Agenda and minutes

Venue: Beckenham Library, Beckenham, BR3 4PE

Contact: Stephen Wood  020 8313 4316

Items
No. Item

108.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Jackie Groundsell, Cllr Michael Rutherford, Cllr Stephen Wells, Tina Slater, Cllr Vanessa Allen, Gail Low, Nick Turpin, Alice Marsh, and Cliff Watkins.

 

109.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12th JANUARY 2017 pdf icon PDF 190 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 12th January 2017 were agreed as a correct record.

110.

MATTERS ARISING pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Minutes:

CSD 17040

 

The Group noted the Matters Arising report and the fact that most of the matters were being addressed on the agenda.

 

The Chairman noted Minute 103 which referred to the ongoing issue around what sort of flowers or tree should be planted at the War Memorial. There had been some concern that taller flowers could interfere with the sight lines of drivers circumnavigating the roundabout. Mr Oliver mentioned that it may be possible to plant an oak tree. Councillor Phillips commented that she could not recall hearing anything from the traffic managers on this matter. It was mentioned that Chloe-Jane Ross had suggested planting a chestnut tree; this was no longer possible as Bromley was suffering from an outbreak of sweet chestnut disease.

 

Marie Pender stated that the Memorial wall was in a mess, and Dr Parker commented that the Memorial required adequate protection. He continued by suggesting that some form of landscaping be undertaken, but this should not hide the Memorial. The landscaping would need to be visible, but should not interfere with sight lines. He was opposed to the planting of a tree on the Memorial as he felt that this would dominate. He expressed the view that the protection need not be a wall—the protection could be bollards or posts strengthened with steel pins. 

 

The Chairman stated that if the construction of a new wall around the Memorial was undertaken, it would need to fit in with the existing features and design of the current wall. Mr Goy asked why the Group were discussing the Memorial and the wall as he had been under the impression that these matters had been resolved previously. It was noted that both the Memorial and the wall were listed and located in a Conservation Area.

 

Marie Pender asked if a ‘Welcome to Beckenham’ sign could be erected in Art Deco style. 

 

The Chairman referenced Minute 106 on the Matters Arising report which sought clarification of any plans to locate crossing points (with a pedestrian refuge) in Rectory Road. Mr Warner stated that crossing points already existed in Rectory Road and what was required going forward was for the matter to be monitored. There were no current plans to locate new crossing points in Rectory Road. If these were required later, then an application could be made to TfL. 

 

Mr Goy mentioned that he was aware of a crossing point in Rectory Road  near Beckenham Junction, and that this did not have the facility of a dropped kerb from the pavement edge and grass verge. 

 

RESOLVED that the Matters Arising report be noted.  

111.

POLLUTION ON RECTORY ROAD pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Minutes:

A written update was received from the Environmental Health Officer—Hedley Pugh:

 

In 2007 the Council declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) encompassing the North and North West of the Borough. To ensure Bromley continued to meet air quality obligations, the single automatic air quality monitoring station at Harwood Avenue (near Bromley Town Centre) continued to operate. In line with other Authorities, continuous monitoring was supplemented by diffusion tubes, located at nine locations, within the AQMA-- including Elmers End Road and Beckenham Road.

 

Following cuts to a number of Pollution Officer Posts, there was insufficient capacity to undertake additional air quality monitoring over and above that required to meet legal obligations. Should the Traffic and Road Safety Division require additional monitoring for a given scheme this would need to be undertaken by external consultants.

 

RESOLVED that the update on pollution be noted and that pollution readings from the diffusion tube at Beckenham Road be reported. The readings to include before, during and after the town centre works.

 

Post Meeting Note:

 

The following clarification was provided post meeting by Councillor Colin Smith:

 

Concerning the statement: ‘Should the Traffic and Road Safety Division require additional monitoring for a given scheme this would need to be undertaken by external consultants.’

 

Councillor Smith clarified that this was not something that Traffic and Road Safety Division would involve themselves in.

 

It was a potential Environmental Health matter and nothing to do with Environmental Services. 

 

112.

BUS DIVERSIONS DURING BECKENHAM HIGH STREET WORKS pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Minutes:

Marie Pender mentioned the bus diversion information poster that West Beckenham Residents’ Association had created. This had been emailed out to members of the Group, and would be displayed in various notice boards. 

 

113.

MAJOR SCHEME UPDATE

Minutes:

Mr Munnelly stated that ‘Phase 1A’ at Beckenham Junction crossroads started on 13th February and was due to finish tomorrow, 10th March--after a slight delay. Phase1 had commenced and would incorporate improvement works from Beckenham Green to Thornton’s Corner. The completion date for this phase was June 2nd 2017. 

 

Mr Goy stated that the no right turn directive from the High Street into Rectory Road, at the Beckenham Junction traffic lights, was not being enforced. Because people were ignoring the ‘no right turn’ sign, the junction was getting clogged up. The Group heard that FM Conway were trying hard to enforce the directive, but it seemed that enforcement was only possible when the Police were on hand to assist. Fortunately, work at the junction was due to end on the weekend following the meeting, and the workmen would be moving further down the High Street, then the filter lanes would be restored. 

 

It was noted that the flagpole was being installed during the weekend following the meeting. The following week, the section of road between Albemarle Road and Church Avenue would be closed. The National Westminster Bank to Thornton’s Corner section of the road would be closed during the week after this.

 

A member enquired when the section of High Street at  Kelsey Square was going to be closed off. This was going to occur during phase 3 of the works, but no Traffic Order had yet been applied for.

 

When the Beckenham High Street improvements commenced at Kelsey Square, LBB were intending to introduce temporary two-way traffic flow in Burnhill Rd from Fairfield Rd to Kelsey Square and reverse the one way system on Burnhill Road running from Fairfield Rd to Kelsey Park Rd. A local resident asked why this was required and what consultation had taken place with Lidl and the Coach and Horses public house regarding their supply and refuse vehicle access requirements.

 

Marie Pender alerted the meeting that Burnhill House had permission to convert to 14 flats. The businesses that occupied Burnhill House had been cleared out and the furniture removed, so it was presumed that work may be undertaken soon. When work commenced, there would be scaffolding and hoarding that was likely to restrict the width of Burnhill Road and contractors’ lorries would be parking there for unloading. 

 

David Wood suggested holding a site meeting with Officers. A meeting was scheduled for 28th March 2017 at 5.30pm in front of the Coach and Horses public house. Helen McConnell (FM Conway) assured that regular stakeholder updates would be provided, especially to the residents of Burnhill Road. 

 

Mr Goy noted that the yellow signs did not provide any information on how the public should get in touch if they had any queries. Mr Oliver stated that banners with this information were going to be displayed across the High Street. Mr Goy referenced the paving slabs being laid at Beckenham Junction and commented that they were just light grey, unlike the selected pink-tinged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113.

114.

UPDATE ON EMPTY SHOPS IN BECKENHAM TOWN CENTRE pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Minutes:

The update on vacant units in Beckenham Town Centre was provided by the Head of Town Centre Management, Martin Pinnell.

 

The Group was informed that in the area under survey there were 208 ground floor commercial units. The current vacancy rate for Beckenham Town Centre was 6.25%. This was consistent with recent data provided by the Local Data Company (LDC) which showed that the retail vacancy rate was 7.7%, and the leisure vacancy rate was only 1.7%.

 

These figures compared favourably with national average figures. The national overall vacancy rate was 11%, retail vacancy rate was 12.1% and leisure vacancy rate was 8.1%.

 

The vacancy rate figures for Beckenham were the lowest that they had been for six or seven years. It was noted that some units needed to be tidied up, and to this end there was a need to engage landlords.

 

The Group were informed that FM Conway would be producing ‘Business as Usual’ signs. Mr Warner added that two large electronic signs would also be used, and it would be possible to modify the messages displayed.

 

It was suggested that a friendly web page may also be helpful in providing information; this could possibly be the front page of the Bromley Council website. 

 

It was suggested that the Beckenham High Street.co.uk website could be used as a gateway to the information on the Bromley Council website.

 

The web site address is  http://www.beckenhamhighstreet.co.uk/

 

Through this site there was currently a gateway to information on the Bromley Council website at the following URL:

 http://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/200079/regeneration/981/beckenham_town_centre_improvements

 

 

RESOLVED that the update on vacant units in Beckenham Town Centre be noted.

 

 

115.

BECKENHAM GREEN CANOPY

Minutes:

Mr Oliver stated that he had requested an updated brief from Chloe-Jane Ross concerning the Beckenham Green Canopy. As there had been no response from Ms Ross relating to this, he had not pursued the matter further.

 

The Chairman responded that the Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee had agreed that an architectural competition be initiated to find a new design. He asked who was going to organise this. Mr Munnelly advised that they needed to hear from Ms Ross, and that there was not a huge budget available for this.

 

Mr Goy suggested that a locally stored temporary event canopy may be worth consideration.

116.

TOWN TEAM UPDATE

Minutes:

There was no-one present from the Town Team to provide the update.

 

Councillor Sarah Phillips (speaking in her role as Treasurer of The Friends of Croydon Road Recreation Ground) explained to the Group that concerning the matter of the Bowie Bandstand (and its renovation), a fresh application for Lottery funding had to be submitted and financial support had been received from fans of David Bowie. So far approximately £50k had been raised, but the repairs would cost £130k.

 

117.

BID DEVELOPMENT

Minutes:

Mr Pinnell stated that a Business Improvement District meeting had taken place on March 1st at ‘Venue 28’. The meeting was attended by the Council’s BID consultants, CMS. The consensus was that a BID was feasible for Beckenham. Various matters were discussed, including business rates and Brexit. The feed-back from businesses was positive, and many had put their names forward to be included on the BID Steering Group. 

 

118.

PURPLE FLAG UPDATE

Minutes:

Mr Pinnell informed the Group that the flagpole was ready to be sited at the weekend. The flag itself could not be raised yet as planning permission for this was required. The planning application had been submitted and it was anticipated that the flag would be ready to be raised by the end of April.

 

The Chairman suggested that a celebratory event take place when the flag was raised. It was noted that the budget for such a ceremony was held by the Town Centre Team.

 

The wording for the associated purple flag plaque would need to be confirmed. It was confirmed that the flag would be illuminated and the Chairman enquired if the spot lamp for this had been ordered. 

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) the wording for the flagpole plaque be confirmed before the next meeting

 

(2) the matter of the raising of the Purple Flag ceremony be  added as an agenda item for the next meeting 

 

119.

HERITAGE PLAQUES

Minutes:

Dr Parker informed the Group that the wording for the plaques was out for consultation until the end of the month. The matter was being considered by both the Historical Association and the Rochester Diocese. Most suggested changes to the wording had been grammatical. It was important that the information relating to various dates and facts be verified as accurate.

 

Mr Oliver mentioned that the plaques would be installed at the end of the works. The Group were informed that wording was required for 22 plaques and that any comments concerning the wording of the plaques should be received by the end of March. 

120.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS--PREVIOUSLY NOTIFIED

Minutes:

It was mentioned that the traffic modelling process had been re-run with three crossings included and the increased time to travel the High Street was still just under a minute.

 

Mr Goy said frustrating traffic queues had resulted during the temporary  removal of two filter lanes at Beckenham Junction during construction work. He asked if this experience would inform any other plans in the scheme to remove filter lanes. The Group was informed that there were no plans to amend the scheme.

 

121.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The date of the next meeting is to be confirmed.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Thursday, April 20th 2017 at 7.30pm.

 

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