The Blenheim Centre is set to be demolished and replaced by a massive housing development with an 18 storey tower block at its heart. Almost no parking is included in the plan and a significant portion of the existing retail space will be lost.

In 2021, Bromley Council sold the freehold of the Blenheim Shopping Centre to the New Rivers Limited, who then sold the leasehold and freehold to the Hadley Property Group, which, in association with Clarion Housing plans to redevelop this site, building between 250 – 300 new flats in five tower blocks, with the biggest 18 stories in height. Click here for a visual guide to the new look High Street.

As a result, up to 750 people (true numbers as yet unknown) will become residents of the area, almost overnight.

Hadley’s plans for the area were posted in an online meeting on 24 September 2022. (See below). Part of the area ringed in blue will be the 18 storey tower block.

The plans are to provide mainly private (and expensive) homes, along with some social and so called ‘affordable’ housing (80 per cent of the market rate). However, it is unlikely that many affordable or social homes will ever be provided by this scheme. For more about the way developers fail to deliver any affordable housing, click here.

The plan features some retail space but less than we have now. There will be less space for the shops we already have and need – Wilkinsons, Iceland, Peacocks and some smaller retailers. These will be forced to close for at least two years and may never come back to Penge.

Critically, the new development features almost no residents’ car parking. Because Penge has good public transport, Hadley (in conjunction with the planning system) deems it unnecessary for new residents to have a car hence no need for parking. Lack of parking is already a serious problem for local residents and businesses looking to attract shoppers to the area. Adding 1,000 new residents overnight to the mix without the decency to provide anything more than token parking is simply madness.

Hadley’s current rampantly over-developed plan will destroy our familiar, friendly and much loved High Street and put in its place, disproportionate, unsympathetic and out of character towering blocks of flats.

Undoubtedly, this sudden and substantial increase in numbers in the local population will place an intolerable burden on an area with few resources and barely able to cope with the needs of the local community as it is. Critically, Hadley’s plans provide no additional essential facilities to help carry the load, including:

  1. No additional school places
  2. No new doctor’s surgeries
  3. No additional trains and transport
  4. No extra parking for vehicles
  5. No additional policing
  6. Limited additional public amenities, failing to address the lack of green space and other environmental concerns.

In other words, the development will go ahead, despite the destruction of the quality of life for the community in Penge. Unless we take action and raise our voices against it – and get behind a vision and version of Penge’s future we do want to see happen.

At present (December 2022) no formal application has been made by Hadley, but this is expected within the next few months.

Hadley like most developers, have a track record of forcing through developments against the wishes local residents.. Click here for examples.

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