Prominent Victorian house doomed to be demolished, January 2022

The final decision will be made by councillors at a planning committee meeting at 7pm on Thursday 20th January 2022.   

Situated on the corner of Downsbridge Road, at a prominent location near the brow of the hill between Beckenham and Shortlands, Coleridge House at 79 and 79a Bromley Road is a distinctive building from the late-Victorian era and one of the last remaining grand villa houses that once lined Bromley Road.  

The three-storey building is run by Riverside Housing Association (which also runs Calverley Close on Southend Road) and currently accommodates 12 self-contained social housing flats for the elderly and an adjoining, four-bedroom single family house (79a).  The £12M development involves the demolition of the entire building, replacing it with a five-storey block of 27 flats much bigger than the existing building, and an underground car park.  The proposed scheme comprises 5 No. one-bedroom, 17 No. two-bedroom and 5 No. 3-bedroom flats, providing space for up to 95 occupants.  

The Victorian Society has said, “Victorian villas such as this may be considered fairly common nationally, but within the local context, it is a rare survival. The house has both architectural and historical interest as a building representative of the growth of the area in the late 19th century, and as such, should be considered a local landmark and a non-designated heritage asset and its loss would harm the significance of the building and the contribution it makes to the local area.”  It goes on to say,“The two buildings in combination retain a vestige of the formerly leafy character of the area, and the loss of one would erode this character. If permitted, this could set a precedent for the piecemeal demolition of similar surviving larger 19th/20th century houses in the area.”

Bromley Council has committed to be carbon neutral by 2029 and, considering the UK’s national carbon reduction targets, we believe that retaining, refurbishing or converting existing buildings should always be preferable over demolition.

It is also very disappointing to see in their Affordable Housing Viability Statement that the developer, like many others involved in residential schemes in Beckenham in recent years, doesn’t include any affordable housing provision.  According to planning application documents, the smallest one-bedroom flat in the £12M development is expected to market for £325,000.  The developer’s claim that they can’t afford to provide affordable housing in the scheme, is unacceptable in our view.

The planning officer’s report can be found here

A list of the councillors who’ll be making the final decision at the meeting can be found here. 

Bromley Council survey on access to services – deadline 12/02/2021

Bromley Council are keen to seek views from the Voluntary and Community Sector on how access to the Council’s services could be improved for all members of our community.

They would like to understand whether there are specific groups of residents who you work with who find it difficult to access the Council’s services fully and how their experiences can be improved when interacting with the Council.

Please spend 5 minutes completing this survey. Simply visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LBB-EqualityReview2020.

Please complete the survey by Friday 12 February 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact engagement@bromley.gov.uk.

Free anti-pickpocket bells from Safer Bromley Partnership (February 2020)

Bromley Council is offering residents free bells for their purses and wallets to deter pickpockets.

Shoppers can pick up their anti-theft attachments at High Street charity shops, which alert them to any attempts to nab their valuables.

Supplied by the Safer Bromley Partnership, the bells are free at till points in Bromley, Beckenham and Orpington.

Customers picking one up are encouraged to make a small donation to charity.

Councillor Kate Lymer Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement said: “It’s easy to become distracted when browsing for shopping.

Bromley Community Safety Survey – January 2020

Bromley Crime Prevention and Community Safety Survey 2020

Every four years the Safer Bromley Partnership carries out a strategic assessment, which looks at all community safety issues in the borough. As part of this process, a survey is conducted to find out the community’s concerns in relation to crime, anti-social behaviour and drugs and alcohol.

The results of the survey combined with an analysis of all crimes that happen in the borough help Safer Bromley Partnership set the partnership’s priorities for the year.

https://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/200030/crime_prevention_and_community_safety/1364/safer_bromley_community_safety_survey

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and share with colleagues and residents.  It takes about 5 minutes.  Questions are closed and straightforward for ease of completion.

B&Q stores supporting local community with ‘Community reuse’ scheme

B&Q stores have been donating unsellable materials and products to their local community groups for many years. It’s a great way to reduce waste whilst helping out the community.

The types of material includes:

Wood, including off cuts and single use pallets
Plastic plant pots and trays
Part filled cans of paint. This might be used for a mural or for covering graffiti as well as for decorating
Broken tiles and slabs
Ends of wallpaper rolls
Plants that are not in peak condition and other compostable materials
Old products that have been written off

If your charity, community group, college or school would like to find out more, get in touch with B&Q.  They will add your details to their database of community groups. When a B&Q store has something to donate, they will use this list to get in touch with groups in their area.

Please note that B&Q cannot guarantee what will be offered or when due to the nature of the materials they are donating.

The community groups B&Q have worked with for as part of the Community Reuse scheme have included:

  • Community garden projects
  • Registered charities
  • Schools and colleges
  • Community Repaint
  • Youth groups, Scouts and Guides
  • Hospices
  • Preschool groups and registered child minders

For more information please contact your local store or email Community@b-and-q.co.uk.