Biggin Hill Airport Lease Change Rejected by Council

(Left) Councillors Michael and Turrell met with the Airport CEO earlier this year on a tour of the airport where they challenged him on the concerns of local residents. (Right) Councillors Lee and Turrell attended the meeting of the local campaign group, Flightpath Watch.

In November, Bromley Councils’ Executive vote to refuse an application from Biggin Hill Airport to amend the terms of their lease, and allow spare seats on planes to be sold. The plans cause anger in the local community and as a local Councillor I have received hundreds of emails from concerned residents.

The airport has been the council’s tenant since 1994 where a lease was agreed which set out who was permitted to use the airport. If the Airport wish to make changes to this they must make a request to the Council. The latest application form Biggin Hill Airport followed a previous application that was refused in May 2021. The latest application differed in the detail of the suggested altered wording.

However, the Executive took the decision that the changes would not be in the interest of the borough and refused the application. Biggin Hill Airport have indicated that they will challenge the decision in court. Your local Councillors; Andrew Lee, Alexa Michael and Thomas Turrell will keep residents updated on this.

You can read the Councils statement at https://www.bromley.gov.uk/news/article/422/biggin-hill-airport-s-application-to-alter-lease-refused-again

Beckenham and Coney Hall Tennis Courts Set for Restoration with LTA Investment

Tennis Courts across the borough are set to receive thousands of pounds worth of investment to restore the courts, improve security and enable online bookings. This is part of a £30 million nationwide investment in improving the nations tennis courts, jointly between the Department of Culture, Media, Sport & Digital and the Lawn Tennis Association.

Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Kelsey Park and Coney Hall Recreation Ground are the three sites in the Beckenham constituency which will benefit from the funding, with Church House Gardens and Kings Hall Road courts just outside the constituency also set to receive funds.

The improvements, approved by Bromley Council’s Environment Committee will fund:

  • Church House Gardens – £65,515 will be used to resurfacing the courts, reconstructed area, removal of rigid nets, fencing repairs, along with installation of equipment to improve safety, security and management of the site.
  • Coney Hall Recreation Ground – £59,875 for the resurfacing of courts 1 to 4, replace fence posts, and also installation of new equipment to improve safety, security and management of the site.
  • Croydon Road Recreation Ground – £8,000 for the installation of new equipment for improving safety, security, and management of the site.
  • Kelsey Park – £4,000 for the installation of new equipment for improving safety, security, and management of the site.
  • Kings Hall Road – £4,000 for the installation of new equipment for improving safety, security, and management of the site.

Councillor Thomas Turrell, who represents Hayes & Coney Hall Ward said:

“This is welcome and fantastic news. The tennis courts are popular and well used. Additionally, the Friends of the Coney Hall Recreation Ground have put in a bid, with the support of local Councillors, to create transform the remaining courts. The investment in the tennis courts will help ensure the recreation ground can continue to be loved and enjoyed by the community for years to come.”

Councillors and MP Seek to Save Cannon Street Rail Services

Residents are set to lose their direct services to the City of London where many people work.

With the support of Bob Stewart MP and neighbouring Ward Councillors, the Councillors for Hayes & Coney Hall Ward are calling on Southeastern Railways to reverse the decision to remove services to Cannon Street from the Hayes (Mid-Kent) line from the 11th December 2022.

In September, Southeastern published their new timetable to take effect from December which included a number of changes across the area. Unfortunately, these included the removal of the Cannon Street services, which is to reduce use of a busy junction near Lewisham so that more services can be provided elsewhere. However, Councillor Lee, Michael and Turrell are frustrated that Hayes and Coney Hall Ward residents are losing services with no acknowledgement of the inconvenience and no without consultation.

The Councillors have set up a petition calling on Southeastern to reverse the decision to remove the Cannon Street Service.

Bob said:

“These timetable changes are a real mixed bag of news. On one hand I am delighted the long-running campaign to restore the Blackfriars service has been successful but am disappointed in the removal of the Cannon Street trains. Many people have bought or rented homes to live on the line and to have that direct access to the City. Removing the link will have a ripple effect and lead to more crowded journeys on buses and other train services.”

Hayes & Coney Hall Councillor Thomas Turrell, who works in the City of London, added:

“Removing this service will cause huge changes to people’s journeys. This is a major change to the services provided locally and Southeastern should have held a public consultation on their plans so that the views of local rail users could be taken into account. That is why we are petitioning Southeastern to reverse this change, we encourage people to sign the petition to show Southeastern the strength of feeling on this.”

Sign the petition at BeckenhamConservatives.com/Save-Our-Trains

Councillor Thomas Turrell on Southeastern’s timetable announcement

Thames Water Works – Addington Road

Councillors have been notified of traffic diversions which will be place for two weeks while Thames Water carry out some work. Details below:

Thames Water will be relaying a resident’s water service on Addington Road, West Wickham from Monday 22nd August for up to two weeks. The works have been split into two phases.

Phase 1 – The residential slip road between Croydon Road and Layhams Road serving properties 77 Addington Road to 133 Addington Road will be closed to traffic outside 81 Addington Road from Monday 22/08 for approx. one week. Traffic will be diverted into the opposite ends of the slip road during the closure period.

Phase 2 – Temporary traffic signals will be in place on the main road part of Addington Road, between the junctions of Croydon Road and Layhams Road from Friday 26/08 for one week. Thames Water have agreed to manually operate the signals during peak times.

Councillor Turrell Objects to 25m Commonside Phone Tower

Councillor Thomas Turrell has submitted a formal objection to the telecoms tower proposed for Commonside Car Park; citing concerns about the height, proximity to houses, loss of parking and damage to green spaces in a conversation area as the core reasons. In July Councillor Turrell met with residents in the affected area to listen to their concerns and about the alternative site residents would like looked into.

The planning application, submitted by an operator is for a “25m lattice tower (painted green) on concrete base supporting 6 no antennas (height to top 25m), 1no 300mm dish and 1no 600mm dish, together with ground-based cabinets within a compound formed by a 2.4m palisade fence together with ancillary development thereto.”

Following a meeting with residents, and communication with the Keston Village Residents Association, Councillor Turrell has submitted his objection making the following points:

Out of Character: The size of the mast (25m) is inconsistent with the conversation area and would be out of character with the area. Having spoken to residents I am aware they would be more supportive of the mast in a different location such as the car park between Baston Road and West Common Road which is further away from the properties.

Impact on parking: There are already a number of parking issues along Commonside. The Common itself is an important green space enjoyed by local people with two popular venues – Daisy Grey and the Greyhound pub opposite the green. This proposal would reduce parking in the Commonside Car Park and therefore increase strain on local parking infrastructure.

Damage to green spaces: This proposal would see trees and other greenery removed from Keston Common. Keston Village is part of a conversation area so that the character of the village can be protected.

Access to the Footpath: The equipment at its housing at the base of the tower could also restrict access to the footpath between the common and the car park. This could make visiting and enjoying the common more challenging for some in society which I why I am opposing this application.

Keston Village does suffer from poor phone signal. Councillors have not submitted an objection to the tower proposed for Westerham Road at the other side of the Village as this is set away from properties. Residents have also highlighted the car park between Baston Road and West Common Road as an alternative site for such a tower in recognition of the need.

Councillors have also called in the decision to ensure it is heard before one of the Councils’ Planning Committees and not decided behind closed doors. As Councillor Michael sits on a planning committee, she must remain impartial on this matter.

Councillor Turrell said:

“I thank residents for taking the time to meet with me and discuss their concerns. I also thank them for the thoughtfulness of identifying an alternative site and not dismissing the need to improve mobile connectivity in the Village. I have made a submission as the Ward Councillor to object to the current proposals and have discussed the matter with officers at the Civic Centre to address some of the other concerns raised with me. We have called in this decision to ensure it is a decision taken by elected councillors on the planning committee in public and not decided behind closed doors. The planning process must now run its course, but I hope the applicant will take the time to look at the alternative site proposed by residents before proceeding further with this proposal.”

This post was written on the 27th July 2022. Since the post was written and video filmed (in August) the application has been withdrawn. Councillors continue to monitor for if a revised application has been submitted, which has not happened at the time of publication.

Road Closure Notice – Croydon Road

Please see below notice of the overnight closure of Croydon Road which Councillors have received:

FM Conway will be closing Croydon Road, Keston overnight from Monday 22/08 whilst they complete essential street light replacement works for TFL.

Croydon Road A232 will be closed overnight for up to three weeks between the junctions of Baston Road and Prestons Road from Monday 22/08. The road will be closed on week nights between the hours of 21:00-05:00 on each night. The road will be fully open to traffic outside of these times.

Traffic will be diverted via Baston Road, Pickhurst Lane, Station Approach, Bourne Way and Addington Road in both directions.

Baston Road and West Common Road will remain open to traffic travelling Northbound (Bromley bound) / Southbound (Biggin Hill bound) but motorists will not be able to turn left/right onto Croydon Road A232 depending on the point of the closure.

Baston Manor Road, Hartfield Crescent and Prestons Road will be fully closed at their junctions with Croydon Road A232 during the night closures.

Access to all businesses in Coney Hall Village will be maintained via the Addington Road side of the closure/diversion only.

Challenging Thames   Water on Bursts Pipes  

Councillors Andrew Lee, Alexa Michael and Thomas Turrell have written to Thames Water to challenge the utility supplier on the number of burst pipes in the area, especially on Hayes Lane.  There have been two burst pipes in Hayes Lane since 2022.

Councillor Turrell has also submitted a Freedom of Information request to the organisation to find out the impact of these burst pipes on water waste and bills over the last few years.

The Councillors are acting after a burst on Hayes Lane in May which saw a driveway destroyed and some residents’ homes flooded. There was another, smaller water leak on 19th June, also in Hayes Lane.

Councillor Turrell said:

Firstly, thank you to the London Fire  Brigade for their swift action in May which helped reduce flooding following the burst. Councillor Lee and I called on residents in the area to check on and make sure no-one had lost power or water. Thankfully, disruption beyond the immediate area was minimal. However, local people did tell us that bursts on this road were frequent, so we are now trying to work with Thames Water to establish a plan on how future pipe bursts can be prevented”.

Read the teams full letter here:

Read Councillor Turrell’s Freedom of Information requests and responses at: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/water_waste_in_hayes_london_boro

Plans to Relocate Keston Post Office  

Over the summer, residents in Keston were asked their views by the Post Office to move the Villages post office from number 4 to number 19 Heathfield Road.

The plans would see the Post Office open a new convenience store in the village. All three Councillors supported the proposals in the consultation and have asked the Post Office to align the opening hours of the Post Office with the shop to better serve local people.

Plans for Hayes to Victoria Trains Dropped as Part of Franchise Change

Network Rail have confirmed to Bromley Council that previously announced plans to change rail services on the Hayes line from heading into Victoria instead of Cannon Street were dropped as part of the operator change in October 2021.

Network Rail also confirmed that should the new operator wish to look at these plans again in the future, this would be a new proposal which would have to go back out to public consultation.

Serving Hayes, Coney Hall, West Wickham Common and Hayesford Park