Planning Committee defers Studio application

At a planning sub-committee meeting on 12th August a decision was made to defer both the planning application and the listed building consent for the applicant to revise the proposed plans.

The meeting was represented by members of the Save the Studio Campaign, two of whom were speakers and representatives from West Beckenham Residents’ Association as well as local residents. WBRA will now be making a further written submission.

The result was well received and the applicant’s revised plans now remain to be seen.

WBRA writes in support of the Friends of the Studio

Founded in 1945

Jake Hamilton
Planing Department
London Borough of Bromley
Civic Centre, Stockwell Close
Bromley BR1 3UH

4 August 2010

Dear Mr Hamilton

Re 09/3281/LBC The Studio, 28 Beckenham Road BR3 4LS

This Association supports the objections from friends of the Studio to the application for internal alterations to this listed building. I have seen correspondence between you and Garnet Frost concerning the structural soundness of the drawings submitted in support of the alterations. The opinion of some of our members who are also construction professionals also indicate that these drawings and those on LBB website are difficult to interpret and therefore would be difficult to approve in their present form. I note your point that Building Regulation approval would be needed before work could be done, but the uncertainty around their feasibility must surely draw into question the proposals themselves.

This Association also supports Friends of the Studio in seeking full justification for the substantial internal alterations to this listed building. It is not clear to us that the proposed new uses of the building would require such substantial changes to be made.

Yours sincerely

Marie Pender

Beckenham Public Toilet Closures

You will have read in our last edition of our newsletter, The Review, how public toilet provision was under threat. West Beckenham Residents’ Association is campaigning against these closures. Voices are also raised in many other quarters including West Wickham Residents’ Association and Copers Cope Residents’ Association’s whose latest message to its residents on this subject is reviewed below –

The issue of whether to keep Beckenham’s public convenience operating, behind its little garden of flowers at the junction of the High Street and Kelsey Park Road, is coming up for further discussion by Bromley Council in late July or August, we understand.

The Council has already closed some conveniences elsewhere in the borough to save money and continues trying, luckily without much success, to get some quite unsuitable commercial premises to allow the public to use their toilets free instead, the “Community Toilets” scheme.

The reluctance to fund proper public conveniences in Beckenham has quite a history. Many years ago we appeared to be on the verge of getting one at the cinema end of the High Street, but finished up with one cubicle at the Sainsbury’s store, and that appears to be closed too often. Last autumn the Council’s Town Centres Review Group recommended consideration of a new public toilet near Beckenham Junction, a centre of the “night economy”.

There’s been silence on that, but not on the “Community Toilets” scheme. The overwhelming view of Copers Cope residents, at our Annual General Meeting in March, was that the policy of closure is totally unacceptable for Beckenham, especially for elderly and disabled residents. Our neighbours in the Beckenham Civic Society and West Beckenham Residents’ Association feel the same, and others from all over the borough voiced objections at the AGM of Bromley Residents’ Federation.

The last we heard was that in Beckenham only the Odeon cinema, Costa Coffee, and Waitrose had shown interst in the “Community Toilets” scheme, and a final decision on retaining our Public Convenience is still on hold. So there is still time for your to send your opinion to the Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Leisure, Colin Smith, at Bromley Civic Centre, BR1 3UH. If you value your right to be head, take the trouble to use it.