Councillors vote to contest high-rise development in Bromley town centre at appeal

Published Friday, 14 January 2022

A proposed development for a high-rise apartment block of up to 16 storeys, adjacent to the ​conservation ​area in Bromley town centre, will be contested by Bromley Council.

The inappropriate plans will be contested at appeal following the Development Control Committee’s ​unanimous decision on Tuesday 11 January.  Ward councillors for Bromley Town made representations against the proposal, with further objections also received from a number of local residents' groups.

The news follows the rejection of a previous planning application at the same Bromley town centre location for a smaller development. This earlier refusal was made on a number of grounds, including scale, massing, over-dominance and a lack of an accompanying masterplan.

The current application proposes demolition of the existing ​non-designated heritage building at 66-70 High Street, Bromley and ​its replacement with a block of 68 residential units and a large retail floor space​ over three floors.  The applicant, Matterhorn Capital, who did not provide all the requested information to the council, is now appealing to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds of non-determination. ​The applicant had not provided evidence that the scheme has adequate funding, that providing more affordable housing on the site is unviable, that the proposed children’s play area would be sufficient, and that the scheme could provide a net gain for biodiversity.

Councillor Alexa Michael, Chairman of Development Control Committee, said: “We have grave concerns about this application, including the overdevelopment of this site and the damage this ​will do to ​Bromley town centre.  We will be ​defending these views at the appeal, ​as well as ​making known the council's disappointment that not all the requested information was forthcoming.  ​No effort was made to overcome the committee’s objections to the previous application, including the excessive mass and height, the disregard for a 1930s heritage structure and a lack of affordable housing provision. We will therefore vigorously contest this appeal. ​Indeed, it would be inconsistent to refuse a smaller application but not to contest a larger application at appeal.”

The proposed development is on the western side of the high street at its junction with Ethelbert Road, on the site of the former Maplin store.


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