25th January 2012: Site L– Plans for ex-DHSS building, Bromley South
A small public exhibition of Telereal Trillium’s proposal to develop the former DHSS site. This is a mixed development to provide a hotel, apartments and retail and will involve a 11-storey tower block at the junction Masons Hill/Westmoreland Road. BCS are concerned at impact of this tower block on protected views of the Keston ridge.
11th January 2012: Big screen dream part of £80m town development
Tony Banfield comments adversely, in today’s News Shopper article on Cathedral Group’s 24 storey tower development in Westmoreland Road (Site K). Also known as Bromley South Central. In same issue a notice of a planning application (ref: 11/03865/FULL1) for this development appears. BCS will be objecting to the extreme height of this development. Further details of this development can be found on the Ravensbourne Valley Preservation Society website: http://www.rvpsbromley.org/bromley-south-central.php
The developer (Cathedral Group) outlined very sketchy plans of their proposed development in a container outside the Churchill Theatre. Our society have raised severe concerns about these plans particularly the height of the building. More details on this development are expressed in out July 2011 Bulletin:A_BCS_bulletin_July_2011
The view of the town centre – or rather the trees – from Queens Mead and the railway line, is protected.
Two developments will ruin this view : the S2 application to put 16 storeys in place of the former Maplins neo-georgian shop [planning here] and Churchill Quarter [planning here]. Please write and object to these so we do not loose the lovely view our council is supposed to protect.
The top photo montage is taken from the S2 application design and access statement. The montage below it is our montage showing the addition of the Council’s Churchill Quarter development. Ironically this view from Queens Mead is identified as a key view within the Town Centre Conservation Area which, under the legislation, it is ‘desirable to preserve or enhance’. Neither development takes any account of this statutory requirement.
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Like the sale of Civic Centre land the Council’s proposed demolition of the Beckenham Library for a block of flats is another example of the Council flouting its own heritage protection policies in a misguided attempt to meet housing targets.
The issue has been front page news several weeks running. The Library is identified as key building in the Beckenham Elm Road Conservation Area designated by the Council and as such carries a presumption for its preservation in local and national policy. Primary legislation Section 72 of the Listed Buildings and Conservation area Act requires a local authority to ‘pay special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the architectural or historic character or appearance of a Conservation Area ‘ in the exercise of any of its planning functions. So far it would appear the Council have not paid any regard to their statutory duties as custodians of the historic environment.
Like the Civic Centre issue it has gone through a number of committee stages without any reference to its conservation area and a feasibility study for replacement flats has already been commissioned and approved in principle! Needless to say the civic society is supporting the Library Action Group in their efforts to save this building from the wreckers!
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It has been good to welcome a branch of Robert Dyas now open in Bromley High Street and even more so since it has been discovered by staff at the Local Studies Library that Robert Dyas lived for the last 30 years of his life in Blyth Road, just off Beckenham Lane, in the Town Centre.
This year, some of our heritage buildings have been flood lit on High Street, and it is well worth taking a trip in to look around them. The installation is by BID/Your Bromley, and Workmen have been busy installing the lights, by cherry picker, for months (your author had wondered why so many security lights were suddenly needed…) Here’s some of the history behind the buildings that are beautifully lit up this year:
Bromley built the Glades in the 1980s, demolishing houses, the non-conformist church, and shops to make way for it. They sold part of Queen Gardens so that the remanent was blocked off from Market Square.
The new bypass curved round behind it, but alas, the shopping centre was opened for Christmas 1988, months before Kentish Way was completed, so the traffic jams were monumental.
Whatever the community had to sacrifice for our shopping centre, it is undeniable that Bromley would not be the same if it had not been built. And, it is a quality build that, thankfully, left brutalism behind, and has a style, that is not pastiche (heavens forbid) but is all of its own, borrowing elements from other heritage buildings in the town centre.
As it was called the Glades from the outset, the details of the building are themed: the arch on the high street is in green granite, the balustrades on the balconies are stylised trees, the railings of the car park balconies look like abstract fern shoots.
This building had a long history and this post is only a summary. The White Hart is the badge of king Richard II who reigned from 1377-99, so it is thought that there has been an Inn or public house at this site, since this time. There are references to it in the 16th Century and records of it being sold in the 18th century.
In the 1830s it was partly rebuilt and extended, becoming the premier coaching inn with assembly rooms. It was a community hub for that century, having auctions, being a court house for Petty Sessions and Crown Court, hosting County Balls and was the headquarters of the Voluntary Fire Brigade.
It was demolished in the 1960s to build the current ugly brutalist building. With low profile and extending a long way back, it not just looks bad, but a poor use of space.
The White Hart had a field behind it, that the town used as a cricket pitch. Part of it has become Queens Gardens and this is where HG Wells had a life-changing accident. His broken leg mended, but the books he read in his covalence inspired his future writing career. More details on our page here.
If you care about Bromley and its heritage and green spaces, please support us by joining the Society. Membership per household is only £10 per year. You can join or renew your membership either by visiting our membership portal. or by sending a cheque with a letter giving your full name, postal address, where possible your email address, and a contact telephone number to the Membership Secretary, 3 Hayes Road, Bromley BR2 9AF.