In a disappointing decision, the planning inspector has overruled Bromley Council and given approval to a block of eight flats to be built at 145 Hayes Lane.
The Council had refused permission for the plans last summer, but in allowing the developer’s appeal, the inspector reckoned that “… in an area with a mixed street scene where relatively substantial buildings are far from uncommon, the proposal would appear as sitting comfortably in its context and be of an appropriate scale. The proposal would not harm the character and appearance of the area.”
The proposals are in ‘outline’ form with most matters, such as design and scale, to be decided by way of a further application.
The road resurfacing schedule for 2018/19 has been confirmed.
Roads for resurfacing are listed based on information such as technical inspections, input from residents (including the FixMyStreet website) and requests by us as your local councillors.
The roads on the list this year are:
Bourne Vale (part)
Five Elms Road
Hayes Lane (part)
Hayesford Park Drive
Other roads outside but close to the ward:
Church Road (Bromley Common & Keston)
Jackass Lane (part) (Bromley Common & Keston)
Hayes Road (part) (Bromley Town)
Westmoreland Road (part) (Shortlands)
The full report, as presented to the Environment scrutiny committee is under item 6b here.
We don’t yet know precisely when each road will be done and there is always the chance of some slippage in the schedule if, for instance, we experience a hard winter when resources have to be diverted into emergency repairs elsewhere.
Occasionally some rescheduling may also take place as a result of the need to coordinate with utility companies if they have some planned (non-emergency) works of their own, to avoid a newly resurfaced road being dug up just months after it’s been laid. Similarly, non-emergency works requested by utilities shortly after a relaying will also usually be denied.
After a number of requests from your councillors and the Hayes Village Association, the Council is set to tackle the long running issue of traffic congestion on Hayes Street.
A scheme that will widen the road, as well as controlling parking, especially at the key bottleneck points, should ensure that traffic including buses will be able to pass more freely through the street without encouraging speeding.
The road will be widened by up to a metre from a point near the war memorial down towards the rectory on the church side, while parking will be restricted on the same side from near George Lane, again down to the rectory. The plans, which the Council will be consulting residents on shortly, will be combined with a scheduled resurfacing in the early Spring.
The school in Baston Road, which specialises in children with autism, wants to expand to take in 30 additional pupils to bring the total capacity to 115.
To accommodate the additional parking the school proposes an extra 11 parking spaces on site, and an improved entrance and internal driveway is intended to eliminate congestion on the road outside the school.
However, the site is classified as Green Belt, so the school must show ‘very special circumstances’ to justify the development, which will see the built footprint increase by some 90%.
On this key point the school cites, among other factors, the increasing demand for this specialist educational provision and that the openness overall will not be materially affected with 60% of the site still open grounds. They also point out that the nature of the education means the ten classrooms would equate to 5 or 6 classrooms in a mainstream school.
As it lies in a conservation area, any proposals must also preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the area.
Few will deny the need for quality education provision for autistic children, and we are pleased that such a provision exists in the borough when the council is looking to reduce the number of SEN children travelling far outside the area for their education. However, the council and residents will want to be satisfied that not only are there sufficient arguments to allow such building in the green belt but also that the additional traffic generation will indeed be sufficiently mitigated and that the aesthetic design is appropriate.
As your local councillors we are generally supportive of the school and its work. However, we will be studying the plans carefully and would welcome the views – for, against or neutral – of residents.
The full plans can be seen on the council website here.
Following the submission of the plans for redeveloping the farmyard at Hayes Street Farm, your local councillors have been in pressing owners Rookery Estates for clarity on the future of the rest of the land.
The open farmland is not part of the development plans, and as ‘virgin’ green belt is heavily protected against future development regardless of whether the farmyard plans are approved or not. Understandably though, many residents are still worried about what may happen once the farm is no longer operating in its current form.
Rookery tell us that they “envisage having horses on the farm for the foreseeable future although these will be live out horses. No new livery buildings are anticipated. The fishing lake has been let for 10 years so [we] expect this to continue into the future”.
On the future of the boot fairs, George Hoeltschi “has been given permission to hold boot fairs for the next 2 seasons only but Rookery would probably need to curtail this after this year if planning permission is approved for the development”.
Questions remain though about how the future of the rest of the farm can be further secured. Local opinion is split on the boot fairs, but will the land still be viable with just the trout fishery and only live-out provision for horses, for example?
As regards the development proposals themselves, the application for the farmyard plans is open for comment until 24th January. As your local councillors we will be formulating our own detailed response to the plans soon and have already asked that the application is put before a committee for a public hearing, should the recommendation from planning officers be for approval.
Rail services from Hayes to Cannon Street are set to end under plans set out by the Department for Transport (DfT) late last year. However, new services are set to replace them.
The DfT is inviting train operators to bid for the South Eastern rail franchise from April 2019 with the major changes coming in December 2022. For the Hayes line the bid specification (pdf 93kb) demands the Hayes to Charing Cross service should run non-stop from Ladywell to London Bridge with, optionally, stops at Lewisham only in rush hour. However, a new service to Victoria will also commence which will include Lewisham stops and open up a wider range of South London stations such as Denmark Hill (for Kings College Hospital). There appear to be no plans for a Cannon Street service.
It was over three years ago that Transport for London controversially suggested an extension of the Bakerloo underground line to Hayes, which would have seen an end to any direct services to either London Bridge or the City. Those plans now appear to have been subsequently shelved.
These new plans, although coming from central government this time, will still see the more direct City link severed, though a London Bridge connection remains allowing changes for Cannon Street as well as Blackfriars and beyond with the completion of the new London Bridge station. The technical justification for the changes is to reduce train congestion around Lewisham and so make for more reliable services.
We would be keen to hear what Hayes train users think.
Plans for housing on part of Hayes Farm have naturally caused a lot of concern, and the detailed proposals have just been submitted to Bromley Council.
Hayes Farm is already due to close following the retirement of the farmer, the farm having been a part of Hayes life for centuries. The new plans are to build nine homes only on the area currently occupied by the existing buildings, many of which are dilapidated. The farmhouse, a listed building, is unaffected and there are no plans to build on the open farmland.
Many objections already made centre on the future of the wider site, which is not part of the application and is green belt which the council is committed to protecting. The proposals for the farmyard area won’t affect the status of that surrounding land.
As your local councillors we are taking a keen interest in the plans, and will be looking in detail at the proposals, with an eye to protect the green belt and openness of this part of Hayes.
Two significant new developments planned for West Common Road are to be unveiled in public exhibitions this month.
The proposals for retirement housing on the old Stevenson’s Heating site, and an unconnected plan for a care home on the old Hayes Common Bowls Club are both expected to be submitted to the Council within the next few months.
Carebase’s proposals for the former bowls club behind Burton Pynsent House (next to Hayes School) will be on display the following week at Hayes Village Hall on Wednesday 15th November between 3 and 8pm.
Residents near the old Stevensons’ Heating premises will shortly be seeing draft plans for a new sheltered housing scheme for older people on the site. The developers, Renaissance Retirement , will be contacting those living within a few hundred yards of the site to discuss their ideas before submitting a planning application, which they expect to do before Christmas.
Graham and Neil saw the plans yesterday with the developer and during discussions took the opportunity to stress the need for adequate off-site parking (though such schemes tend to generate lower traffic levels than ‘normal’ housing). They also noted that the architects involved appear keen to complement the building styles of the surrounding roads and to preserve as many of the trees along the edge of the site as possible.
We will watch the progress of the plans with interest and as always will welcome the views of residents.
Serving Hayes, Coney Hall, West Wickham Common and Hayesford Park