Look what I have found – Ha Ha!

Ha Ha! revealed

In Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre Grounds) you can find a number of Grade 2 listed features; Ice House, Cascade & Fernery, mock Medieval Folly plus a Ha-Ha! The latter originally consisted of a wall & ditch to keep livestock in the adjacent fields, out of the parkland around the Bishop’s Palace. 

The fields and associated animals have long since gone, and have now become the many houses and gardens on the ‘Palace Estate’. However the wall of the Ha Ha! still remains. Recently the undergrowth has been cleared away and the brickwork exposed again as seen below.

This and the other listed features are on the Heritage England list of at risk buildings etc. They are working with Bromley Council, the site owners, in order to restore and protect them for future generations.

You can find out more about this site at Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre).

Y Buildings application resubmitted

The developer resubmitted their planning application (Ref: DC/21/03120/RESPA) on 12th July for the change of use of these buildings, in the grounds of Bromley Civic Centre, to enable them to form 73 very small residential units. This application was previously rejected by Bromley council planning committee as they considered it part of the curtilage of the Bromley Palace. Despite this the developer has re-submitted their application in which they argue against this. To see this application CLICK HERE. If you have any comments on this you should submit them by the end of July.

We continue to object to this application, as it will impact the adjacent on the following grounds –

  • It is an over-development of these buildings, each residential unit being far too small for housing needs.
  • It will seriously impact the public access to the park via the Rafford Way access.

To find out more about Bromley Palace Park and our associated campaigns please CLICK HERE

Welcoming a New Year

With the passing of the old year, and the start of another it seemed appropriate to celebrate New Years Day with a walk around all seven of our town centre parks. A hardy few turned up, despite the gloomy weather, to work off any results of the Christmas festivities and to enjoy the open spaces of our parks. On our walk we encountered only a few other park users, either walking their dogs or jogging. Otherwise we had the parks to ourselves. Some overflowing waste bins, and remains of spent fireworks on Martins Hill provided evidence of previous celebrations.

After walking through Church House Gardens we passed by the Mill Pond and the Ravensbourne feeding it, now back to its usual flow of water, a couple of visiting cormorants were sighted as well as two resident Egyptian geese who landed in nearby lake. Also spotted were a large number of golf balls isolated on the now bare mud bank. Occasionally passing members of the public have thought of these as small ‘eggs’! These have in fact floated downstream, probably from a local golf club or driving range.

Golf balls deposited on mud bank

After visiting several other parks, and finding them in ‘good order’, we finally arrived at Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre Grounds) where we initially had a setback when we discovered that the gates at the Rafford Way entrance were locked.

Locked gates, Rafford Way

Undeterred by this we instead managed to gain access to the park via the main entrance, where the automatic doors opened as usual. Needless to say we had the site to ourselves. We visited the listed features including the Ice House and the Pulhamite Cascade which we are campaigning to be restored. We duly took a photo, in front of the listed former Palace building, to celebrate our visit.

We normally end our park walks with refreshments in the on site canteen. But as it was inevitably closed we decided to call it a day and make our ways home, wondering what opportunities and challenges our Friends group would encounter in 2020.

Civic Centre Site Sale: Update

Grade 2 listed Folly, at Rafford Way entrance, is on land for sale

The item relating to the proposed sale of the land on the Civic Centre, formerly council offices and now called officially “the Y buildings”, was deferred from discussion at yesterday’s Executive Committee meeting. While no reasons were given, it is suspected that this was due to the land on which these buildings are located being still registered as Urban Open Space, and as such cannot be used for housing.
A short reprieve perhaps, but expect the council seeking to de-register this land in the coming weeks. I understand that this would include a period of public consultation. So we will continue to campaign on this along with Bromley Civic Society.
This is part of the plan to sell off much of the Civic Centre site, including the historic former Bishop’s Palace, currently housing the Mayor’s Parlour. Read more>

Bromley Palace Park Sale

A Public Notice was recently published in the News Shopper in which Bromley council has announced its proposed sale of part of the grounds of the Bromley Palace Park (aka Civic Centre) for development. This despite there being no planning application, or indeed any details of what would be built, so we the public are therefore a unable to judge whether this sale is justifiable. This ‘back door’ sale is very similar to the earlier attempt to sell off park of Library Gardens for the Churchill Quarter development. In this latter case campaigning pressure made the council withdraw their public notice of sale – at least for now. It seems that the council have not learnt!

Folly, Rafford Way entrance

So our Friends group have sent in a letter of objection, copied to the Bromley Town ward councillors. The palace site contains several Grade 2 listed features and indeed one of them, a Folly, is within the land to be sold off to private developers! This area is a highly valued public green space of great importance to both our group and the wider Bromley public. How the council deal with it should properly  reflect this. We hope that members of the public will support us in this.