Currently the planning application (Ref: 18/02181/FULL1) for this major new development branded ‘Churchill Quarter’ has still to be publicly discussed by the relevant council planning committee nearly two years after it was first submitted. We are unaware of the reasons for any delay, despite attempts for find out, but remain vigilant in our opposition to the current plans.
While the major part of this would be built on immediately adjacent land it will still seriously impact this park. Bromley council have been in the process of compulsory purchasing private houses in Ethelbert Close, and adjacent properties and their subsequent demolition, as part of their plan for two very large multi-storied apartment blocks to built on this site. Since 2017 we have taken part in discussions with the developer, Countryside Properties, in a vain attempt to reduce the overwhelming impact to the adjacent public parks. This is Phase 1 of a much larger planned development, the Masterplan for which was published in later 2018.
As has been clear to us for some time our town centre parks are increasingly under threat from private developers. This at time when public parks are increasingly recognised nationally as critical for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Despite having these extensive discussions with the developers the scheme remains substantially the unchanged. We therefore remain opposed to this development for the following main reasons.
- It enables development likely to be harmful to the appearance of the Conservation Area of which this park is part.
- The two proposed buildings (up to 15 storeys) would dominate the parkland and overshadow it.
- Part of this public space, as donated to Bromley council by Emily Dowling as for public use, will now be taken for commercial benefit.
- The ‘active frontage’ proposed in parts of the Library Gardens will commercialise this public green spaces and therefore detract from its current restful nature.
Development timescales (as at June 2018)
- August 2017 – Conditional exchange of development agreement.
- May 2018 – Submit planning applications and prepare CPO documents.
- Late Summer 2018? – Secure planning consent.
- Summer – Start CPO process.
- Spring 2019 – CPO Inquiry.
- Spring 2020 – Commence development.
- Winter 2023-2025 – Completion of development.