A country path?

You might think that this photograph was taken somewhere in the countryside. However this path, fringed on both sides with cow parsley, was taken earlier today on Martins Hill, some five minutes walk from Bromley Market Square! It shows that you do not have to go far to enjoy the benefits of the natural world. Our town centre parks are each slightly different but all our ‘lungs’, in this otherwise heavily built up world. So please value your parks and visit them soon.

It was interesting that a passer by had previously mentioned that this path “was overgrown and needed cutting back”. Strange how people have different ideas about tidying up nature!

Glassmill: Sampling

Today a member of Thames21 visited the site to take additional samples of the silt which has accumulated over the years. These samples will be tested in a laboratory to assess the levels of pollutants, and if they are within official Environment Agency limits.

Taking a silt sample
Taking a silt sample

This follows earlier samples, a couple of which contained higher levels of pollutants. We are hoping that these new samples will be within limits, and so our project to refurbish this historic pond can receive necessary approvals, allowing us to proceed with funding, etc.

You can find out more about our project on this page Mill Pond and Ravensbourne restoration

Glassmill Clearance

On Sunday 13th some eight volunteers turned up to help clear rubbish from the island, as well as much more – as can be seen below.

Interested onlooker
Channel blocked
A volunteer
Assessing fallen tree
Removing branches
Rubbish collected

In just over a couple of hours we were able to remove several bags of general rubbish, plus a shopping trolley, traffic cone, bicycle, and about a hundred golf balls! We also managed to clear some of the fallen tree branches, and other detritus, blocking the river flow. Much remains to be done but in the meantime the ducks will be able to soon safely breed on the island, and not get caught up in the rubbish. Further work parties will be arranged, but will not be on the island until after the breeding season.

This is all part of our short term maintenance of this historic pond, pending the approval and implementation of the major long term renovation project. You can find out more about this on our Campaign page.

Storm Impact on Parks

We all love our trees and how they enhance our public spaces. So it is sad when we lose any of the. Sadly several have either been brought down or badly damaged, as a result of Storm Eunice. A couple of examples are shown below.

Wild Cherry in Library Gardens

There was also damage to a large Cedar as well as a new tree sapling, in Church House Gardens. All these trees have been reported. Some will survive, if badly damaged. Hopefully the others will be replaced in due course by new ones. However it will inevitably take many years for them to again become mature specimens.

Flag Pole Reinstated

New flag pole in Queens Garden

In November our new flag pole was installed at the Kentish Way entrance of Queens Garden, after a long campaign. This replaced an earlier one located nearby, now occupied by the Children’s Playground, which was redeveloped along with several small restaurants in what used to be part of the park. To celebrate this we were able to raise our Green Flag awarded for 2021/2. This was the third year in a row this park was successful. We will soon be aiming for this valued public green space, right in the town centre, to again be recognised in this manner.

Green Flag Award is a national award, a quality mark for parks & green spaces – and is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Its criteria are –

  • A welcoming place
  • Healthy, safe & secure
  • Well maintained & clean
  • Environmental management
  • Biodiversity, landscape & heritage
  • Community involvement
  • Marketing & communication
  • Management

Opposition to Churchill Quarter development

Opposition to the Churchill Quarter development is growing. Buildings will tower over the High Street and Library Gardens, casting a shadow over the latter and altering its peaceful character. We are pleased to be working with Bromley Civic Society, and others in campaigning against this proposed development.

See the before and after photos below to gain an impression of its impact – and how you can make your opinion known.

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. 

Comments include:
 

●      “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,
2…Oversubscribed schools.
3…Car parking
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.”


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: 

https://churchillquarterbromley.co.uk/contact-us/

or by email at: 

info@churchillquarterbromley.co.uk

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
Stockwell Close
Bromley
BR1 3UH

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 any comments you make to:  cqcampaign@bromleycivicsociety.org.uk

DO PLEASE JOIN US IN OBJECTING TO THIS DEVELOPMENT AND FIGHTING TO PRESERVE OUR UNIQUE HISTORIC TOWN

You can find out more about Library Gardens, its formation and our ongoing campaign to protect it HERE.

Y Buildings application resubmitted

The developer resubmitted their planning application (Ref: DC/21/03120/RESPA) on 12th July for the change of use of these buildings, in the grounds of Bromley Civic Centre, to enable them to form 73 very small residential units. This application was previously rejected by Bromley council planning committee as they considered it part of the curtilage of the Bromley Palace. Despite this the developer has re-submitted their application in which they argue against this. To see this application CLICK HERE. If you have any comments on this you should submit them by the end of July.

We continue to object to this application, as it will impact the adjacent on the following grounds –

  • It is an over-development of these buildings, each residential unit being far too small for housing needs.
  • It will seriously impact the public access to the park via the Rafford Way access.

To find out more about Bromley Palace Park and our associated campaigns please CLICK HERE

Mill Pond Pollution

Yet again the Mill Pond in Glassmill Lane has been polluted, this time with either petrol or light diesel oil. This was spotted on Saturday morning and reported to the Environment Agency. Thames Water staff have now fitted booms to contain the problem, both at the entrance to the pond, as well as downstream just inside Queens Mead.

An earlier pollution incident

This incident is particularly worrying as it comes when ducks etc are starting breeding. Already several moorhen chicks have been lost. This also greatly impacts smaller invertebrates living in the water or silt. In the absence of any rainfall it is to be sincerely hoped that this pollutant will soon dissipate. This part of the Ravensbourne is sadly recognised by Thames Water as a portion ‘hot spot’, with illegal dumping and domestic plumbing misconnections. They are having some difficulties locating many of the sources of such pollution.

The Mill Pond is currently the subject of a plan to upgrade this historic pond. Led by Thames21, with support from the Friends of Bromley Town Parks & Gardens, Environment Agency, Thames Water, etc. it is hoped that funding for this can be agreed in the coming months. In the meantime you can find out more about our plans at http://bit.ly/2hrtoyp

If you wish to get more immediately involved in volunteer days at the Mill Pond please contact chair@bromleytownparks.org.uk