The GLA have withdrawn their pre-approval for Hadley / Clarion’s plans to demolish the Blenheim Centre in Penge and replace it with 18 storey tower blocks.

On 9th March the GLA wrote to LBB stating that the Hadley plans complied with the London Plan, and therefore no referral to the Mayor of London was required. They also sent a case report.

In their letter they stated the following:

The Deputy Mayor considers that the application complies with the London Plan for the reasons set out in paragraph 109 of the above-mentioned report; and, pursuant to Article 5(2) of the Order, the Mayor does not need to be consulted again. Your Council may therefore proceed to determine the application without further referral to the Mayor.

However, paragraph 109 of the case report stated the following:

London Plan policies on land use principles, housing, urban design, heritage, sustainability, environment, and transport are relevant to this application. Whilst the proposal is supported in principle, the application does not fully comply with these policies.

A sharp eyed member of the Stop Penge Tower Blocks Facebook group noticed that the two statements were inconsistent with each other and emailed the GLA, who responded that the letter had been sent in error and re-sent it, this time without pre-approval.

Conspiracy theorists might conclude that this was not ‘just a bureaucratic error’, but in any case, the issue has now been resolved thanks to quick action by a Penge resident. There may well be more ‘innocent’ mistakes, so if you spot any issues with any of the documents, don’t hesitate to contact the Bromley Case Officer and/or the GLA.

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