Our Vision

We all know that Penge is not perfect, and needs regeneration and redevelopment – we don’t live in a museum! We also recognise that there is a shortage of housing, and that young people in particular are struggling to find affordable homes everywhere in London. However, we don’t believe that putting high-rise buildings in the heart of our Victorian high street is the answer – in other words, the Hadley’s solution is inappropriate and won’t work.
Here’s our vision of the future we could like for our town.
  • No new building should exceed the height of the current Blenheim Centre
  • The development should be of medium density, as opposed to super density, which is more aligned to the surrounding areas
  • The new housing development should include 35% of homes being either genuinely affordable or social housing as recommended by the GLA and this figure should be 50% of homes if built on land owned by Bromley Council
  • The housing needs to be a fairly even mix of one, two and three bedroom accommodation to reflect the housing need of the local community. A FOI request determined that currently the greatest need is for two bedroom accommodation with an even split between the need for one and three bedroom accommodation
  • There needs to be soft landscaping including green open spaces, seating, plants etc. This needs to be accessible to all not just the residents of new properties. The planned ‘pocket park’ will not satisfy this requirement.
  • There needs to be a community centre included in the plans which is accessible to everyone in Penge – something we lack at the moment. The centre could offer activities/ services targeting different audiences throughout the day and evening. It would be good if the centre had an IT suite for those without internet access
  • There is a need for a diverse retail offer, which means affordable rents for retail units. This could include boutique, gift shops and more niche provisions alongside traditional stores including budget stores.
  • Sufficient parking for new residents and visitors to Penge High Street
  • Additional leisure facilities such as a bowling alley, ice rink, escape rooms to attract further footfall to the town.
  • The development must be mixed use and not primarily a large housing development. Yes we want to see additional housing but also an improved retail experience with a diverse array of shops and a market, better landscaping, green spaces and improved leisure facilities that go beyond a traditional leisure centre.
  • Appropriate funding through CIL to support the infrastructure. To include ensuring adequate GP and dentist provision as well as educational provision for children aged 3-18
  • We want to be aspirational for Penge and hope that is something we can all agree on.
The Penge Preservation Society will be pleased to contribute to a supplementary plan for our area and provide a positive vision for the future of our town.
Here are the reasons we believe the Hadley plan won’t work:

1) The homes that Hadley are proposing to build will be not be viable for most people to live in – here’s why:

  • High-rise building are expensive to maintain and costly to heat, so even if the initial costs is low (They are cheap to build), residents generally find that maintenance costs and service charges are so high that they are unaffordable to live in. Even the GLA agrees that they are not a solution.
  • As the blocks will be very near a busy main road, residents will be disturbed by traffic noise which will mean that they will get no peace.
  • Studies show that people living in tower blocks are more prone to psychological problems.
  • The current plans allow for a tiny amount of green space – there will be nowhere for children to play safely.
  • Most of the flats will not be affordable. Only 50 of the 250 planned homes will be social housing.
  • The current proposals are that a large proportion of the homes will be one bedroom flats, whereas the greatest need is for 2- 3 bedroom units which can accomodate families.
  • Tower blocks are inherently unsafe in the event of fires – and often lethal – (Grenfell Towers). More on this issue in this article in the Architect’s Journal.

2) High-rise towers are unsightly and will be a blot on the landscape.

3) The scale of the development means that the infrastructure – doctors, dentists, transport, etc, will be unable to cope with the sudden influx of 750+ residents.