All posts by Cllr. Neil Reddin

Conservative councillor for Hayes and Coney Hall ward in the London Borough of Bromley.

Hayes Farmyard Development – The Latest from Rookery

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.

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Big Changes for Hayes Trains

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.

Hayes Farmyard Development

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.

Proposals for Hayes Farm

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.

Outlines of the new and existing buildings

The full plans can be seen here.

 

Bromley Town Centre – ‘Site G’ Plans Updated

The public will have a chance this week to see the latest plans for the next major redevelopment in Bromley Town Centre.
Aerial site view - Churchill Gardens-600x320
The area officially known as ‘Site G’ – between Ethelbert Road and the Churchill Theatre to the west of the High Street, is planned to include, according to the developers:

  • A new plaza and the creation of Churchill Square;
  • New homes, including affordable homes;
  • High quality retail and commercial space; and
  • Flexible community space to accommodate Bromley Town Vision Church.

The proposals, named “Churchill Quarter” have been recently amended and will be open to public view on:

  • Thursday 16th November 2pm to 7pm
  • Friday 17th November midday to 5pm
  • Saturday 18th November 10am to 2pm

… all at The Wells’ Room in the Churchill Theatre. From Monday 20th the developers will also post the latest plans on their website.

Stevenson’s and Bowls Club Proposals Unveiled to Public

stack_of_plans-639x852.jpgTwo 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.

Renaissance Retirement’s ideas for the Stevenson’s site can be seen at the Old Church Schools (next to the De Stefano showroom) this Thursday 9th November between 4 and 7pm

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.

Plans in the Pipeline for Stevensons’ Heating Site

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.

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We will watch the progress of the plans with interest and as always will welcome the views of residents.

A232 Crossing – Success At Last!

After many years of lobbying by residents and your local councillors, we can now confirm that work to install the new crossing on the Croydon Road, near the top of Hartfield Crescent, will commence on 6th November.

Transport for London (TfL) are also taking the opportunity to resurface the stretch of Croydon Road between Prestons Road and Baston Manor Road, so there will be short-term disruption.

The top of Hartfield Crescent will be closed from 6th November until 22nd December. Parts of Croydon Road itself will be closed during that period between the rush hours (9:30am to 3:30pm Monday to Saturday) and also between 8pm and 5am every night from 13th November to 4th December.

While this will cause inconvenience it will be worth the wait for residents and their children who will now be able to cross this major road in safety.

Bourne Way Shops Parking Overhaul Planned

A significant improvement for pedestrians and motorists is planned for the section of Bourne Way between Old Station Yard and Station Approach.

This small area is heavily used by both pedestrians, clientele of the shops and takeaways and short term parking. However, this makes for a dangerous and untidy situation.

Bourne Way at the top of Station Approach

The new plans will see the pavement relaid, proper parking bays set out and new cycle racks installed.

Kingsway Shopping Area Set For Improvements

Kingsway, Coney Hall

After some years of working with various groups, including traders and the Coney Hall Village Residents’ Association, we can at last report that plans have been unveiled for some improvements to the area of Kingsway in front of the shops.

The pavements are to be relaid and improved, and pay & display parking bays introduced on the western (‘Wickes’) side to ensure a better turnover of parking spaces.

Work continues in partnership with the Residents’ Association on plans for a notice board and other possible improvements, and we will continue to seek ways to discourage HGVs from venturing too far into Kingsway and beyond where they have been known to get stuck while turning round.

What’s Happening to Bromley’s Libraries?

Bromley’s Conservative Councillors have moved to dispel fears over changes to the borough’s libraries following a misinformation campaign by activists.

Some residents have been in touch with us recently about the proposals to ‘outsource’ Bromley’s libraries to a not-for-profit company.

The Council has confirmed that the proposed changes to the library service will not lead to a single library closing, or a single minute being taken off opening times. If the proposal is approved, the operator would need to run the same level of service or better.

The Council has spent a lot of time looking at the way it works in order to protect frontline services, bearing in mind the tough financial environment it’s facing. Over the next few years, Bromley has to find £24m of savings from a £192m budget. Doing nothing is not an option. It has long been recognised by councils of all political colours, that commissioning companies and charitable trusts to provide services brings value for money for the council tax payer and improved efficiency.

The proposal would keep all libraries open while reducing costs. The libraries would remain in council control, with professional librarians, but would be run by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) – a not-for-profit organisation which was established by a Labour authority to run their library and leisure services. It is virtually identical model to the charitable trust which has successfully run the Borough’s leisure centres since 2004. Staff will be transferred under TUPE regulations protecting their terms and conditions and membership of the Council’s pension scheme.

The savings would be achieved through economies of scale; GLL operates more libraries than Bromley council, so it has greater buying power – for example when purchasing books and computers. It could also reduce back office costs through avoiding duplicate tasks.  Public consultations have been supportive of the proposals. In a consultation of 1,837 people in 2014-15, 57% of respondents supported the option of the library service being run by a trust or charitable provider. This is exactly the proposal.

The council also continues to invest in libraries – with brand new ones opening in Penge, Orpington and Biggin Hill over recent years – and is looking to continue that trend, for example at Chislehurst library.