Library Gardens Campaign

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Bromley council are in the process of compulsory purchase private houses in Ethelbert Close, and adjacent properties, 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.

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.

How to comment or object 

The Council has given a deadline for objection or comments on planning application as 4th July. You should endeavour to meet the deadline if you can, but please don’t be put off if you can’t. A decision is not expected until later in the summer so please make your voice heard loud and clear. It is the number of objections that Councillors take note of as much as what is said. 

Preferably write to the Chief Planner, Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH quoting the planning number 18/02181/FULL1. As they seem to take most notice the bigger the stack of letters. 

Or Email: planning@bromley.gov.uk ,  or via the Council Website under ‘Search Planning Applications’ as above. 

ALL REPRESENTATIONS MUST INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS OTHERWISE THEY WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 

Please also copy in to Bromley Town Ward Councillors via the Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH or email to them at-

Cllr Nicky Dykes – nicky.dykes@bromley.gov.uk 

Cllr Will Harmer- will.harmer@bromley.gov.uk 

Cllr Michael Rutherford – michael.rutherford@bromley.gov.uk. 

We would also appreciate being copied at chair@bromleytownparks.org.uk 

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.
Please revisit this page for further updates on this proposed development and our campaign against it.
More about this park >
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6 thoughts on “Library Gardens Campaign

  1. Hallo

    It must be possible to develop Ethelbert road without taking the green space. Just build a fewer number of properties.

    Also is it possible to put tree preservation orders on all the trees on the areas under threat?

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    • The answer to your first question is yes. Greatly reducing the height of the two buildings (16 storeys?) would also help reduce shading of the park. Unfortunately the council do not put TPOs on trees on their own land – as they are safe eh!! However we will be vigorously fighting for the retention of the Cedar tree next to ‘toilet block’, and all other significant trees on this site. Your and others ongoing support is critical to this – so please let your ward councillors know your opinions. Details on how to contact them is our recent leaflet, and also via Bromley council web site.

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  2. I am opposed to the whole idea. Apart from the fact that we don’t need any more food outlets, families need houses! I object most strongly to the development. The people of Bromley should be mindful of the fact that our green spaces are slowly being destroyed and we shall become a replica of Croydon.Is that to be celebrated? No, I don’t think so.The Council welcomes the idea of flats because the revenue that it brings in rates is more than it would be if houses were built instead. Bromley Council should be ashamed of themselves!

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    • While I personally sympathise with your points on local housing policy, our Friends group campaign is specifically targeted against the use of our local parks for any type of development. Currently Bromley council’s selling off of parts of this park has been put on hold, however we are very concerned that this could still happen. We are also worried that the height of these proposed buildings will totally dominate this adjacent park, and cast a deep shadow over it! We will be working with other interested parties, to try and influence the plans for these buildings, to significantly minimise its impact. I suggest that you can help fight for our parks by becoming a member of our group, as well as making your local ward councillors aware of your views.

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  3. The maisonette are import to families and persons where access to Bromley is limited by distance. They need to stay as part of Bromley town accomodation. We do not need blocks of flats when there are empty building – like the council buildings in Widmore Road, Council/school in Westmoreland/Mason Hill. The arrival of more shops is not needed as there are many empty properties on the High Street and on the new ( but still not finished) St Marks Square. If you want high rise flats move to Croydon.

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    • Thank you for your comments. Communities such as in Ethelbert Close is very important. I urge you to send in your objection to this planning application. You along with others can make a difference.

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