We sent the following email to Ellie Reeves:

I have been a resident of Penge for the past five years and am immensely fond of the area.

I was therefore alarmed to learn about the Hadley Group’s proposals to redevelop the High Street’s Blenheim Centre, demolishing the existing shopping precinct and replacing it with an enormous new housing development comprising five blocks of flats (including one that is 18 storeys high) and a small green area.

I expect you are already aware of the proposals, but my objections are fivefold.

  • First, the proposed accommodation, based on the precedent of other, similar developments within London, is likely to be priced out of the reach of the vast majority of local residents and, indeed, any prospective buyer. These five blocks of flats are therefore likely contain many units that remain empty for a long period of time – a terrible waste of space.
  • Second, the development will lead to the loss of crucial retail space along the high street – including the popular, low-cost retailers Wilko, Peacocks and Iceland.
  • Third, there is barely any residents’ parking provided within the plans. This is likely to lead to the local streets becoming overwhelmed with the new residents’ vehicles.
  • Fourth, the plans would potentially lead to the sudden influx of up to 1,000 new residents of Penge. There is no provision of added amenities for these new residents. No new school, no new doctors’ surgery, and no new trains or bus routes. This is likely to put a huge strain on local resources.
  • And fifth, the development is an eyesore that is likely to diminish local residents’ enjoyment of the area. Planting a 18-storey tower block in the middle of a low-rise high street will look plain awful; moreover, it will block out the light enjoyed by its neighbours, and will be visible on the skyline from miles away.

I should stress that I am not a ‘NIMBY’ and I believe that the provision of new homes within the area is important, especially affordable housing. In addition, I would welcome the redevelopment of the Blenheim Centre, provided it were in keeping with the rest of the high street and that sufficient supporting amenities are integrated within the proposals.

I believe both Bromley Council and the Hadley Group are motivated exclusively by making money from the project, and they are indifferent to the damage it will inflict on the local area.

A number of local residents are beginning to mobilise to stop the development, but we would of course, be extremely grateful for your support.

I therefore write to ask whether you too object to the Hadley Group’s plans for Penge and, if so, whether you would be prepared to help us in our fight to stop the development going ahead.

Yours sincerely,

The Stop Hadley Group


Ellie Reeves contacted Hadley and received the following reply, which seems to be surprisingly inept for an organisation which has a virtually unlimited budget for PR and ‘community engagement’.

Thank you for your email on behalf of Ellie Reeves MP.

We are in the process of working up proposals for the redevelopment of the Blenheim Centre in Penge, as part of our 50/50 joint venture with long-term partners Clarion Housing Group. The development will, if consented, include a range of new commercial uses, new homes (with at least 35% affordable housing), commercial parking to support local businesses and significantly improved landscaping and public realm.

Our engagement to date has been substantial, with a number of meetings with local stakeholders, ward councillors and residents. Our first consultation included an in-person consultation event and an online virtual exhibition which ran for a month. This focused on the development’s emerging themes and the scheme’s public benefits; these included landscaping, ground floor uses and commercial provision. This consultation received over 600 responses (online and in-person), with the vast majority positive and offering suggestions on potential commercial providers and offerings. We then followed this up with an online and in-person workshop where we shared early sketches and plans for the site and discussed the design’s evolution to date – including the development’s proposed heights and parking provision.

Note: Most of the above is not really completely honest. The created nonsense surveys, with questions like, “Do you want more green space?” and of course people responded that they did.

Parking Provision

As Ellie will be aware, the present car park is significantly underutilised. The top two floors were closed to create a Rooftop Art Gallery, something which has had zero impact on parking capacity levels.

Transport planning policies within the London Plan stipulate that new developments should include zero parking spaces. However, through engagement with the public and London Borough of Bromley we recognise that there are good grounds for on-site parking must be to be provided in order to support the surrounding commercial High Street. On-site traffic movement surveys demonstrate that the parking was operating significantly below car parking capacity and reaching a maximum of 23% occupancy. Additional parking surveys have also been undertaken to assess the on-street car parking stress levels surrounding the Blenheim Centre and to gage the car parking occupancy levels within the site. These surveys have demonstrated that the provision of an additional 24 commercial parking spaces will suffice to meet the demands of the High Street’s busiest day (both on Street and in the multi-storey car park) in the last two years.

Taking into consideration the London Plan 2021 car free residential parking standards for PTAL 5 locations and the desire to make the development as sustainable as possible, the residential development will be car free with the exception of accessible spaces. It should also be noted that we have an ongoing dialogue with Bromley’s Highways team, who are supportive of the principles of both of the above proposals.

As part of the redevelopment, we will also be providing a sustainable transport hub, which will provide affordable, zero-carbon transport options such as Brompton bikes and cargo bikes for both new residents and the wider public. We will also be providing two car club spaces, which will be equipped with active electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which will limit the need for vehicle ownership.

Note: The addition of up to 1000 residents will inevitably result in more vehicles. Although new leaseholders will agree not to have vehicles, this is impossible to police. Also, trades people, delivery drivers, etc all have company vehicles which will have to be parked somewhere – resulting in no parking being available for local residents.

More nonsense:

Height and Massing

We also understand that there are concerns from some local residents regarding proposed heights of up to 18 storeys. The designs have been through a number of iterations in order to ensure that the development can provides the quantum of housing required to make the development viable and still provide policy compliant levels of affordable housing and other public benefits from the redevelopment. The buildings have been designed with the input from the Townscape specialists, stepping down from centre of the site with the tallest element in the middle and mitigating impact to neighbouring residents as much as possible. A Daylight sunlight assessment will be submitted with the application, and we are working closely with our appointed specialists, GIA, to review the massing of the blocks and mitigate any potential impact of overshadowing to neighbouring buildings.

We understand that the proposals will be some of the largest to be brought forward in Penge, and residentials will naturally have reservations towards any change coming forward, but it should be stressed that much of our engagement thus far has been positive and productive. We understand a Stop Hadley group has been formed with five residents attending their well-promoted online meeting. We hope that the members of this group are able to attend our next round of consultation and share their concerns with us directly.

We will be hosting another round of consultation later this month, where we will share evolved plans with neighbouring residents and request further feedback on the proposals. This will include a virtual exhibition space, which will be available from 19th October, and two in-person drop-in consultation events where the team will be on hand to answer questions members of the public may have. Details of the consultation are also available via the attached flyer.

I hope this goes some way to alleviate some of the concerns. That being said, we would welcome a meeting with Ellie to further discuss the proposals and answer any further queries she may have. Please do let us know dates and times that may suit best for a meeting.

Note: Nobody mentioned 18 storeys in the original proposal. Now that they have, almost all local residents are opposed to the scheme. An online petition has already received almost 100 signatures in 2 days.

Sent by:

Mabel Ogundayo
Engagement and Social Value Lead

Hadley Property Group
Fourth Floor Shand House
14-20 Shand Street

4 thought on “Ellie Reeves MP – Questions and Answers”
  1. I trust you’ve contacted the local councillors, too? After all, they are more directly linked to this than our MP.

  2. Agreed with everything you stated in your email to Ellie Reeves MP. I fully support all your objections to Hadley project. I have signed The Petition and have sent emails and WhatsApp messages to my friends and aquaintances asking for help. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Marija – we really appreciate your support. When Hadley submit their planning application, we will let you know, and if you can submit an objection to their plan, it will really help to defeat the plans. This is the only legal way to oppose the plans.

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