LAST CHANCE to have your say before the deadline (Monday)

oval of proposed high-rises compared with oval of nicer ones
comparison of proposed overbearing designs with nicer modern developments (as built in Kent this year)

We think it’s important that we all take part in this Consultation, despite it’s difficulty in negotiating the forms.

This is No. 3 bulletin, to help you fill in a theme of Consultation to meet the deadline of 5th October 2020.

Note: the Planning Guidance adds to, but not changes, the policies in the Bromley Local Plan (Local Plans are enforceable 10-year building programmes) .

On our website here: there is a detailed explanation of how to use the ‘Commenting’ and the ‘Thumbs up’ procedure.  For a simple way in, follow the steps below.

When you Save your comments, you will be asked to confirm your email address.  You can make further comments later. Remember to find those emails and click on their links!

There are 12 themes in the consultation, which makes it too large to go into every theme here. So we’ve concentrated on (in order or importance):

  • Theme 1: Quick Feedback
  • Theme 11: Historic Environment
  • Theme 3: Development Opportunities
  • Theme 8: Green Infrastructure
  • Theme 2: Have you say (via the map)

Here’s some suggestions as the sort of things you might like to enter:

Theme 1: Quick Feedback


Make a Comment in the QUICK FEEDBACK theme:

‘Quick Feedback’ enables a general comment about what the guidance should include.

First click on then ‘Have Your Say’, then the ‘Quick Feedback’ box

Answer the question:
‘Do you think the Council should prepare detailed planning guidance for Bromley Town Centre?’ 

We suggest you click the ‘smiley face’ meaning yes!

Then in the box labelled ‘What should this guidance include?’ BCS suggests the following notes reflect our main concerns:

There needs to be guidance on:
* the height of new buildings in various parts of the town centre
* tall buildings should not overlook or impact upon the Conservation Area or open spaces in the town
* the historic environment, which is particularly important to the character and distinctiveness of the town centre
* the use and protection of open spaces in the town
* alternative uses for vacant retail premises to allow for community and cultural uses

Theme 11: Historic Environment

How important is the historic environment to the character of the town centre?
BCS suggests: 
Bromley’s distinctive character arises from the historic buildings with various architectural styles, open spaces and streetscapes in the town; Stories of the town’s growth from its market town origins and of its celebrated inhabitants are a source of great interest for residents and visitors alike. Together this makes up the historic environment which is vital to the town’s future.
What elements of the historic environment do you consider most important?
BCS suggests:  
The buildings and streetscapes within the Conservation Area, in particular: Bromley and Sheppards Colleges, the Bishops Palace, Picturehouse Cinema, the Royal Bell.  Also buildings that represent distinctive architectural movements (eg Arts and Crafts), the former Gaumont cinema (now Wilco and Dreams) in the lower High Street; the former Maplins building on the corner of Ethelbert Road and the High Street; the former Laura Ashley building on the corner of Ringers Road and the High Street and the town centre parks.
Celebrations of past inhabitants eg: HG Wells, David Bowie, Charles Darwin; Enid Blyton…
How can development be accommodated without causing harm to the historic environment?
BCS suggests: The SPD should give detailed guidance focused on protecting the historic environment – not just within the Conservation Area but elsewhere in the town.  New development should reflect the scale, architectural detail and styles that prevail in the town and should avoid spoiling the historic environment. The open aspect of historic open spaces should be protected.   Buildings of architectural interest, particularly those in the southern part of the High Street, should be protected and excluded from any new development schemes.  
Do you have any other comments in relation to the historic environment in Bromley Town Centre?
BCS suggests: 
Bromley’s historic environment needs to be better promoted. Interpretation boards, QR codes with audio and/or visual descriptions; heritage trails, walks and talks are ways of raising awareness.  With more awareness comes better protection (one hopes)!

Some comments have been made already under this Theme (‘View comments’ at the bottom).  Give them the ‘thumbs up’ if you agree with them. 

Theme 3: Development Opportunities:

What do you think makes a good Town Centre? 
BCS suggests:  A wide variety of uses (not just shops); a visible and distinctive heritage and culture and unique features that distinguish it from other centres. 
What would you like your area to look like post Covid-19? 
BCS suggests:  More prominence given to the town centre’s heritage; more cultural and community activity; more planting, greenery and shade; less traffic; more seating.
What could the town centre offer that it does not already?
BCS suggests: Better interpretation and understanding of the town centre’s heritage; central outdoor space for performance and community activities, more indoor spaces for community and cultural activity; a unique sculptural feature reflecting the town’s heritage.
Do you have any other comments in relation to planning for recovery post-COVID 19?
BCS suggests: Planning for recovery should encourage and enable community and cultural enterprises to take up empty retail properties.

Some comments have been made already under this Theme (‘View comments’ at the bottom).  Give them the ‘thumbs up’ if you agree with them. 

Theme 8: Green Infrastructure

Do you think provision of green infrastructure in town centre locations is important? What advantages and disadvantages does green infrastructure bring?
BCS suggests:  Bromley’s green spaces make the town distinctive and different from other town centres; they are vital for mental and physical health, urban cooling, air quality, encouraging outdoor activity, increasing dwell time in the town and are key to recovery post-Covid.
What type of green infrastructure do you think is most suitable for Bromley Town Centre?
BCS suggests: 
 Trees and greenery in the High Street and quiet green spaces close to the busy centre of the town. 
Do you think there are any opportunities/locations where new green infrastructure could be provided in Bromley Town Centre?
BCS suggests: Trees and greenery in the High Street to soften the outline of modern buildings, more wild areas to encourage biodiversity…. 
Which, if any, open spaces in and around the town centre do you currently use, and why?
BCS suggests: 
list the spaces that you use eg Martins Hill, Queensmead, Queens Gardens, College Green, Palace Park…
Are there any open spaces in and around the town centre you do not currently use, but would like to? What changes would make you more likely to use this open space?
BCS suggests:
 Many people are unaware of the Palace Park….signposting and access to that green space could be improved.    
Do you have any other comments in relation to green infrastructure in Bromley Town Centre?
BCS suggests: 
It’s important to protect the green spaces we have; no new building should impact on the open aspect of our parks and gardens. 

Theme 2: Have Your Say In Your Local Area (map based answers)

Have your say on your local area 

‘Have your say on your local area’ enables you to place a pin on a Bromley Town Centre map and make a comment about a specific site or place and say what you would like to see there.

First click on then ‘
Have Your Say’, then 
‘Have your say on your local area’ then 
‘Have your say‘ again (top right) 

Place the pin‘ in the location (on the map) you’re commenting on. Click ‘Ok got it‘ and drag the pin to the place on the map where you wish to make a comment.
When the pin has been placed, fill in boxes on the left to say where it is and what it is. 
There are further boxes to click and finally a box for ‘Do you have further comments’
Remember to Save when you’ve finished 

BCS suggests that the places listed below are among those that may merit some comment.  The list is by no means comprehensive and you will probably want to add further places.
Church House Gardens – any development to the south (Churchill Qtr, Site 10 in Local Plan) should be limited in height to reduce impact on the open space and the Conservation Area
Bromley North Station – any development to the north of the station (Site 2 in the Local Plan) should be limited in height to reduce impact on the Conservation Area
High Street – more greenery and planting possible green walls to soften the impact of unsightly buildings
Picturehouse Cinema, High Street north – cinema should be protected from development and excluded from Site 3 Hill Car Park, in the Local Plan (which plans to replace it with housing)  
former Maplins building (cnr of High Street and Ethelbert Road) – this building contributes to the character of the High Street and should be protected from development 
former Gaumont cinema building (now Dreams and Wilko in the High Street on the corner of Ravensourne Road) – this building contributes to the character of the High Street and should be protected from development
Laura Ashley building, cnr of High Street and Ringers Road) and adjoining neo-Georgian terrace (54-60 High Street) – these buildings contribute to the attractiveness and character of the High Street and should be protected from development 
Bromley North Station – plant trees in forecourt in front of the listed station building
Market Square (and elsewhere) – Heritage Interpretation Panels to provide a public heritage information display about nearby historic buildings  
Bromley North Village – improve tree planting throughout the area.

Editor’s Note: This consultation is about what future development of the town centre will look like. It cannot be used to change the amount of future housing that will be built. It can change what it looks like and how high it is.

We would like to see it result in appealing good quality, locality-specific proposals in future rather than the androgynous high rises already put forward.

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