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>

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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.