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.