Objections Received – Summary

Objections were received from the following organisations. To date, no major public body or organisation has supported the proposal.

London Fire Brigade – Objection

We note that the updated design for the height of Block A has been reduced to below 18m however it is noted that the height of the building is identified at 17.7m and is reliant on a single staircase. We draw your attention to the announcements from government stating their expectation that multiple staircases will be required in residential buildings above 18m. Whilst we note that transitional arrangements will apply, it is the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC)’s position, as stated in the December 2022 NFCC ‘Single Staircases Policy Position Statement’ that
all residential buildings over 18m or seven storeys in height should be provided with multiple staircases. We therefore do not see this as deferring to the spirit of the guidance used and doesn’t ethically justify this decision.

Historic EnglandObjection

Historic England objects to these proposals because of the harmful impact the 18-storey building would have on the predominantly suburban character of the historic environment in this part of the borough. We would urge your Council to refuse this application and seek more modest forms of development for this site

Victorian SocietyObjection

The Victorian Society’s attention has been drawn to this application. Having reviewed the documentation, we object to the proposals.
This proposal would be harmful to the historic character of Penge and the setting of nearby designated and non-designated heritage assets. We urge your authority to refuse this application unless very substantial amendments are made which would see a development on a scale appropriate to its sensitive surroundings.

Advisory Panel for Conservation Areas Objection

While the existing centre is very poor in its design and concept these replacement scheme, in particular the taller element, is seriously alien to the predominantly low-rise Victorian character of the immediate area and to the setting of the adjacent Conservation Area and other nearby CAs due to the dominant scale and sprawl of the proposals. We do not believe whatever perceived public benefits from the scheme outweigh the obvious harm to the immediate setting of the adjacent Town Centre Conservation Area, setting of other adjacent Conservation areas or setting of Locally and Statutorily Listed buildings within or adjacent to the site. Policies 37 , 38, 39, 41, 42, Draft Urban Design Guide SPD.
Note: the applicant’s visuals are based on wide angle photos which create a false impression of diminishing scale in relation to background and foreground i.e. the impact of the scale of the development will be much greater in reality than that shown.

CPRE London – Objection

In its current form, this proposal for an eighteen-storey tower is not an example of best practice in gently increasing population density but rather of town cramming. The scale of this development should be dramatically cut to more in the region of 5 to 8 storeys at the absolute maximum.

Alexandra Residents’ Association – Objection

We conclude that the proposed overdevelopment of the Blenheim
Centre by Hadley Property Group and their partner Clarion Housing Association fails to comply with the majority of policy requirements under NPPF, Bromley Local Plan, GLA London Plan with the harm far exceeding any claimed public benefit.

West Beckenham Residents’ Association – Objection

WBRA urges LB Bromley to refuse this application for high rise development. We urge the council to continue its policy of resisting high rise development in the Borough. Eighteen storeys is far too high for this part of Bromley. Beckenham is also under pressure from applications for high rise buildings which we do not wish to see, so we support our colleagues and close neighbours in Penge in objecting to the application.

The Blenheim – Arpley Estate Residents’ Association

The Blenheim – Arpley Estate Residents Association objects to Hadley Property Group and Clarion Housing Association proposed redevelopment of the Blenheim Centre. We are fully aware that more homes are required in Bromley, and this area would benefit from some regeneration. However, this area already has many new housing schemes which are in keeping with the neighbourhood. This application will change the skyline and alter the character of the area.

Avington Grove Residents’ Association – Objection

The Avington Grove Residents Association would like to object to the revised planning application for the development of the Blenheim Centre on Penge High Street on the grounds that the changes made to the original proposal (to which many of our members objected) are inadequate. The reduced height will still be too imposing, causing a loss of light and introducing a tall building to the area which is out of keeping with the low rise surrounding development. Although members of the association agree that the London wide housing shortage must be addressed, they do not feel that the proposed development – right in the centre of the busy shopping area – is the the right place.

Friends of Penge Recreation Ground – Objection

We are concerned that kestrels or sparrow hawks that sometimes visit the park from the spire of St Johns might not come anymore because of disruption and noise from building works. We also have frequent sightings of bats.

Housing around the development would suffer from loss of light.

The building works and lack of car parking spaces would have a detrimental effect on the High Street shops.

It would cause significant harm to the Penge’s heritage assets and conservation areas, is visually jarring, and is thoroughly out of keeping with the predominantly low rise Victorian sky line.

Penge SE20 BID – Objection

The BID acknowledges that the existing centre has few merits and that elements of the redevelopment will provide community and green spaces, but this must not come at the cost of the existing business community.

Penge Forum, Community Association for Penge and Anerley – Objection

On Wednesday 8th February 2023, Penge Forum, held an open meeting at the Melvin Hall, Penge, attended by well over 100 people to discuss the plans for redeveloping the Blenheim Centre. The general tone of the meeting was overwhelmingly against the proposals. Although most people attending accepted that a redeveloped Blenheim Centre could have advantages for Penge and the High Street, the vast majority thought the proposals were inappropriate and would be harmful to the area.

Bromley Friends of the Earth – Objection

The design of the complex is of a dominating over-powering nature and the main high rise is aesthetically unpleasing both in shape and use of materials. The effect on the infrastructure in an area where there are already high demands, would be unsustainable.