After several years Countryside Properties have recently published new proposals for their development immediately adjacent to this public park. However there are only very minor changes to their previous plans. The tower blocks continue to dominate the area around the High Street including this park. Currently this area is a sunny and well-loved peaceful area. The proposed development would completely change its nature, turning it into a commercial hub and act as an access to their oversized buildings. These tall buildings will also cast large shadows over this park for much of the time.
While the major part of this would be built on immediately adjacent land it will still seriously impact this park. Bromley council intends to compulsory purchase private houses in Ethelbert Close, and adjacent properties and their subsequent demolition, as part of their plan. Since 2017 we have taken part in discussions with the developer, Countryside Properties, in a vain attempt to reduce the overwhelming impact of this development. This is just Phase 1 of a much larger planned development covering much of the town centre, the Masterplan for which was rejected in later 2018. This plan was produced, for the council by Countryside Properties themselves, and so will not be surprised to learn that this Masterplan justified their own development! Without a sensible independently produced Masterplan, fully accessible to the public, every such development will be proposed and approved piecemeal, rather than as part of a democratically agreed whole.
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.
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 proposed buildings 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.
Original 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.