Object NOW!

Object now! We don’t have much time!

The planning system is designed to prevent opposition from local people and community groups – and so objections have to be VALID to have an effect. Please read this guide, choose your grounds and then email your objection to the Mayor of London and Peter Fortune, GLA representative. Please add some words of your own to personalise your message.

If you don’t have time to read this page, click here for our 5 minute objection guide.


Ground 1:

Adverse effect on the residential amenity of neighbours, by reason of (among other factors) noise disturbance, overlooking, loss of privacy (Not during construction though)


Residential amenity is not defined in law. In planning terms, ‘amenity’ is often used to refer
to the quality or character of an area and elements that contribute to the overall enjoyment
of an area. Residential amenity considers elements that are particularly relevant to the
living conditions of a dwelling.
Residential amenity has a significant and valuable impact on the way in which people use
their homes. The health and well-being of residents is often directly related to the level of
residential amenity occupants can enjoy.

Note: You can’t complain about noise during construction and noise from the flats after construction shouldn’t be an issue – it’s not a factory.

Examples of loss of amenity include

  • lack of light – eg if your garden will be overshadowed,
  • loss of privacy because you are overlooked.

This will completely change the character of the area and massively increase overcrowding, so if you live locally you could use this as a basis for objecting.


Ground 2

Unacceptably high density / over-development of the site.

Explanation: The development damages the open aspect of the neighbourhood. (As this will – many people nearby won’t be able to see the sky! ) The look and feel of Penge High Street will be irrevocably changed. The homes will be super-dense, as the majority will be in tower blocks. This level of density is undesirable in a generally low density neighbourhood.


Ground 3

Visual impact of the development

Explanation: Here, you can quote various parts of the Bromley Plan – see below. Obviously, tower blocks are going to have a serious visual impact. Nearly all the surrounding buildings are 4 storeys or less.

Note that Hadley have addressed this issue in their plans, but possibly on spurious grounds – here’s an example of what they say: (See their Heritage and Townscape Visual Impact Assessment for more). – their assertion that it will be ‘interesting’ is just a matter of opinion, not fact.

They now say that the slight reduction in heigh and a change to the colour of the skyscraper makes this a beautiful and life enhancing addition to the townscape of Penge. This is, of course, a matter of opinion and not fact.

Extract from their TVIA Addendum document:

The reduction in the overall scale and form of the proposals, factoring in the material amendments discussed below, are considered to allow the Amended Proposed Development to better respond to Penge High Street and other outlined townscape character areas. The proposals would marginally reduce the prominence of the development, through the height reduction, whilst maintaining their hierarchy and overall composition. The provision of the open frame crown allows the upper storeys to have a lightweight appearance against the sky and the revised massing of the lower blocks would allow for a gentler visual impact as seen from the High Street.

Policy 42 of the Bromley Local Plan:
Development Adjacent To a Conservation Area
A development proposal adjacent to a conservation area will be expected to preserve
or enhance its setting and not detract from views into or out of the area.
Supporting Text
5.1.7 A Conservation Area is a designated heritage asset and therefore its setting is a
consideration in the determination of planning applications that occur outside its designated

The development is right next to the Penge Conservation Area and there is NO WAY that it won’t damage it’s look.
Here’s their general policy on tall buildings which also affects the visual impact:

Policy 47
Tall & Large Buildings
Proposals for tall and large buildings will be required to make a positive contribution
to the townscape ensuring that their massing, scale and layout enhances the character
of the surrounding area. Tall and large buildings will need to be of the highest
architectural design quality and materials and be appropriate to their local location
and historic context, including strategic views. Proposals for tall buildings will be
required to follow the current Historic England Guidance.

Supporting Text
5.1.20 Tall buildings are those that exceed the general height of their surroundings and
cause a significant change to the skyline. Much of the Borough is not considered appropriate
for tall buildings due to the established suburban character of the Borough. However,
potential may exist for such development to be considered in town centre locations which
benefit from good public transport, exhibit an existing local built character that would allow
for taller buildings, and where no harm would be caused to heritage assets, the wider
historic environment or important views. The adopted Bromley Town Centre Area Action
Plan identifies potential sites for tall buildings within the town centre.

There is also a separate policy regarding the effect on the skyline:

Policy 48
The Council will require developments which may impact on the skyline to demonstrate
how they will protect or enhance the quality of the views, vistas, gaps and skyline
listed below.
Supporting Text
5.1.21 The presence of a view or vista listed below will need to be taken into account
in the design quality, configuration, height and site layout of new development or extensions
to existing developments which may impact them. Views will need to be considered to
ensure intrusive elements are not introduced whether in the foreground, middle ground
or background through a visual impact assessment. The Council will work in partnership
with neighbouring boroughs where there are cross-boundary views and settings so that
these are positively managed.

Hadley have submitted an amended TVIA (Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment) which states, in Section 5 that changing the colour of the bricks and lowering the main tower block by a few metres makes this grossly offensive building acceptable. Their computer images use perspective to make the building look smaller, but if you read the documents you will see that the new plans hardly make any difference.


Ground 4

Effect of the development on the character of the neighbourhood

Explanation: How will this plan change the neighbourhood? Obviously, where permission has been granted for one tower, this may set a precedent -and the low rise Victorian character of the area will be irrevocably changed, and possibly destroyed. Here’s a quote from the Bromley Local Plan:

1.3.6 A range of decent homes of different types and sizes are available and housing
supply is tailored to local needs. Any new housing complements and respects the character
of the neighbourhood in which it is located, paying particular attention to the density of
development, parking requirements and improving the choice of accommodation available.

Of the 230 flats, only 36 will be for social rent. Not enough to make any difference to the housing needs of local people.


Ground 5

The proposed development is over-bearing, out-of-scale or out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing development in the vicinity

Explanation: Overbearing is a term used to describe the impact a development will have on its surroundings, particularly a neighbouring property, in terms scale, massing and dominating effect. Overbearing planning is often a reason for rejection of planning applications since it is subjective and can also be overturned at appeal.

You can just use these terms in your objection. Massing really just means density.


Ground 6

Too tall:

Explanation: This building, at 18 storeys, 58 m high, contravenes both the Bromley Tall Buildings Policy (See above) and also the London Plan Policy D9. Read for yourself and choose which bits to quote in your objection. Note that the GLA have themselves stated that high rise buildings should not be used as a means of addressing the housing shortage. More here.

Policy D9 Tall buildings
A Based on local context, Development Plans should define what is considered
a tall building for specific localities, the height of which will vary between and
within different parts of London but should not be less than 6 storeys or 18
metres measured from ground to the floor level of the uppermost storey.
1) Boroughs should determine if there are locations where tall buildings
may be an appropriate form of development, subject to meeting the
other requirements of the Plan. This process should include engagement
with neighbouring boroughs that may be affected by tall building
developments in identified locations.
2) Any such locations and appropriate tall building heights should be
identified on maps in Development Plans.
3) Tall buildings should only be developed in locations that are identified as
suitable in Development Plans.
C Development proposals should address the following impacts:
1) visual impacts
a) the views of buildings from different distances:
138 The London Plan 2021 – Chapter 3 Design
 To table of contents
i long-range views – these require attention to be paid to the design
of the top of the building. It should make a positive contribution to
the existing and emerging skyline and not adversely affect local or
strategic views
ii mid-range views from the surrounding neighbourhood – particular
attention should be paid to the form and proportions of the
building. It should make a positive contribution to the local
townscape in terms of legibility, proportions and materiality
iii immediate views from the surrounding streets – attention
should be paid to the base of the building. It should have a direct
relationship with the street, maintaining the pedestrian scale,
character and vitality of the street. Where the edges of the site
are adjacent to buildings of significantly lower height or parks
and other open spaces there should be an appropriate transition
in scale between the tall building and its surrounding context to
protect amenity or privacy.
b) whether part of a group or stand-alone, tall buildings should reinforce
the spatial hierarchy of the local and wider context and aid legibility
and wayfinding
c) architectural quality and materials should be of an exemplary standard
to ensure that the appearance and architectural integrity of the
building is maintained through its lifespan
d) proposals should take account of, and avoid harm to, the significance
of London’s heritage assets and their settings. Proposals resulting
in harm will require clear and convincing justification, demonstrating
that alternatives have been explored and that there are clear public
benefits that outweigh that harm. The buildings should positively
contribute to the character of the area


Ground 7

The loss of existing views from neighbouring properties would adversely affect the residential amenity of neighbouring owners

Explanation: Enough said – have a look at Hadley’s pictures and decide for yourself if your views will destroy your residential amenity. If you live in Colman house you are going to have a fantastic view of a concrete building. Click here.

Ground 7A: Views from and setting of listed buildings in the vicinity:

The planning documents contain Hadley’s own computer generated image of the tower from the gardens of the Watermen’s Cottages: Damage to the setting of the cottages is a ground for objection in its own right.


Ground 9

Loss of light / overshadowing (Note, if you are affected you may be able to take civil action)
Note: This is an important issue: See this page for full details.

Explanation: This could be a big problem for Hadley: 9 and 18 storey buildings cast big shadows. If you are a resident of Colman House, you are going to be in perpetual darkness. If you think you may be affected, read Hadley’s lighting survey carefully: Effect on sunlight – neighbouring buildings. Perpetual darkness for some?

Note carefully the conclusion in part 7, which says, in effect, unless misinterpreted, that a large number of properties will be badly affected, (breach BRE Buildings Research Establishment) guidelines, but their development is of such value to the community that the council should ignore this issue.

Even if you are not affected, you can still use this as a valid objection – who wants a dark overshadowed High Street? People who are affected may be able take legal action totally outside the planning system.


Ground 10

Setting of listed buildings – there are quite a few nearby

Explanation: If you are a resident of the Watermen’s Cottages, or any of the other listed buildings, you should look carefully at Hadley’s visual impact survey – it is entirely possible that your views will be ruined. The same applies to other listed buildings. Here’s a list:

See also objection 7A, above.


Ground 11


Reduced to around 24 spaces. This is based on the Public Transport Accessibility Level. The PTAL rating is too high, given that the direct services to London Bridge have been terminated from Penge East, and there have been general reductions in services. Worth putting in an objection on that basis – if the PTAL rating is lowered, more parking should be provided.

Also, there could be an economic argument that the local businesses will suffer because customers won’t be able to park. This particularly applies to the Designer Drapes shop – people are unlikely to want to pick up curtains and blinds on public transport.

More information:

(PTAL – Public Transport Accessibility Level) – a measure created by the GLA to determine how good public transport is in an area.

Unfortunately, the London plan is against us:

After reading the planing statement it says with regards to car parking and the PTAL that “ 6.11.12 Policy T6.1 (London Plan) states that “these standards are a hierarchy with the more restrictive standard applying when a Sitefalls into more than one category”, so the development should be car free.”

This might not be the best reason to challenge the development on.


The London Plan T6 states that wherever possible, developments should be car free, but the residential parking required or permitted is dependent on PTAL (Public Transport Accessibility Level) rating.

Hadley say that most of the site is in PTAL 5 where no parking is required: See map below – the site is split betwen PTAL 4 and 5:

Here are the maximum parking spaces recommended in the London Plan:

Those dwellings located in PTAL 4 should have up to 1 space per dwelling.

The Bromley Plan 4.0.8 states:

4.0.8 The use of the minimum standards in Table 1 uses the flexibility provided by the
London Plan to ensure that, as far as possible, parking at new developments is sufficient

We need to determine the number of units in the PTAL 4 sector, and their number of bedrooms. Based on that, the number of required parking spaces can be calculated.

In addition, the current PTAL rating was created before the train services in the area were drastically cut. Clearly there are grounds to appeal the rating, which would change the validity of the plans altogether.

Explanation: Currently, the Hadley proposal will mean almost no parking anywhere in Penge. Everywhere will be residents only, and if you live in the new towers you won’t be allowed to have a permit. If you are a business and your trade will be affected, you may have further grounds to object.. Take a survey of your customers and present it as evidence that no parking=no bizz.


Ground 12

Nature conservation and wildlife

Explanation: Is the building home to protected species like bats? If it is, you could halt the application altogether. This is a specialist area – if someone knows more about this please get in touch.


Ground 13

TV reception could be badly affected up to a kilometer away?

Hadley conducted a TV and radio reception survey, and determined that, not surprisingly, 18 and 9 storey buildings will have almost no effect on TV or DAB reception locally.

Surprisingly, the methodology of the study was to test reception at 10m above the ground – the top of a 3 storey building. However, at ground level, when listening to a portable DAB radio, for instance, the footprint could be much larger – this is speculation, however – possibly as large as TP4 – (the thin line is an addition to the original document.)

If you live up to a kilometer away you may find that your reception of both DAB radio and TV is affected – no study has been done at, say, 2 metres, which would be the height of a ground floor living room to determine if this is the case.

Very little mention is made of multipath interference, which is where TV signals reflect off a building and interfere with each other. The possible inadequacy of the study is a definite ground to object, if you live within a kilometer radius of the site.

Useful links:

Issues you can’t use to object validly:

As you can see, the list does not include issues like the effect the sudden massive influx of new residents will have on our neighbourhood. That may be a reason for a person wishing to object, but only the above grounds are valid reasons to formally object for planning purposes.

When the proposals have been examined in full, we will provide a full and comprehensive guide to how to object.

Be aware that councils cannot take into account matters which are sometimes raised but are not normally planning considerations such as:

The perceived loss of property value
Private disputes between neighbours
The loss of a view
The impact of construction work or competition between firms
Restrictive covenants
Ownerships disputes over rights of way
Fence lines etc
Personal morals or views about the applicant.
Please note: it is important to understand that the material considerations relevant to any particular application will need to be weighed in the final decision process according to their seriousness and relative importance.

There may be other valid objections – if you know of any, please let us know!


Send in your objection

Send your objection to mayor@london.gov.uk and cc peter.fortune@london.gov.uk.