The SINC Report published in 2016 provides detailed guidance to support current Development Plan policies and the development of future local plans. It forms part of the evidence base for the current Local Plan review. It is an important consideration for developers in the preparation of planning applications. It is also a material consideration for the assessment of planning applications.

Public consultation on a Partial Review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)

The Council consulted on a partial review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) instigated by preparation of the new Bexley Local Plan. We invited those who have an interest in the sites put forward through this process, and those with an interest or expertise in nature conservation, to comment on the ecological surveys’ methodology, assessment, and recommendations for each site, and the Council’s subsequent proposed changes to SINC boundaries.

Appendix 1: Partial Review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) within London Borough of Bexley (PDF)* contains the ecological surveys, including the methodology, assessment, and recommendations, for each site. This work was completed in 2019 by independent ecologists.

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The SINC Partial Review Paper (PDF) sets out the Council’s proposed changes to SINC boundaries. This work was completed in 2021 after considering the independent ecologists’ recommendations and taking into consideration other planning matters, including the evidence supporting the draft local plan.

This partial SINC review will benefit from scrutiny by individuals and organisations with knowledge of the sites and of nature.

The consultation closed on 7 May 2021. All comments received are being considered and the work updated and/or revised as necessary prior to submission to the London Wildlife Board for review.

The final, approved SINC designations will be reflected on the Local Plan Submission Policies Map, and the Council’s full SINC Report 2016 updated.

Statutory listed buildings

Statutory listed buildings are protected by legislation in the Planning (Listed Buildings Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

These are buildings, objects or structures considered to be of special architectural or historic interest at a national level, which need to be preserved for future generations.

The list is compiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, based on advice from Historic England.

You can get more information and advice on statutory listed buildings from Historic England.

Alterations to a statutory listed building

If you intend to alter or demolish part or all of a statutory listed building or structure, you must apply for Listed Building Consent as part of your planning application.

Locally listed buildings

Locally listed buildings have historic or architectural merit and are protected by local planning policy.

Bexley compiles and maintains a list of local buildings and other structures of special historic or architectural interest in the borough.

You can get more information and advice on locally listed buildings from Historic England.

Conservation areas

Historic parks and gardens

Parks and gardens of special historic interest are included on the register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The register is maintained by Historic England. This status recognises their value and is a material consideration in planning applications.

There are four registered historic parks and gardens in Bexley.

  • Lamorbey Park, Sidcup Grade II
  • Danson Park, Bexleyheath Grade II
  • Hall Place, Bexley Grade II
  • Foots Cray Place, Sidcup Grade II

View the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

Scheduled ancient monuments

A scheduled monument is a nationally important archaeological site or historic building, given protection against unapproved change. Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) is needed for any works affecting these monuments.

There are four scheduled Ancient Monuments in Bexley:

  • Faesten Dic, Joydens Wood, Bexley
  • Lesnes Abbey, Abbey Road, Abbey Wood
  • Hall Place, Bourne Road, Bexley
  • Howbury Moated Side, Moat Lane, Slade Green

View guidance on scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Please email spandgteam@bexley.gov.uk with any queries. 

Biodiversity

Bexley is home to some wonderful wildlife and natural places, including the Thames marshes in Erith and Crayford and ancient woodlands at Lesnes Abbey and Chalk Wood.

The conservation of biodiversity is an essential part of sustainable development and is important for people and the economy. Biodiversity also helps to reduce the impacts of climate change, as green areas absorb rainfall and have a cooling effect in summer.

Biodiversity is an important consideration in the assessment of planning applications. Important sites, habitats and species receive protection bylaws, policies and guidance.

Archaeology

Bexley has a wealth of archaeological remains, which represent a storehouse of historical information, including evidence of the evolution of development and settlements in the borough.

Bexley has identified 18 Areas of High Archaeological Potential (AHAP) in Bexley where there is a greater potential for the discovery of archaeological remains. AHAP is intended to act as flags within the planning system.