Bromley Council have refused planning permission for a new 1260 pupil secondary school proposed on one of the Borough's busiest junctions, the corner of Masons Hill and Westmoreland Road. "Common sense has prevailed" said LibDem campaigner Rhian Kanat. "The local residents group, led by the impressive Deborah Williams, have worked tirelessly over the last year, and put together a compelling case for refusing the application." Mrs Williams made an impassioned speech to the council committee asking them to recognise that while the school is a good concept the site for it was completely inappropriate. Thankfully the councillors agreed (10 voted to refuse, 2 opposed, 4 abstained).
However, this is unlikely to be the end of the matter as the school may well appeal this decision or amend the scheme and re-apply. We will monitor the situation and keep you updated of any developments whilst continuing to campaign for a suitable alternative site for this school. "We cannot forget that there is still a desperate shortage of places for year 7 children in 2022. This school was a good concept, it was just in the wrong place". The LibDems will continue to encourage the council to help the SHaW Academy identify a more suitable site for the school.
If you would like to be kept up to date with news on the progress of this planning application please register your details here.
Bromley Lib Dems opposed the site of the new secondary school for 1260 children at 1 Westmoreland Road (the old DHSS building). We recognise the desperate shortage of secondary school places in the Borough and therefore support the concept of this school with a focus on health and wellbeing subjects. However, the site chosen is deeply flawed:
1. The school’s tiny footprint - necessitating a 10-storey building with no playing fields and very limited outside space.
2. The school will be in an area suffering from high levels of air pollution.
3. Local transport links are already at capacity at peak times and are likely to be exacerbated in the absence of a comprehensive travel plan and the increased pressure on bus services whilst, in the opinion of TfL, vastly overestimating the pupils likely to cycle or take the train to school. Without coordinated efforts from key stakeholders such as TfL and the Council to improve cycling infrastructure in and around this site, children cannot be expected to cycle to this school.
4. Pedestrian access in and around the site is already far too narrow in several places and nearby pedestrian crossing islands are narrow and badly designed and only one crossing is set to be widened as part of the scheme; no development of this site should be permitted without a commitment from the council, the developer and other interested parties to redevelop this junction to improve pedestrian safety.
Please give us your support - sign the petition here.
Despite the many concerns the Council Planning Office Report has recommended that the scheme be granted planning permission.
The application will be heard at a special meeting of the Council's Development Control Committee on Wednesday 13 December at 7.30pm at the Civic Centre. It is a public meeting so do please join us there to help show the strength of opposition feeling amongst residents.
If you are unable to attend but would like to assist with the opposition campaign, do please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or @bromleytownlibdem on Facebook.