Developers of a proposed block of flats off Bourne Way have made some changes to the plans.
The proposals for a five storey block on the site of the current Bromley & Blackheath Harriers’ clubhouse have already caused considerable controversy. The main alterations are to reduce the size by four units (from 36 to 32), with the top storey being ‘stepped back’ somewhat from both the south-eastern (Prickley Wood) and eastern blocks. However, the visual impact of the flats largely remains from Prickley Wood, Bourne Way and even Hurstdene Avenue.
Some more detailed information has also been filed, including the operation of the ‘traffic light’ system controlling movement on the narrow access road, which now also includes a 1.2m pedestrian walkway. There is still a mention of a holding area for vehicles entering from Bourne Way which appears to rely on the cooperation of the landowners of Woodgrange Court.
We do support the plans for the Harriers’ at Norman Park and the community benefits that will bring, and recognise the importance of the Bourne Way development in supporting that vision. We have not met anyone opposed to the principle of residential development at the Bourne Way site, but we do agree with residents that any proposals must still be right for the area and minimise the impact on the surrounding community and we are highly sceptical that the current proposals achieve this. We remain concerned about a number of aspects of the development not least the height, access arrangements and general visual impact on the immediate area.
The plans are expected to go to a committee for a decision not earlier than 20th May. While the ‘official’ deadline for comments on the latest changes is 15th April, the council generally accepts submissions submitted a little later; nevertheless we recommend that any comments be made as soon as possible to ensure they are considered.
A new care home off West Common Road has been approved by the planning inspector after a successful appeal by the operators.
The plans are for a 60 bed facility on the old Hayes Common Bowls Club site behind Burton Pynsent House. The proposals were originally refused by the council who were concerned about the loss of Urban Open Space and highways issues among other factors. However the inspector last week overruled the decision.
The plans also include a new base for CASPA, a local charity working with autistic children, young people and their families.
It is not clear what impact the decision may have on separate plans, by another operator, for a care home on the old ‘Stevensons Heating’ site also in West Common Road. though in their submissions the operators of the appealed scheme cited a significant shortfall in care home beds over the next ten years.
An application to erect a phone mast in Pickhurst Lane has been made to the council.
The 56-day consultation by Telefonica has been submitted for plans to place a single pole mast with a number of external antennae in the forecourt of the petrol station at the bottom of Station Approach, by the entrance/exit on Pickhurst Lane. At 20 metres in height the mast will be roughly twice the height of the surrounding buildings.
As your ward councillors we have been content to see masts erected in the ward in the right places – after all, most of us use mobile ‘phones – but we have also opposed these where we’ve felt the siting of either the mast and/or ground infrastructure is inappropriate.
However, the height and number of antennae both proposed and planned in future is significant in this case and, despite our recent requests of the applicants, we have not yet seen any information about which alternative sites had been considered in this case.
A care home operator has come forward with plans to develop the former Stevenson’s Heating site in West Common Road.
Previous proposals in 2018 for retirement housing on the plot had eventually been granted planning permission last Spring for a 28 apartment sheltered housing scheme (reduced to 25 units a few months later). Unfortunately in the wake of the pandemic the plans could not progress.
The new scheme, which is very similar in design to its 2018 predecessor, now envisages a 50 bed care home. Residents can comment on the plans here.
Proposals to redevelop the site currently occupied by Wickes have now been submitted to the Council as a formal planning application.
The plans, which will see the current Art Deco façade renovated and extended and the rear of the site redeveloped, will comprise flats, two new retail spaces and a unit for community use. After consultations with your local councillors, the scheme now includes the relocating and reopening of the public toilets.
There has been no indication yet when any development would commence, should it gain planning permission.
The developers had circulated their ideas locally late last year and the proposals, available here are now open to formal consultation with the Council accepting views from residents until at least 19th February.
Plans are being drawn up for the renovation and redevelopment of the site currently occupied by the Wickes DIY store in Coney Hall.
Some residents will already be aware (and have received letters directly) from the developers about the plans, which are expected to be put into action when Wickes’ current lease expires.
The proposals will see the current Art Deco building preserved and extended with the addition of a northern wing (the right hand side) to mirror the south wing. The current adjoining offices on that south side will be replaced by flats with an additional block of flats replacing the current rear structure. In total 60 flats are to be included, together with new retail and community units on the ground floor of the current main building.
The developers have not yet submitted a planning application but are consulting with local residents until 27th October before finalising their plans to submit to Bromley Council. As your local councillors we have pointed out that residents may wish to contribute their views after the relatively short deadline and we are also seeking clarification on when Wickes’ lease will end.
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.
The plans for a block of flats at 143 Hayes Lane were refused by the council last week. After Cllr. Neil Reddin addressed a planning committee last Thursday night, two sets of plans – for blocks of nine and eight flats respectively – were turned down on a unanimous vote.
The grounds for refusal included traffic concerns, that the development was out of character and scale for the area and represented over-development of the site.
The developers now have six months to lodge an appeal against the refusal. If they do so, they will probably cite the government Planning Inspectorate’s controversial approval for flats next door at 145 Hayes Lane.
The plans to develop the farmyard at Hayes Street Farm have been turned down by the Council.
The refusal, made as a ‘delegated decision’ by planning officers, follows a flood of objections by local residents and us as your local councillors. In accordance with our request, the early refusal means the plans won’t need to go before a planning committee as they would have if officers had recommended approval.
The grounds for refusal are fairly comprehensive and include inappropriate development in, and loss of openness of, the Green Belt, loss of employment and commercial use, harm to the Hayes Village conservation area and setting of the Listed building.
It now remains to be seen whether Rookery Estates will appeal the decision, submit amended plans, or both. They have up to six months to lodge an appeal with Planning Inspectorate, but for now many residents will breathe a sigh of relief.
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.
Serving Hayes, Coney Hall, West Wickham Common and Hayesford Park