Rumours have been circulating about the future of the Stevenson Heating premises in West Common Road.
There have been significant changes to the business including a management buy-out, though happily Stevenson Heating will continue to trade, as they have for nearly 90 years. However, we understand that an interest has been shown in the current site for use as a residential care home or ‘assisted living’ scheme.
Clearly such a proposal will need to go through the planning process, but your Conservative councillors will be keeping a close watch for further news.
The mobile ‘phone mast proposed for the green at the junction of Birch Tree Avenue and Queensway was turned down by a council planning committee last night.
The committee heard representations from both residents’ associations and Cllr. Graham Arthur, who cited the quality of consultation, lack of explanation as to why alternative sites had been ruled out, and the potential harm to the openness of the green caused by the equipment cabinet. The committee then agreed unanimously to reject the bid by Vodafone and Telefonica (O2).
Pre-empting accusations of ‘Nimbyism’, Cllr. Arthur had pointed out that an application for another, more appropriate, site in the ward had recently been approved without opposition from local councillors.
The refusal comes after last year’s plans to erect a taller mast on another green, at the junction of Kingsway and Gates Green Road, were turned down on similar grounds.
Bromley Football Club, following their successful promotion to the Vanarama Conference Premier League, have unveiled plans for a new South stand, together with additional facilites.
We understand an upgrade of the stand is necessary under league rules, but the plans also include “a multi purpose facility with badminton, volleyball and indoor cricket facilities, a café and viewing boxes”. The proposals will undoubtedly garner a lot of interest, particularly among the club’s neighbours.
Plans have been put forward to erect a mobile phone base station at the junction of Gates Green Road and Kingsway. The site – the small triangle of green where the two roads meet – has been selected by contractors working for Vodafone, and seeks to upgrade coverage in the area to the modern 4G standard.
However, consultation has been poorly carried out so far, and test drilling has taken place in front of bemused residents – confusion added to by false claims the work was being done by the council.
Now a ‘planning application‘ (though technically a formal consultation) has been submitted and residents have until 18th June to make representations. We are certainly not opposed to an improvement in infrastructure in the ward; however, although the mast itself is in the style of a tall lamppost, the four accompanying equipment cabinets may well prove the unsightliest aspect. Apart from the significant ‘footprint’, the boxes will take up a prominent place in the street scene, with little in the proposals to address this.
UPDATE 24/6: The application has been refused by the council.
Proposals have been submitted for motel-style accommodation at the New Inn in Station Approach.
The planning application for twelve ‘letting rooms’ in a separate building to the pub, envisages the project being built to the rear, on the Station Hill/Ridgeway side of the site.
The views we’ve received so far range from outright opposition in principle, to concerns over specific aspects such as the size, location, traffic issues, loss of trees and effect on the street scene, among others. Some are supportive of a prominent local business seeking to enhance its viability, but many still take issue with aspects of the proposals as they stand.
We would expect the proposal to come before a planning committee towards the end of this month.
An application for a licence to sell alcohol at the service station at the bottom of Station Approach has been withdrawn after a knock-back from the licensing committee.
At a hearing recently Cllr. Graham Arthur, on behalf of residents, had argued against the application, following which the bid was deferred in order to gather data on the number of potential customers and other aspects. Shortly after, however, the application was formerly withdrawn by the applicant.
A quick round-up of progress – or otherwise – on some planning and licensing applications around the ward:
Following a previous refusal and input from your local councillors, the Council has approved amended plans for the old trade union offices at Hayes Court on West Common Road. The development will restore the old house and replace the old outbuildings with new homes, as well as allowing public access to the grounds.
The hearing into an alcohol licence for the service station at the bottom of Station Approach has been postponed until the new year after questions were raised about the level of trade in the shop compared to the sales of fuel.
A planning application for the old All Saints school site in Layhams Road is expected to go before a planning committee soon, with the number of houses slightly reduced since the original plans were made public last year. Some residents have previously expressed concerns about traffic levels, the effects on the preparatory school and listed buildings nearby and impact on the green belt.
The former warden-assisted flats at Hayes Place, Bourne Vale, are now disappearing behind hoardings as builders prepare to demolish the blocks. Developers will then build twenty-six new houses and eight flats under plans that were eventually approved, after a number of revisions, nearly a year ago.
The new development, for Affinity Sutton, is the culmination of a long process which, after intervention by your local councillors, saw a notable reduction in the number of units to minimise housing density on the site, and the inclusion of flats that will be particularly suited to the elderly or less able-bodied residents.
We are aware that local neighbours are concerned at the parking situation, particularly in Chilham Way, and the mess that is arising from the works, as well as the area of the green being used by the builders. Although this is of course a temporary situation we will be watching closely to see that the impact on the local area is minimised as far as possible.
Revised proposals have been submitted for the former trade union headquarters at Hayes Court in West Common Road.
London Square hope to restore the old mansion at Hayes Court and build new houses on the site. They have now removed one of the four contentious houses on the west of the site (and rearranged the layout), close to the boundary with Hayes Common, as well as making changes to the hard and soft landscaping features. The increase in ‘built footprint’ has now reduced from 48% to 28%, and the developers have sought to address the concerns expresses by the planning committee last time, when the original plans were refused because of the effects on the openness of the site and on the common itself.
The proposed restoration of the listed house are of a high quality and the later additions to the site probably won’t be missed, but any form of new build here will be a sensitive issue.
The full plans can be found here and the public consultation period ends on 23rd July. Please also let us know what you think, as we will be making representations to the committee on your behalf.
Serving Hayes, Coney Hall, West Wickham Common and Hayesford Park