The society’s Annual General Meeting took place at the Parish Rooms, Church Street, Bromley. After our formal business our guest speaker Jonathan Clay spoke eloquently about the campaign by Gravesend Civic Society against disastrous local town centre development plans.
Sunday 29th July 2012: BCS taking part in Bromley Town Centre Festival.
We will be taking part in this important event in Bromley High Street, 11am—5pm. There will be lots of events celebrating local Arts, Sports, Leisure and Heritage. We will be manning a stall, together with the Friends of Bromley Town Parks & Gardens in the pedestrian only part of the High Street. Why not come along and find out more about the local area and what we stand for? We will also be leading walks around the historic town centre.
As part of the council’s Easter events an heritage trail around Bromley North Village was officially launched in the Market Square. Councillors Morgan & Manning were in attendance. Two separate walks were led by Marc Timlin (BCS).
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BCS was pleased to be invited to the street party organised by the community of people seriously impacted by council plans. Bob Ogley was a guest speaker.
Public Meeting on West Side of High Street, Bromley
About two hundred people attended a public meeting on Thursday 25th July 2013 at Bromley Town Church, to learn more about Bromley Council’s proposals for the west side of the High Street from Churchill Theatre down to Bromley South station. (This is Site G in the Bromley Town AAP): A_Site G Leaflet
The application by Crest Homes for the erection of 1×11 storey (plus upper basement) and 1×9 storey (plus lower and upper basement) building comprising 148 flats (48×1 bedroom and 100×2 bedroom), 460sqm commercial unit (Class A3/A4), 77 car parking spaces has been refused by the council’s Development Control Committee. This is the former Army & Navy site overlooking the Ravensbourne Valley and is part of the much larger AAP Site ‘G’. [William House]
This planned development, along with a terrace area outside the garden, will take most of the southern end of Queen’s Garden to build five restaurants. This particular area was added to the garden in 1990 in compensation for the northern part, adjacent to Market Square, then taken to build The Glades shopping centre. We believe that this proposal was unacceptable for the following reasons –
Loss of public green space, which Bromley council says they greatly value for peoples’ healthy lifestyles and well-being.
This space is within a Conservation Area.
Use of this space for development is contrary to statements in the Bromley Town Area Action Plan (AAP) which was approved by the full council, after a long public consultation. We would support a small café on the Terrace area only, as identified in the AAP.
Additional restaurant development here will compete adversely with other council plans for the revitalisation of the nearby Bromley North Village. There are already several empty restaurants in this area and a new one (ex Post Office) is about to open!
This could set a precedent for future development in some other parks in the borough (LBB: “provision of parks is not a statutory duty for the council”).
Our case was that the area under threat is an important and valued part of the gardens and was given to the public when part was taken to build The Glades, some 20 years ago. The restaurants would ruin the gardens and were unnecessary with other areas nearby better suited for this use, especially in an upgrade Bromley North Village.
You can view the PDF document submitted jointly by our Friends group and Bromley Civic Society: A_FoBTPaG_BCS proof of evidence. Several members of the public also spoke against the development.
Town Green application
To further safeguard this area we have also submitted an application for the threatened area to be designated as a Town Green under the Commons Act 2006. In doing this we have used information from the Open Spaces Society and a previous applicant. Over 50 letters of support for our application were received from the local public. Following an exchange of evidence from ourselves and the two main objectors, Capital Shopping Centres and Bromley Council, the matter was put to an independent lawyer who decided that the objectors’ evidence did not show a sufficient case, at that stage, to give a ‘knock out’ blow to our case and so recommended it go to a public Inquiry. This was held at the Civic Centre 29th-31st May. The Inspector’s decided in our favour with regard to the Italian Garden (but not terraced area) in all respects, except for the 20 year period which we missed by some 6 months! Despite this the council have proposed to sell this part of the park to the developers. BCS have submitted a formal complaint to the council on the manner this decision was made and a response is currently awaited from their Chief Planner.
Although The Glades management have won their appeal against refusal by Bromley Council of their planning application and are therefore appear ready to build 5 restaurants on part of this public park designated the Italian Garden. We are still awaiting a decision on our application for the threatened area to be officially designated as a Town Green which might stop this.However we are not taking any chances and are asking the council not to sell this land to The Glades.
Picnic in the Park
Several supporters met in on Sunday 28th July 2013 in Queen’s Garden. This event was in support of this public park, part of which is threatened with sale by Bromley council for commercial development. We enjoyed food & drink and meet other lovers of this park. Will Harmer & Nicky Dykes, Bromley Town ward councillors attended. This event was part of Love Parks week: http://www.loveparks.org/home/1816
Local people oppose sale of public park
At the recent Bromley Baptist Church anniversary street party a petition, opposing the sale by Bromley Council of part of Queen’s Garden for commercial use, was signed by 334 people. This has been sent to Clr. Carr (Leader of Council) and Clr. Smith (Portfolio Holder). You too can sign the petition and make a difference. Just sign our on-line petition: A_Petition Save Queens Garden from redevelopment
3rd June 2013: Queen’s Garden Appeal Decision.
Sadly, after two years of campaigning The Glades management have won their appeal against L.B. Bromley rejection of their planning applications to build 5 restaurants on part of Queen’s Garden.
We will continue to oppose the sale by Bromley council of this land and closely monitor any impact upon the rest of the gardens.
28th June 2012: Planning meeting again rejects Queen’s Garden development!
Planning applications (12/01339/FULL1 & 12/01340/LBC) by The Glades to build 5 restaurants on part of Queen’s Garden, and move the Grade 2 listed gates, were rejected for a second time at a Development Control Committee (DCC) meeting held on 28th June 2012.
28th June 2012: Planning meeting to decide on Queen’s Garden Development.
Planning applications (12/01339/FULL1 & 12/01340/LBC) by The Glades to build 5 restaurants on part of Queen’s Garden, and move the Grade 2 listed gates, will be decided at a Development Control Committee (DCC) meeting held in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley BR1 3UH. Attendance by people opposing these applications is crucial.
Friends of the Parks
On 18th June 2012, at the Friends Forum AGM we received overwhelming support from representatives of other Park Friends groups in our call for Bromley council not to selloff our public parks for commercial development. Accordingly an email has been sent to Clr. Carr, Leader of Bromley Council.
The continuing support we have received from local people has been very encouraging and a public petition, opposing the sale of this land, has been published. Already 334 members of the public have signed this petition. You can also show your opposition to the sale by signing our on-line petition which can be found at the following:-
15th May 2012: Queen visits Queen’s Garden.
During her visit to Bromley, as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations the Queen & Duke of Edinburgh visited a fashion show held in Queen’s Garden. This public open space was given to the people of the town in 1897 for their use, in celebration Queen Victoria’s own Diamond Jubilee.
16th April 2012: Site M: Queen’s Garden new planning application submitted.
Capital Shopping Centres plc, who own The Glades presented plans which are only slightly different from those rejected by LBB. This will still build on part of the gardens. We continue to oppose this development, along with the Friends of Bromley Town Parks & Gardens.
2nd March 2012: Application for registration as a Town Green.
Over 50 letters were received from the local public in support of our application for Town Green status of the threatened area of Queen’s Garden. These have been handed in to the council and we now await this application to be progressed.
10th February 2012: Application for registration as a Town Green.
BCS & Friends of Bromley Town Parks have submitted to the council an application for registration of threatened Queen’s Garden as a Town Green. This is part of our campaign against this unwelcome development. Decision scheduled to be made on Tuesday 14th February at a planning meeting at Bromley Civic Centre.
4th February 2012: Site M: Queen’s Garden development rejected.
L.B.Bromley Development Control Committee narrowly rejected Capital Shopping Centres plc plans to build on part of Queen’s Garden on a number of grounds including that no development was approved in the council’s own Area Action Plan. We suspect this issue has not yet gone away and will continue to oppose along with many other local people.
19th January 2012: Conservationists join fight against restaurants proposal.
In an article in today’s Bromley Times (page 2) The Open Spaces Society has expressed its opposition to the planned development in Queen’s Garden. Their representative, Mark Green said: “If the land is sold and restaurants and café’s built here the land will cease to be open space available for the public to enjoy. The development would be a private, not public, amenity.” The Open Spaces Society is our oldest national conservation body.
11th January 2012: Plans will destroy public open space.
A letter by Tony Banfield, detailing BCS objections to the Queen’s Garden development (Site M), was printed in today’s News Shopper as their ’Star Letter’.
5th January 2012: RVPS objects to Queen’s Garden development.
The Ravensbourne Valley Preservation Society has decided to formally object to this planning application (11/03466).
December 2011: Queen’s Garden Planning Application Published.
L.B.Bromley have published details of this controversial development. Members of the public are urged to send their objections to L.B. Bromley Planning Department.
November 2011: Site M: Queen’s Garden
BCS working with Friends of Bromley Town Parks & Gardens appeal to other local Friends groups for support in opposing the planned development, part on public open space.
September 2011: Site M: Queen’s Garden
The developer (Capital Shopping Centres) releases proposals to build 5 restaurants on the Terrace adjacent to The Pavilion sports centre and extending into parkland area at the southern side of Queen’s Garden. This would involve the loss of a significant part of this public open space currently owned by the L.B.Bromley. A planning application is expected later in 2011 with construction planned in 2012. Our society, working with the Friends of Bromley Town Parks & Gardens, are against the loss of any part of this Urban Open Space. More details to follow.
Supporters of Bromley Arts & Community Initiative meet with Bromley councillors, in Council Chamber, to discuss plans to make this historic but empty building into an arts centre. More details at http://bromleyartsandcommunity.blogspot.co.uk/
28th March 2013: Royal Bell meeting
Bromley Arts & Community Initiative held a well attended meeting to discuss possible options for the use of this badly neglected building in the upper High Street.
BCS have sent in their comments on this revised planning application for the development of the ex-DSS building (Opportunity site L). We are concerned at the lack of any significant changes since last application. Our comments can be viewed here: A_BCS comments_ September 2013_Site L_ plan ref 1302451
Planning application for former DHSS site rejected
Telereal Trillium planning application for a hotel-led scheme including a tall building was refused by Bromley council in early 2013. It is understood that a major reason for refusal was the blocking of the view of Keston Ridge from the High Street. This is AAP Site ‘L’.
Despite many objections from local people who will be overlooked by this development Cathedral’s plans for the massive development of this site were accepted by L.B.Bromley Development Control Committee.
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.