The Council is set to introduce 20mph speed limits and other road safety measures around three Hayes schools. Baston Road and West Common Road will be subject to the new limits, which are focused on the roads closest to Hayes Secondary and Baston House Schools.
The Environment and Community Services Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee has recommended that the scheme go forward and the cabinet member responsible is expected to give it the green light in the next few days.
A related but separate proposal for a ‘School Street’ has been drawn up for George Lane, between Hayes Wood Avenue and Hayes Primary School. The scheme will go out for consultation before any final decision is made on whether to proceed with the tentative plans, which will see that part of George Lane closed to non-residents vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times.
The 20mph limit, which legally can only be advisory, will nevertheless feature permanent signs as well as being accompanied by an additional crossing point on Baston Road and improvements to existing crossing including larger traffic islands. The signs will be reinforced by flashing lights at school drop-off and pick-up times indicating when the limits are in force, though experience elsewhere has shown that the limits are effective in slowing down traffic throughout the day.
Your ward councillors are keen that the scheme should be just the next step in a series of measures around the ward aimed at improving road safety and tackling acute parking and other traffic issues.
Last week the appeal inspector allowed the planning application to build nine houses on the site of the farmyard and stables at Hayes Street Farm. The application had been refused by the council last year after a campaign by local residents backed by the Hayes Village Association and your local councillors, but following a public inquiry – held at our suggestion – the inspector allowed the plans, noting that the site has been previously developed and that it he felt it was not detrimental to either the conservation areas or the openness of the Green Belt.
We know that many (though certainly not all) residents will be disappointed in the outcome, but there is little scope for the council to appeal this decision. The only available route would be a judicial review which can only be brought if the inspector has erred in law or the process was materially flawed. From our discussion so far with council officers, there appear to be no such grounds.
During the hearing the applicants had, wrongly, suggested that the Council had misled the inspector over Housing Land Supply – a point which the inspector later ruled was irrelevant. However, he still ultimately found in their favour.
We will now be watching closely should the applicants attempt to modify their plans, as well as being vigilant for any further deterioration of the remaining open farmland.
Residents in Baston Road, Hayes Street and Hayes Lane should have a little more peace after today, as the HGV traffic to and from the Bromley South development is diverted.
Your local Conservative councillors, following approaches from residents – particularly those in Baston Road and Hayes Street – have been in contact with senior officers at Bromley Council and the contractors building the new development at the Bromley end of Westmoreland Road. HGVs travelling to and from the site had been trying to negotiate their way through Hayes Street and up through Baston Road – a route totally unsuitable for such vehicles and which had even led to an ugly recent altercation with a bus.
From now on, the vehicles should be using the more suitable A21, with some ‘in-bound’ lorries waiting in Oakley Road – away from residential properties in that area – until they are required on-site. While a few wayward drivers cannot be ruled out, the bulk of the problems should now be resolved.
At a recent planning committee, the application at 38 Hayes Street for a change of use to a fish and chip shop was approved.
Cllr. Manning, as a member of the committee, and Cllr. Reddin spoke against the application. They cited a proliferation of take-away shops in the Hayes district, the proximity to the Hayes Conservation Area, potential parking problems (particularly in the evenings) and late night disturbance, along with the issues raised by the Hayes Village Association and individual residents. Your councillors also expressed concerns that, regardless, of the accaptibility of a fish and chip shop or good intentions of the applicant, the “A5” classification that was allowed could also allow a different form of take-away to open in future without further permission.
Unfortunately the motion to refuse the plans was defeated by 4 votes to 3.