Here are some of the latest visuals that the Council’s development partner, Countryside Properties, have released alongside our photos showing how the area looks now. There are no significant changes from the 2018 planning application, and proposals for Library Gardens are even worse.
The developer’s latest visual of the appalling impact on our precious public open space (above) is described merely as “a new backdrop to Library Gardens”! The new BCS ‘before and after’ visuals (below) show the impact on the entrance and High Street end of Library Gardens in the notable absence of any such visuals from the developer.
|Following our leafletting campaign in September, it is clear that there is a groundswell of opposition to this development. Many people have written to us expressing their horror at this proposal.
● “That LBB are considering such a proposal is appalling and horrifying in the face of the past 4 years of HUGE opposition from the public, Historic England, residents’ groups, associations, councillors, etc. This vast, ugly and overwhelming development will brutalise the character of our beautiful and historic Town Centre.”
● “Has infrastructure been considered?
1…Oversubscribed doctors’ surgeries,
4…What effect of these vast buildings is it estimated to have on our Victorian sewerage and water systems?
5…Untold detrimental effect on wildlife.”
● “I will be able to see this from our house in Shortlands and it is worrying that it is being proposed again.”
● “This proposal directly flies in the face of the policy against ‘tall buildings’ which is supposed to inform planning in the town centre and be adhered to. The need is for lower rise development.”
● “I would strongly oppose any tower blocks being built as they are unsightly, why not construct buildings no taller than existing ones? Bromley High Street has retained its charm & the park offers peace & tranquillity without having any intrusive tower blocks overlooking it.”
● “Whilst [I] am in favour of modernisation and development done appropriately, I am afraid to say that the proposals fall far short of this. The significant reduction to the green spaces and creation of excessively tall buildings is something I cannot support. If this goes ahead it will only mean a worse quality of life for Bromley residents and a degradation of the existing area.”
● “The plans destroy the current entrance to Library Gardens.”
● “… entirely out of keeping with the historical character of this market town and its surroundings.”
● “All the features that single Bromley out as the fine and lovely market town that it is … would be permanently spoiled by the construction of monolithic tower blocks. The impact on and damage to the environment, the wildlife and the Conservation Area would be irreparable.”
● “There are neither the amenities nor the infrastructure to support a high-density population that would result from these tower blocks.”
● “How much would this development really contribute to affordable housing and meeting the housing need?”
● “The whole design of the development would take away the character of Bromley and Bromley would not be Bromley anymore.”
| It is a matter of the utmost concern to us that it has been left to the developers to ‘consult’ with the public about this development.
This is a scheme initiated and guided by the Council and will only be made possible by the use of the Council’s Compulsory Purchase powers to acquire the land from the homeowners in Ethelbert Close.
It is surely incumbent upon the Council to engage with the community directly, not only to explain their reasoning and justification for these proposals but more importantly to answer any questions that may be put to them about it. So far, the whole process has been non-transparent.
What action are we taking?
BCS are in the process of writing to all 60 Bromley Councillors, including the Council Leader, Colin Smith, to let them know our views and to urge them to bring their influence to bear to have this ill-conceived and damaging development withdrawn.
We are telling the Councillors that, whilst we accept that there is a need for housing in the Borough, the sort of tower blocks that are being proposed for the Churchill Quarter site are wholly inappropriate and any development in this location needs to be low rise. The reasons are summed up by Historic England:
“… the proposed development would cause harm to the significance of the Bromley Town Centre Conservation Area as a result of its overly dominant scale and massing.”
As the planning authority the Council has a statutory duty under the 1990 Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act to ‘preserve or enhance’ the significance of the Conservation Area and prevent harm. Wearing its non-statutory land/owner developer hat, however, the Council is seeking to override that duty.
We are also in the process of formulating a Petition to be sent to the Development Control Committee, the decision makers for the planning application, which we hope will demonstrate the level of public concern and opposition.
We are anticipating the Council’s development partner, Countryside Properties, may lodge their planning application this month (November 2021) and once this has been submitted, we will be writing to you again to update you as to how you can put forward your comments or objections.
What can you do?
In advance of the opportunity to make formal objections to the planning application, you can voice your opposition by lodging your comments with Countryside Properties at:
or by email at:
or by telephone: 020 3929 0523
You can also raise your objections with your Ward Councillors so they understand the strength of feeling coming from the community.
Find their email addresses here: https://bit.ly/WardCllrs
and to Bromley Council’s Leader, Cllr. Colin Smith: Colin.Smith@bromley.gov.uk
Cllr. Colin Smith
c/o Members Room
Bromley Civic Centre
to the Assistant Director (Planning): Tim.Horsman@bromley.gov.uk
If you do not live in Bromley, write to the Council Leader, Colin Smith, as above.
We would also appreciate it if you would kindly copy us with any comments you make to: firstname.lastname@example.org
DO PLEASE JOIN US IN OBJECTING TO THIS DEVELOPMENT AND FIGHTING TO PRESERVE OUR UNIQUE HISTORIC TOWN
If you have not already done so, you may wish to consider joining Bromley Civic Society. Details of how to join can be found under ‘Membership’ on our website at www.bromleycivicsociety.org.uk
PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON TO ANYONE WHO MAY BE INTERESTED OR CONCERNED