Bromley town centre masterplan 'monster towers' worry civic society

Local Democracy Reporter - Bexley, Bromley & Greenwich

A community group has pledged to fight council proposals that would “squeeze monster towers” into Bromley town centre.

Bromley Council is consulting with residents on its Town Centre Masterplan, which sets out the vision for more than 1,200 homes, shops and community spaces.

The council is asking for feedback on ideas for the heart of itsmasterplan site, which extendsalong the west side of the High Street from Bromley South station to the Churchill Theatre, and formerlyreferred to as ‘site G’.

According to consultation documents, there is scope for this redevelopment to bring 1,230 homes and six towers up to 15 storeys tall, creating a new neighbourhood over the next two decades.

Following concerns raised by ward councillors that the proposals are “unimaginative”, the Bromley Civic Society has now pledged to “fight” the plans for tower blocks.

Peter Martin, vice-chairman of the society, said: “Few would argue with the need for more housing but this is over the top.

“Too much is being squeezed into a small area with many high buildings that would drastically change the whole character of our town.

“The tallest building is shown on the highest part of the site radically affecting the skyline. There is also the inevitable ‘landmarks’ and ‘gateways’ referred to throughout the document.”

A planning application for the northern part of the masterplan site, known as the Churchill Quarter, was submitted earlier this year and has been consulted on separately.

On those plans, Mr Martin said: “Bromley Civic Society and many others have objected to the ‘Churchill Quarter’ proposals because of its height, bulk and impact on Library Gardens. But the Churchill Quarteris just the first phase – there are two more monsters of that size to come according to the masterplan.”

The council has announcedit is extending the consultation period on ‘site G’, encouragingresidents to have their say on the project.

The consultation currently under way is about the location, mix and amount of development that could be delivered in the town centre to ensure “the right framework exists to support development”.

Respondents now have until September 14 to comment on the masterplan proposals.

Councillor Peter Morgan, executivecouncillor for renewal, recreation and housing, said: “We would like to thank those who have already responded to this consultation and I am pleased to confirm that the consultation period is being extended.

“Part of the masterplan includes proposals to retain historical features within the site, with no listed building being proposed to be demolished and improved access to nearby green space.

“Also, although phase one of the site is subject to a current planning application, it is important to note that the consultation covers the wider site.

“This consultation is not about the principle of development, including for housing, which is already established, but rather the location, mix and amount of development that will be expected to be delivered.”

Questions can be put to the councils town centre team at the Glades shopping centre, near Holland &Barrett, on the following dates:

Thursday 23 August from 4pm-8pm

Friday 31 August from 10am-4pm

Saturday 1September from 10am-4pm

The plans can also be seen here.

According to the Mayor’s London Plan, town centres should be one of the priorities for developments.

The plan says: “Building more housing as part of the development of town centres will also be important, providing homes in well-connected places that will help to sustain local communities.”

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