Agenda and minutes

Beckenham Town Centre Working Group - Thursday 17 March 2016 7.30 pm

Venue: Beckenham Library, Beckenham, BR3 4PE

Contact: Stephen Wood  020 8313 4316

No. Item




Apologies were received from Cheryl Curr, Gail Low, Cllr Diane Smith, Cllr Russell Mellor, Dave Hignet from Network Rail, and Nina Peake from South Eastern Railways.





The minutes of the meeting held on the 10th December 2015 were agreed.




The Group noted the action points that had arisen from the previous meeting. 


It was noted that an email account had been set up to receive feedback concerning the sample paving that had been laid in the High Street near Kelsey Square. The associated plaque had not yet been laid. The email address was not available on the evening, and it was agreed that this be sent out with the minutes. It had previously been requested that a postal address be used for feedback as well as an email address, and this had been actioned.


Post meeting note:


The email address for comments about the paving samples is:


The Postal Address is:


Regeneration and Transformation, Strategy and Renewal, Room P49, London Borough of Bromley, Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley BR13UH


The Chairman enquired if up to date plans had been uploaded onto the Bromley website. Stephen Oliver (Project Planner) stated that the latest plans would be sent for uploading the day after the meeting if they met with the approval of the Group. It was explained that the process for doing this was not straightforward, and involved submitting a request to the LBB Web Team who worked part time; this meant that it could take another 2 weeks for the plans to be uploaded and appear on the Bromley website.


It was noted that the plans could be uploaded immediately onto an external website which was Chloe Jane Ross stated that the information could also be uploaded to the website of the Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association-- .


The Group felt that there was a problem concerning the time taken to upload anything to the Bromley Council website. The Chairman and Cllr Sarah Phillips stated that this was an issue that could be raised as a question at the next Full Council meeting. A similar situation existed with an “Accident Map” that Chris Cole (Transport Programme and Major Projects Manager) was attempting to upload to the Bromley Council website—this had also been delayed.


The list of action points noted that an update concerning the Purple Flag status would be provided. It was also noted that an update concerning this would be provided later in the meeting as it was listed separately on the agenda. The Albemarle Road Junction action point would be dealt with under the “Traffic Update” item on the agenda.


The Group asked why there was no update provided concerning Article 4 Directions, and who the responsible officer was that had not provided the update.Chloe-Jane Ross referred to Article 4 Directions that had recently been obtained by Richmond Council, and mentioned that Article 4’s could be  retrospective. In Richmond, the Secretary of State intervened to prevent Richmond’s Article 4 being retrospective, therefore LBB would need to lobby the Secretary of State not to make this intervention for Beckenham. Kevin Munnelly (Head of Renewal) stated that an Article 4 Direction may not be justified.


Marsha Berg noted that Kensington and Chelsea Council had recently  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.




The Traffic Update was provided by Chris Cole.


The initial part of the update related to parking schemes. The problems that had existed with the traffic signs in Fairfield Road had been rectified, and a missing sign had been ordered. Lawn Road had been closed on a temporary basis, but would now remain closed permanently to allow a new roundabout to work properly. There was a reference to the vacant pay and display bays in Copers Cope Road, and the Chairman expressed the view that these bays were too expensive. An additional sign had been ordered for Village Way.


With respect to the Albemarle Road junction, it was still the case that no detailed design had been received from Virgin. Mr Cole explained that work on the junction could not commence until this issue had been resolved. The Chairman was of the view that LBB should seek legal remedy. He felt that it could not be the case that utilities could do what-ever they pleased. Mr Cole stated that LBB could not pursue a legal remedy. The cables were an asset that belonged to Virgin, and could not be moved without their permission. A date was required from Virgin so that work could be coordinated.


A member of the public enquired what was planned for the junction. Mr Cole responded that the basic plan was to make it easier for HGV’s to turn left, and that details were in the previous minutes. It was the case that Virgin were not co-operating, and that LBB were pursuing. 


Mr Cole next addressed the issue of the Waitrose car Park entrance road junction. The modelling report from Arcadis had been incorporated into the agenda at the request of the Chairman. Mr Cole clarified that that there would still be a need for a controlled crossing, even if a mini roundabout was used, therefore the modelling report was correct. The junction would not pass a safety audit without a controlled crossing due to traffic and pedestrian volumes. Ms Jean Appleton felt that a pedestrian crossing should be retained.


The modelling report concluded that by converting the existing signalised junction to a mini roundabout, overall traffic queueing on each approach would increase. The report further outlined particular concerns regarding the restricted bridge width between the Waitrose Junction and the Albemarle Road-High Street Junction, which was predicted to consistently fill up on Southend Road northbound during peak hours. 


RESOLVED that the Traffic Update and the Modelling Report from Arcadis be noted and a line drawn under the proposals.




For the David Bowie memorial update two local artists and a sculptor attended.


Andre Masters (trading as “All Handmade”) attended to offer his advice with respect to designing a David Bowie memorial. He was able to offer a design using a variety of mediums, including sculpture, illustration and design, 3D modelling and printing and computer graphics. His website is:


Dan Pearce (a local artist) also attended to offer his services; this would be likely to take the form of a wall mural.


The Group were informed that Beckenham Society were organising a David Bowie evening on April 19th. This was going to held at Zizzi’s in Beckenham High Street at 7.30pm. The cost of this was £25.00 per ticket, and included a meal and one drink. It was also noted that Mary Finnegan (former landlady and lover) would be attending. Posters would be displayed in a variety of locations, including the Beckenham Bookshop, where tickets were on sale.


The Chairman opened the meeting for members and guests to express any views or ideas that could be progressed with respect to a memorial for David Bowie. Mr Masters stated that David Bowie was a star, a world icon, and that it would be good to have a memorial in Beckenham as a tribute to his creative time here.  It would also help with regenerating the local area and economy. The Chairman asked Mr Masters if he was able to put forward ideas, designs and an estimate of costings. Mr Masters replied that this was variable, depending on what was required. It was also important to consider private sources of funding as well as public sources of funding.


The Chairman declared that LBB were keen to develop and progress with a memorial, as this would also be good for business in Beckenham. Mr Masters stated that it was difficult to define costs at this stage, but gave an estimate for a statute between £20k and £150k.


Mr Munnelly stated that the memorial did not have to take the form of a traditional vertical statute. Mr Masters explained that the memorial could take the form of a memorial in the floor, and that it could take the form of stylised artwork rather than traditional sculpture.


Nick Goy commented that David Bowie had kept his illness private, and questioned whether or not Mr Bowie would have wanted a shrine, as he did not want a public funeral.


Councillor Sarah Phillips provided the Working Group with some history of the local bandstand that had previously been used by David Bowie, and was keen to renovate the bandstand in some way as a memorial. Mr Goy expressed concerns around this in terms of ongoing maintenance costs and that other deceased celebrity place associations attracted tributes of cellophane bouquets of dying flowers, cards, memorabilia, candles/wax, graffiti and ‘souvenir’ theft and damage. Mr Masters suggested that a theme be developed to celebrate his life, with the possible development of the theme of “Star Man”  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.




The Major Scheme Update was provided by Mr Stephen Oliver.


The Chairman enquired if Julian East from East Architects would be attending. Mr Oliver responded that it was more cost effective in this case if he presented. It was confirmed that the budget for the major scheme was now £4.6m, and that the funding for this was going to be provided by LBB and the Mayor for London. Final approval from TfL was awaited, but it was not anticipated that there would be any problems.


Mr Oliver distributed A3 colour copies of plans. The Group noted the plans showed a long timber bench seating and a monolith that would be located outside Beckenham Junction Station. There would also be “Legible London” signage. It was suggested that it would be good to have a proper fixed base for the flower stall to operate from.


Mr Oliver outlined the plans for the area around Beckenham Green and the Train Station. It was noted that some of the existing signage would be retained, and that new Sheffield type stainless steel cycle stands would be installed. There would be new pedestrian islands and new carriageway surface material would be set flush at crossing points, and 60mm below kerb level elsewhere. The existing planters would be removed and replaced with new brick and precast concrete planter seats. There would be new surface treatment and facilities provided to facilitate market stalls. New tree lights would be provided and new power bollards for the market would be installed. The Purple Flag would be displayed on a pole. The Chairman hoped that there would be three flagpoles that would be illuminated. Mr Goy stated that he was not impressed with the designs for the new planters or the cycle stands. 


When brindled paving was being discussed, Janice Pilgrim (Kent Association for the Blind) raised the point that highly contrasting colours of mottled paving mixed together, such as dark blue/black, cream and red, could be extremely hazardous for sight impaired people as, it was difficult to tell whether there was just a change in colour or also a change in level.


The Group heard that in the vicinity of the Odeon Cinema there would be a new paved area of granite and new bound or bonded gravel paving. There would also be an “O” shaped bench in the cinema grounds. It was noted that the Post Office lease was ending, and it was likely that the current post office would close, and counter services would move into nearby retail units.


Reference was made to the possibility of coloured lights being embedded into pavements to enhance the experience of people using the area. Janice Pilgrim made the point that people with sight impairment would struggle greatly with these, as they would exacerbate the depth perception difficulties that people with sight impairment have when mobilising in poor daylight conditions. They may also make the pavement look as though it were moving, and would be hazardous.


Mr Munnelly stated that the feedback  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.




No update was provided at the meeting as there was insufficient time.




The Group noted the update that had been incorporated as an agenda item. However, no further discussion concerning the Purple Flag award took place due to insufficient time.   




The Beckenham Junction Station update was deferred to the next meeting due to lack of time.



There will be a written update which is To Follow.


A discussion of this issue had taken place under the agenda item concerning Action Points.


It had been noted that an Article 4 update had not been provided for the meeting, but it had been agreed that an update be circulated with the minutes. 


RESOLVED that an Article 4 update be circulated with the minutes.




No other business was discussed.  



The date of the next meeting is to be confirmed.


The next meeting was scheduled for Thursday 19th May 2016 at 7.30pm.