A revitalised Old Farm Park has reopened 'transformed and upgraded', although the plans remain controversial amongst local residents, with some complaining of 'months of misery' due to contractors working on the site.

Old Farm Park in Sidcup was officially reopened on Saturday, September 26 by councillors and Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire, following extensive work during the lockdown period.

The green space and wildlife habitat now boasts a new playground, paths, trim trails, exercise equipment, a dipping pond, benches, plants, trees and a wildlife area.

Plans to develop to western section of the park were agreed in 2019, as well plans to build homes on the eastern site, a move which remains highly controversial.

This Is Local London:

Bexley Council describe the renovated section of the park as "inspirational, revitalised and fully accessible."

Old Farm Park will also be home to the borough's official Covid-19 commemorative garden, described by the council as a "tranquil place where residents can remember lost loved ones, or those who have been affected by the pandemic."

Cllr Peter Craske, cabinet member for places, said: "The revitalised Old Farm Park is stunning. It has been great to see how many people have been to visit since it (unofficially) opened four weeks ago, and to hear so many positive comments.

This Is Local London:

"I know this will be a site many people will enjoy coming to for years to come, and what makes this even better is that, for the first time, the park is now accessible for everyone.

"And in the new year this will become the home for Bexley’s commemorative garden to remember those we have lost during the coronavirus pandemic - and this is the right location as this entire park has been created during this period.

"I’m so proud to have another spectacular park in Bexley."

Residents have not all been happy with the work at Old Park Farm however.

Some local residents have been highly critical of contractors working on the park and adjacent construction site who are working on a number of new homes as part of the same set of plans.

Social media rumours have claimed the contractors have been breaching a Traffic Management Plan and traffic working on the site beyond sociable hours.

Others have complained about how the regeneration plans have been carried out, but many are simply unhappy with the plans currently underway to build a number of homes at the site.

Contentious plans to concrete over parts of the park went in front of councillors in 2019, and £31 million works to fund 58 new homes began in January 2020.

BexleyCo Homes, the council's development company, appointed United Living, a provider of refurbished and new build living solutions, as its contractor.

Residents previously petitioned against the plans for the Sidcup park due to their belief that the development would result in overcrowding and over-development.

A campaign called Save Old Park Farm Sidcup has also been highly vocal on the plans to build new homes on the green space.

Council leader Teresa O’Neill OBE said at the time: “I am confident that local people will be very pleased with the park, its new facilities and the ecological environments that are being created.

“The way the land is used will benefit the community and money generated from the sale of homes will benefit the borough and our residents.”

Construction of the residential element is scheduled to be completed by summer/autumn 2021.

Old Farm Park has long been in the headlines, with early plans for the green space dating back to 2015.

A petition of more than 2,000 signatures was handed into the council urging them to refrain from building on the park four years ago.