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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.