On Wednesday we had a very useful site visit with staff from Historic England, an official government heritage organisation. Along with representatives of our Friends group, Bromley Council and idVerde, they discussed how to best restore the listed features currently at risk. These Grade 2 listed features are; Ice House, Pulhamite Rockeries, Ha-Ha and Folly. With significant developments planned for this site it is vital to protect these heritage assets. Historic England will be now be liasing with Bromley council as the site owners, and the Friends group will continue supporting this important initiative. This part of the extensive Civic Centre is an important public park, designated as an Urban Open Space and also now a Local Green Space.
You can find out more about this park and its heritage features on our page Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre).
Cedar tree under development threat in Library Gardens
At the L.B.Bromley Executive meeting on 20 July, Director of Leisure and Culture, Colin Brand reported 40 objections to the public notice, mainly on the grounds of prematurity … That no planning application had yet been approved.
The council is withdrawing or suspending the disposal decision pending a planning decision. The disposal is to be made a result of planning approval. Mr Brand made it a bit vague as to whether the S123 (i.e. public) notice would be re-advertised.
This is just the start of a long campaign during which the impact on this public park will still be very real!
Martins Hill Lodge as it is now fenced off
The old Lodge on Martins Hill has been sold again and the new owner intends to restore it into a habitable home. Following on from an earlier planning permission, further details have been submitted (Ref: 15/01561/FULL1) showing proposed external finishes. Details can be found on the council online planning page
We look forward to the sympathetic restoration, and occupation, of this local landmark, which has sadly been empty and derelict for many years.
Bramble cleared to open up this view.
Thanks to the local idVerde team extensive areas of invasive brambles have been cut back on the lower slopes of Martins Hill. This has both opened up views across the Queens Mead toward Shortlands, and created space for other plants including Broom (after which Bromley is named). This is part of our ongoing objective to increase the biodiversity of this area. For more about this go to Martins Hill page
Proposed new design.
We have been passed this ‘visualisation’ of the proposed design for the new playground in Queens Garden. This would replace the current barren building site resulting from the restaurants development. In the foreground there is a small reference to the maze, that was previously on this site, picked out in wooden battens. This has yet to be approved by Bromley council. While this design is very much limited by the reported £10k funding, provided by intuBromley, we hope that if implemented this will provide a safe area for children to play in.
Tony B dressed as the local rat-catcher & town crier!
Today’s Friends/BCS walk was a tremendous success, with some 60 people turning up! A very pleasant surprise at the numbers, but it was well worth it, with great feedback from all those attending. We visited six of our seven town centre parks explaining their histories, and the continuing importance of these precious public green spaces. In some cases sadly these are under possible threats from nearby developments. Having started outside in Library Gardens (originally ‘Neelgeries’) we ended up in Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre grounds) where the Bishops of Rochester, until 19th century, held court for about eight centuries. We explained how the public need to support our public parks, so that they are there for future generations. As it states in our groups mandate “We aim is to foster an increased sense of community ownership and involvement in the(se) precious green areas”. To find out more about our parks please go to the ‘Our Parks’ page.
Volunteer clearing foliage.
Another couple of working parties were held on Monday 8th and Sunday 14th February. The water level was helpfully low enough for the bolder volunteers to get onto the island and cut back some of the rampant vegetation. Also a very large of golf balls were recovered from the muddier areas! It is hoped that these may be recycled and perhaps some limited funds can be generated. The less bold were able to get on to more accessible areas and remove rubbish and foliage washed there in recent high flows.
We are only too aware that soon we will have to stop work on the island to allow birds to nest.