Opposition to Churchill Quarter development

Opposition to the Churchill Quarter development is growing. Buildings will tower over the High Street and Library Gardens, casting a shadow over the latter and altering its peaceful character. We are pleased to be working with Bromley Civic Society, and others in campaigning against this proposed development.

See the before and after photos below to gain an impression of its impact – and how you can make your opinion known.

Following our leafletting campaign in September, it is clear that there is a groundswell of opposition to this development.  Many people have written to us expressing their horror at this proposal. 

Comments include:
 

●      “That LBB are considering such a proposal is appalling and horrifying in the face of the past 4 years of HUGE opposition from the public, Historic England, residents’ groups, associations, councillors, etc.This vast, ugly and overwhelming development will brutalise the character of our beautiful and historic Town Centre.”

●      “Has infrastructure been considered?

1…Oversubscribed doctors’ surgeries,
2…Oversubscribed schools.
3…Car parking
4…What effect of these vast buildings is it estimated to have on our Victorian sewerage and water systems?
5…Untold detrimental effect on wildlife.”

●      “I will be able to see this from our house in Shortlands and it is worrying that it is being proposed again.”

●      “This proposal directly flies in the face of the policy against ‘tall buildings’ which is supposed to inform planning in the town centre and be adhered to. The need is for lower rise development.”

●      “I would strongly oppose any tower blocks being built as they are unsightly, why not construct buildings no taller than existing ones? Bromley High Street has retained its charm & the park offers peace & tranquillity without having any intrusive tower blocks overlooking it.” 

●      “Whilst [I] am in favour of modernisation and development done appropriately, I am afraid to say that the proposals fall far short of this.  The significant reduction to the green spaces and creation of excessively tall buildings is something I cannot support.  If this goes ahead it will only mean a worse quality of life for Bromley residents and a degradation of the existing area.”

●      “The plans destroy the current entrance to Library Gardens.”

●      “… entirely out of keeping with the historical character of this market town and its surroundings.”

●      “All the features that single Bromley out as the fine and lovely market town that it is … would be permanently spoiled by the construction of monolithic tower blocks. The impact on and damage to the environment, the wildlife and the Conservation Area would be irreparable.”

●      “There are neither the amenities nor the infrastructure to support a high-density population that would result from these tower blocks.”

●      “How much would this development really contribute to affordable housing and meeting the housing need?”

●      “The whole design of the development would take away the character of Bromley and Bromley would not be Bromley anymore.”


What can you do?

In advance of the opportunity to make formal objections to the planning application, you can voice your opposition by lodging your comments with Countryside Properties at: 

https://churchillquarterbromley.co.uk/contact-us/

or by email at: 

info@churchillquarterbromley.co.uk

or by telephone: 020 3929 0523

You can also raise your objections with your Ward Councillors so they understand the strength of feeling coming from the community. 

Find their email addresses here: https://bit.ly/WardCllrs

and to Bromley Council’s Leader, Cllr. Colin Smith: Colin.Smith@bromley.gov.uk

Cllr. Colin Smith
c/o Members Room
Bromley Civic Centre
Stockwell Close
Bromley
BR1 3UH

to the Assistant Director (Planning):    Tim.Horsman@bromley.gov.uk

If you do not live in Bromley, write to the Council Leader, Colin Smith, as above.

We would also appreciate it if you would kindly copy any comments you make to:  cqcampaign@bromleycivicsociety.org.uk

DO PLEASE JOIN US IN OBJECTING TO THIS DEVELOPMENT AND FIGHTING TO PRESERVE OUR UNIQUE HISTORIC TOWN

You can find out more about Library Gardens, its formation and our ongoing campaign to protect it HERE.

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.

Churchill Quarter: Public Consultation

Consultation notice

Please attend later this week & have your say on this high density multi-storey building development in town centre, right next to Library Gardens. Let us know your comments on these plans.

We remain opposed to this development, in its current form with up to 14 storeys (i.e. higher than Bromley Central Library), because of its impact on the adjacent public green spaces. To see more  please go to our Library Gardens campaign page.

Bromley council to sell off part of park.

 

IMG_1608.JPGWe have very recently discovered Bromley council’s intention to sell off, on a 250 year lease, parts of Library Gardens (aka Church House Gardens) to Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd. as part of their intention to build multi-storied buildings on adjacent Site G, Phase 1.This intention to sell was issued 20th June, before public consultations on Site G, Phase 1 has even started! We feel that any such proposal, if still relevant, should only be issued after the full public consultation process has taken place, if this process is to be really meaningful, and not just a ‘tick box’ exercise.

We request your urgent support. Please submit your objections to the council’s Notice of Intention to Dispose of Open Space, in writing to the following address –

David Mark Brown Director of Corporate Services, Civic Centre, Stockewell Close, Bromley BR1 3UH. 
 
The deadline for such objections is 12th July. 
We consider objections should be made on the following grounds.
  • Notice of Intention to sell is premature and would prejudice the outcome of the upcoming public consultation.
  • Loss of Public Open Space.
  • Loss of Open Green Space.
  • Loss of Urban Open Space.
  • Enables development likely to be harmful to the appearance of the Conservation Area.
  • Threat of loss of mature Cedar tree (next to closed toilet block) shown in proposed development area.

Boundary changes.jpg

More information on our campaign for this park can be found on our Library Gardens campaign page,

New life for derelict space?

Derelict site of former Maze.

Derelict site of former Maze.

Where there used to be a pleasant Maze now stands an empty waste! The Maze was sacrificed so that easy access could be provided to construct the five new restaurants. Go to our Queens Garden campaign page to learn more about how this happened. Now Bromley council is deciding what to replace this wasteland with. It is proposed that a rustic ch ildren’s playground will be built here. Unfortunately intuBromley, who currently manage the shopping centre, are only willing to contribute £50k towards this, despite them gaining a valuable site for their multi-million pound development.This sadly is not much money for a really exciting playground worthy of this site. Four companies submitted proposals for this site. The best design, of a poor bunch, ŵas preferred by a local panel and it is hoped that the Bromley councillors will make their decision soon, so that this eyesore is no more.

Church House Gardens proposals

Path though Dickerson's Copse.

Dickerson’s Copse, Church House Gardens

We have been advised by Bromley council that they will be sending out a document to various commercial interests.

The document says:
 “The Council is exploring potential Leisure opportunities at Church House Gardens. Expressions of interest, subject to contract, are invited for Leisure and / or Catering projects. Interested applicants are asked to provide outline proposals.” and “Church House Gardens has been identified as having further potential for complementary leisure activities to enhance the attractiveness of Bromley as a retail and leisure destination” 

We had a meeting with a senior manager within the council’s Streetscene &Green Space (i.e. parks) department but, as this policy is being implemented by another part of the council administration we have written to the council Chief Executive further expressing our concerns. In brief these are –

  •  Although any new leisure facilities may be a public benefit we are not aware of any identified shortfall or deficiency in leisure facilities in CHG here –only an underuse of what we already have
  • Commercial exploitation of this park, similar to Queen’s Garden, in order to further increase the general council coffers. Any monies generated will not benefit any parks.
  • We question the need for catering since the Gardens are located in the heart of the biggest food outlet centre in the Borough?
  • No mention of planning constraints for the site (e.g. Urban Open Space policy, Town Centre Conservation Area). While the council insist that it is up to the tenderers to “find this out” we are suspicious as they have outlined many other stipulations in their document, but not the important planning ones.

We understand that High Elms Country Park has also been chosen as part of this pilot scheme. If deemed successful this may be rolled out in other parks.

We have fought, and lost, a 3 year campaign against the loss of part of Queen’s Garden to commercial exploitation and we therefore fear that Church House Gardens, and some other parks, could go the same way. We await the council’s response.