Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Jo Partridge  020 8461 7694

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Robert Goddard – Thackray Williams LLP, Jim Kehoe – LBB Chief Planner, Mike Lewis – Michael Rogers LLP, Colin Maclean – Community Links Bromley, Stella Marshall – LBB NEET Support Programme Officer, Kevin Munnelly – LBB Head of Renewal, Suzanne Sharp – NewsQuest and Dave Warnes – Bromley College of Further and Higher Education.

2.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13TH OCTOBER 2015 AND MATTERS ARISING pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13th October 2015 were agreed, and signed as a correct record.

3.

PRESENTATION FROM CATHEDRAL HOTELS LTD ON HOTEL DEVELOPMENT AT THE OLD TOWN HALL, BROMLEY

Minutes:

Mr Kevin Foster, Development Director, and Mr Jeremy Wall, Director – Head of Hotels, Cathedral Hotels provided an update on the proposed hotel development at the Old Town Hall, Bromley.

 

Cathedral Hotels were hotel developers and operators. Properties in their portfolio included hotel, conference and wedding venues – Eynsham Hall in Witney, Oxfordshire and Devonport House in Greenwich, and The Bell Inn, a gastro pub in Ticehurst.

 

Planning consent for development of the Old Town Hall had been granted at the end of 2015, and involved re-use of the existing building. The development would provide 120 full-time equivalent jobs in Bromley town centre, as well as £6m per year in additional spend and £15m in Gross Value added. The 4 star standard hotel would consist of 99 rooms, a restaurant, bar, conference room and two leased restaurants, for which operators were currently being sourced. The adjacent residential development on South Street would consist of 53 apartments (1, 2 & 3 bed units), 26 parking spaces, cycle parking, and landscaped grounds.

 

The Chairman enquired about the programme of works. Mr Wall answered that they were currently working through planning conditions, and hoped to start works in the Old Town Hall by the end of 2016. The hotel was scheduled to open in early 2018, following an 18 month building programme. The residential site on South Street was expected to be completed on the same timescale.

 

Mr Robert Sargent, Acorn Commercial, asked for further details on the back-of-house arrangements. Mr Foster answered that Cathedral Hotels had employed a specialist to look at how to organise waste, deliveries and access into the basement, and findings were currently being evaluated. It was proposed that there would be slotted delivery times, six or seven days a week, with vehicles using a dedicated entrance on Court Street. There would also be a drop off bay at the front of the hotel. With regard to parking, Mr Foster confirmed that a viability study had been carried out which showed that parking was not critical for a town centre hotel, but that they would be looking at possible options.

 

The Chairman asked about the functions rooms proposed for the hotel. Mr Wall responded that the 1930’s Committee Room would be used as the 120 seat hotel restaurant and would be situated in between the two leased restaurants. The 1909 Room had its own access way and facilities and would be used for conferencing, banqueting and private events.

 

The Chairman thanked Mr Foster and Mr Wall for their excellent presentation and looked forward to seeing Cathedral Hotels on site soon.

4.

UPDATES ON MAIN PARTNERSHIP THEMES AND OTHER RELEVANT COUNCIL INITIATIVES:

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership gave an update around progress across the main themes of the Partnership.

4a

TOWN CENTRES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Virgil Rappa, LBB Town Centre Development Project Planner, Stephen Oliver and Tolu Faleti, LBB Project Planners attended to provide an update on Town Centre Development across the Borough.

 

Progress was continuing across the sites that made up the Bromley Town Centre Area Action Plan.

 

The Local Authority had been informed verbally that the £28.5m Housing Zone bid had been successful; consisting of £12m in grants and £16.5m soft loans from the Greater London Authority and that final agreement would be drafted shortly. Initial scoping work was also being undertaken on Former AAP Opportunity Site A: Bromley North Station, which also formed part of the Housing Zone bid.

 

Architects Studio Egret West would be taking forward the design of the Bromley Town Central High Street Public Realm Improvements, which was agreed at the last meeting of the Council’s Executive on 2nd December 2015 and would see improvements to the pedestrianised area of the High Street. A full costings report was underway and would be reported to the Executive for Members’ agreement. Options are also being considered for the development of Site B: Corner of Tweedy Road / London Road but proposals would have to be sensitive to enhance the historic environment.

 

Soft market testing was undertaken in relation to Opportunity Site G: West of the High Street with further consultation due to take place with stakeholders in February 2016. Work would start on a revised brief in spring 2016, and a development partner was expected to be procured in autumn of 2016.

 

With regard to other town centre projects, in Orpington town centre, East Architecture would be developing plans for the Walnuts Shopping Centre area. Consultation with stakeholders was undertaken on the 26th November 2015 and a Stage 1 Report had been produced. The Renewal team had been working closely with the Orpington 1st BID Company to deliver trading platforms in the form of enterprise markets for new start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises.

 

As regards the Penge Town Centre Public Realm Improvement Project, Kinnear Landscape Architects undertook a public consultation in Empire Square at the Christmas Market on 26th November 2015 on initial options for the scheme. The outcome of this had been fed into the Stage 1 Design Report included in the Renewal and Recreation Policy Development and Scrutiny report discussed at the Committee on 26th January 2016. It is planned that these improvements would be implemented alongside planned Highways bus route improvements for the High Street. The Blenheim Shopping Centre was in new ownership, and the Renewal Team planned to involve the new owners in future consultations.

 

In considering improvements in Beckenham town centre, the scheme which was concentrating on the area between Beckenham Junction Station and the war memorial would see improvements to lighting, pavements and crossings. It was aimed at supporting inward investment through increased footfall and encouraging an already growing night time economy. The planned improvements were currently at the detailed design stage, and it was expected that works  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4a

4b

LOCAL PLAN DEVELOPMENT UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

The Chairman informed members of the Partnership that the consultation on the Bromley Local Plan Draft Allocations, Further Policies and Designations document had closed before Christmas. The responses were currently being evaluated and would be published once it was complete. It was hoped that the Local Plan would be in place before the end of 2016.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the Local Plan be noted.

 

4c

TOWN CENTRE MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS SUPPORT UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Martin Pinnell, LBB Head of Town Centre Management and Business Support, gave an update on progress across the main Partnership themes of Town Centre Management and Business Support in Quarter 3, 2015/16.

 

The ballot for the Bromley town centre Business Improvement District (BID) took place on 5th November 2015, and had been successful, with 85.8% of businesses voting in favour, which represented 90.4% of the rateable value of votes cast. The Local Authority was currently working with the BID board to prepare for a launch date from 1st April 2016. The Local Authority also continued to maintain direct contact with the Orpington 1st BID, attending the Board meetings and business support initiatives. The LBB Head of Town Centre Management and Business advised the group that there were proposals to discontinue the Local Authority’s town centre management function, and that a BID Project Officer post be created which would support the creation of new BIDs in town centres across the Borough. This proposal would be considered by Members at the Renewal and Recreation Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee on 26th January 2016.

 

The High Street Fund alleyway improvements in Beckenham were due to be completed by the end of March 2016. Beckenham had also been awarded Purple Flag status which was an accreditation process awarded to towns and cities which had set a standard of excellence in managing the evening and night time economy.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)  Recent work around Town Centre Management and Business Support in the 3rd Quarter of 2015/16 be noted; and

 

2)  The proposals for the future of Town Centre Management and Business Support be noted.

 

4d

BROMLEY YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROJECT ROUND 2 UPDATE (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

The LBB Operations Manager, Bromley Education Business Partnership gave an update on the Bromley Youth Employment Project (Round 2) which had been developed by the Local Authority to support sustainable employment opportunities for young people who were unemployed.

 

The project had so far supported 58 young people into contracted employment out of a project target of 100 young people, of which only two had not completed the minimum period of six months. Enhanced employment opportunities had been provided for 11 Children Looked After, with another 14 to be placed in a range of work experience and employment opportunities during 2016.

 

A number of Next Steps events were scheduled to take place throughout the spring term. The events were aimed at young people in Years 12 and 13 not intending to go into Higher Education, to encourage them to start planning for their future and provide them with information on pathways to employment and training.

 

RESOLVED  that the update on the Bromley Youth Employment Project be noted.

 

4e

CRYSTAL PALACE PARK PROJECTS (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Lydia Lee, LBB Change and Regeneration Project Manager gave an update on the £2.4m Crystal Palace Park regeneration scheme. A range of projects, including the removal of turnstiles and the conservation of the Iguanodon dinosaur had been completed. Contracts for further works continued to be awarded and the Local Authority had been notified verbally that £115k funding would be provided from Historic England towards the steps conservation work. Work was also being undertaken to build a skate park on site and it was hoped that following the outcome of the tendering process, the successful bidder would be able to start works by spring 2016. A community development fund of £240k was also available to local groups to undertake development work on projects of up to £20k across Crystal Palace Park.

 

Members of the Partnership generally discussed the Crystal Palace Park Masterplan which had been developed in 2007 and was guiding regeneration, and the park’s future business plan.

 

The Chairman noted that the cost of running the park was currently c. £850k per annum. The Masterplan, with outline planning permission in place, had identified periphery land for housing to generate a capital receipt for the ongoing regeneration of the park.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the Crystal Palace Park Projects be noted.

 

5.

PARTNER UPDATES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR JOINT WORKING TO INCLUDE:

Minutes:

Updates are provided in the relevant sub sections.

5a

BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Ms Katy Woolcott, London Biggin Hill Airport provided an update on developments at London Biggin Hill Airport following its identification as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre in the London Plan, and as part of the LoCATE (London Centre for Aviation Technology and Enterprise) project which brought together a cluster of modern aviation-related businesses at and around London Biggin Hill Airport to support continued economic development in the area.

 

Ms Woolcott was pleased to inform the group of the Full Council’s decision to grant an extension of operating hours, following the Executive and Resources Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee’s dismissal of the ‘call-in’ application on 5th January 2016.

 

5b

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Mike Lewis (Michael Rogers LLP) was not present at the meeting but provided a written update to the Partnership as follows:

 

Current availability of office space was now just under 5% of built stock which was an all-time low. With little in the pipeline and with the continuing strength of the commercial market, there was now clear evidence of a rise in values. At the end of the year, Mr Lewis had concluded negotiations on no less than four suites (5,000 sq. ft. plus) all at £25 per sq. ft. at Wren Court and Northside House. This, compared with £18 per sq. ft. lettings upon similar quality space during Q3 and 4 of 2014, showed an increase in rental values of just under 40% within twelve months. Capital values were also increasing and recent evidence was pointing to an increase of up to 25% in some instances during the same period.

 

5c

COMMUNITY LINKS BROMLEY (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Mr Colin Maclean (Community Links Bromley) was not present at the meeting but provided a written update to the Partnership as follows:

 

Community Links Bromley was close to completing an Asset Mapping Research report commissioned by the Council and the Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group which would provide a comprehensive profile of the sector and would contribute to future health and social care commissioning and partnership working.  They had also recently hosted a ‘Leading the Sector towards 2020’ conference which involved leaders from the community and voluntary sector across the borough.

 

5d

GENERAL NEWS ROUND (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership had undertaken a range of activities since the last meeting.

 

Mr Chandra Sharma attended the meeting representing the Federation of Small Business which had recently rebranded with a strapline “Experts in Business”. The regional boundaries were changing, and the South East branch was now to cover Essex. FSB were involved in the Orpington 1st BID networking event on 29th January 2016 and are currently looking for guest speakers.

 

Mr Andrew Cox, Bromley College of Further and Higher Education, advised members of the Partnership of the launch of the Innovation School which was to include facilities such as hot desking, office space and incubation for start-up businesses. It was currently undergoing a soft launch and would have an official opening at the end of the summer. The Virtual College had now launched and details could be found at http://elearning.bromley.ac.uk/. The Partnership offered its congratulations to Mrs Sam Parrett, Principal of Bromley College of Further and Higher Education, who had been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to further education.

 

Mr Adam Smith, Mytime Active, informed the Partnership that attendances were up 4%. Mytime would shortly launch a family proposition with a new strategy and 5 year business plan, and investment of £1.5m would be made across the portfolio including High Elms Golf Club, Beckenham Spa, the Pavilion pool facility and changing facilities at the Walnuts and West Wickham Leisure Centres.

 

Ms Liz Waghorn, Jobcentre Plus, reported that November 2015 saw the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Bromley fall by 650 to 2,070 claimants, creating a 24% reduction in unemployment on the same time last year. The 18-24 year old category had the biggest decrease at 39%, but the 50+ category currently filled a quarter of the register and older workers would be a focus going forward.

 

Partners were encouraged to engage with Jobcentre Plus for their recruitment. A Disability Confident Event would take place at Bromley Civic Centre on 10th February 2016 which employers were urged to attend.  Universal Credits would be rolled out in Bromley on 18th January 2016 which would be beneficial for employers to employ part time staff.

 

Mr Steve Nelson, South East London Chamber of Commerce, reported that the Chamber was working with the London Chamber of Commerce to provide Borough, South East London and London wide survey results, and that details of forthcoming sector events would be circulated soon.

 

Mr Mark Henderson, MSE UK, informed the Partnership that his company had now moved from Worsley Bridge Road to premises on Kangley Bridge Road.  There were some concerns over parking and traffic on this road which it was possible that changes to the highway or a potential BID might address. MSE UK had recently bid to for a contract with Scottish Blood Transfusion and a response was due in the next few weeks.

 

Ms Sharon Baldwin, Manager, Orpington 1st BID Company, confirmed that a mystery shopper exercise was recently carried  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5d

6.

BROMLEY ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP WORK PROGRAMME 2015/16 (VERBAL UPDATE)

Minutes:

Members of the Partnership considered the forward rolling work programme for the Bromley Economic Partnership for 2015/16.

 

In considering the next meeting of the Partnership, the Chairman requested that representatives of U+I Group PLC be invited to discuss the St Mark’s Square development, and that the presentation on EU Funding Opportunities be scheduled.

 

RESOLVED that the update on the Work Programme be noted.

7.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

No other business was brought to the meeting.

 

8.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

4.00pm, Tuesday 12th April 2016

Minutes:

4.00pm, Tuesday 12th April 2016

 

 

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