BCS are keen to bring to the attention of residents, businesses and customers of Bromley town centre, the proposed development of Library Gardens. This land was given to the people of Bromley in the will of Emily Dowling in 1900 for recreation and education. It is historically and visually distinct from the adjacent Church House Gardens which were acquired by the Council in 1926.
Library Gardens and Church House Gardens are designated as Urban Open Space which does not allow development other than small structures related to open space use. In 1987, both Gardens were designated as part of the Bromley Town Centre Conservation Area which carries a duty to ensure that any development will preserve or enhance the historic character or appearance.
The new proposed development will comprise 380 flats in two 11 storey blocks on the site of adjacent Ethelbert Close, which will extend into Library Gardens necessitating the sale of land. In its current form, the development continues along the Garden’s frontage opposite the library and theatre to provide more restaurants and shops along with paved forecourts. The development is likely to block the sky line and greenery and in our view removes any semblance of the Gardens given us in Emily Dowling’s will.
The Council has already issued a public notice of intention to sell parts of Library Gardens to the developer under the 1972 Local Government Act s.123(2a). This is largely the land where the tower blocks will intrude into the Gardens. While it is argued that other land will be added to Library Gardens, this is essentially an area hemmed in by the two tower blocks. This notice of sale comes in advance of consideration of consultation comments or a planning application.
BCS wrote to the Council before the 12 July deadline setting out our objections to sale of the land and we will continue to keep the people of Bromley informed of developments.
Please see our original flyer here.