Library Gardens Campaign


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. We have recently had meetings with the Countryside Properties development team so as to learn more about, and attempt to influence their plans. While the development has been moved back generally to the park boundaries, it is understood that the two blocks will vary in height up to 14 stories (i.e. 40 metres). This is higher than the nearby Central Library. The Cedar tree, adjacent to the closed toilet block, will now be retained and used as a feature in this development. However other mature trees may well be lost.

A further public consultation is scheduled in November 2017. No detailed plans will made public until this event. However the visualisation below, based on provisional details published earlier in the Bromley Times gives an impression of the possible impact upon this public open space. The new four storey buildings on the right of this picture below will have an ‘active frontage’ at ground level.


Development timescales (as at 5 July 2017)

  • August 2017 – Conditional exchange of development agreement.
  • March 2018 – Submit planning applications and prepare CPO documents.
  • Summer 2018 – Secure planning consent.
  • Summer – Start CPO process.
  • Spring 2019 – CPO Inquiry.
  • Spring 2020 – Commence development.
  • Winter 2023-2025 – Completion of development.

Despite the latest changes we 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 14 storeys) would dominate the parkland and overshadow it.
  • The ‘active frontage’ proposed in parts of the Library Gardens will commercialise this public green spaces and therefore detract from its current restful nature.
We will continue engaging with Countryside Properties and other stakeholders, so as to endeavour to mitigate the impact of any such development on our public green open spaces. We will keep you informed on any news as this evolves.
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 as critical for both physical and mental wellbeing.
More about this park >

4 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?


    • 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.


  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!


    • 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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