Agenda and minutes

Venue: Beckenham Library, Beckenham, BR3 4PE

Contact: Stephen Wood  0208 313 4316

No. Item




Apologies were received from Cheryl Curr, Martin Pinnell, Cllr Vanessa Allen, Dr John Parker, Cllr Sarah Phillips, Cllr Russell Mellor and Pam Notcutt. 




The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.




Mr Tom McConnell (Senior Contracts Manager—FM Conway Ltd) attended to update the working group on this item. The Chairman noted that FM Conway was the Term Contractor appointed to take developments forward. “Term Contractor” was a reference to the fact that FM Conway had made an initial contract bid for a designated period with an estimated bid for that period which had been accepted. This arrangement had previously worked well for a similar project at Orpington. FM Conway would be working closely with Julian Lewis (East Architects) in order that the designs that had been drafted by East would be brought into reality. FM Conway would progress the design to the next stage, ironing out any perceived problems in the process. Mr McConnell distributed designs that FM Conway had worked on with respect to work undertaken in Bromley North.


A discussion unfolded concerning the previous work undertaken at Bromley North, and problems that had emerged concerning cables and water pipes. The problems that had been discovered were solved by close partnership working with the water company, and there were no delays in completing the work. Mr McConnell informed the Group that in Beckenham, ground penetrating radar would be used to locate pipes and cables, thus avoiding a repeat of the problems that had been experienced in the Bromley North development. Attention was drawn to the fact that in Bromley North, carriageway reconstruction had been required, but this would not be required for the Beckenham Town Centre Development. 


Mr Nick Goy commented that he was not happy with aspects of the previous project at Orpington, and it was asked if Mr McConnell had been working on this project. The answer to this was affirmative, circa 2005. The Chairman gave Mr McConnell the opportunity to comment on this. Mr McConnell responded that the problems that had been experienced on the Orpington project were to do with buses continually stopping, and with faulty materials. Lessons had been learnt from this project, which meant that FM Conway were in a good position to ensure that the same problems did not recur.


Cllr Stephen Wells enquired as to the timescale involved in getting a final sign off for the price and design of the Beckenham Town Centre Development. It was anticipated that the sign off would take place in 5-6 months time. After this, the final project details and budget would be referred to LBB’s Executive to sign off the budget.


Mr Goy, expressed confusion in terms of what the specific design was now. He felt that comments were made by Group members at each presentation, but it was often unclear which aspects actually changed as a result. The Chairman noted that the Group would be looking at design materials later in the meeting. It would be the Portfolio Holder for Renewal and Recreation that would make the final decision concerning materials.


Marie Pender (West Beckenham Resident’s Association) asked what the budget was, as there was a 13% shortfall previously. It was noted that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.




The update concerning building materials was given by Mr Julian Lewis from East Architects. Mr Lewis gave a recap of the main objectives of the Major Scheme, and of the materials that could be used. The materials that could be used for parking areas, kerbs and pedestrian areas were passed around for examination of texture and colour.


Mr Lewis explained that all kerbs were going to be replaced and all footways would be changed; lighting would be upgraded. New seats would be provided, pedestrian crossing points would be improved, and a general decluttering process would take place. It was anticipated that the improvements would bring about a better traffic flow. It was suggested that the kerbs should remain as granite, and the pink colour seemed to be a favourite with the Group. The alternate colour for the kerbs was silver. The existing paving on the footways was going to be replaced. Mr Goy questioned why the footways should be replaced as he was of the opinion that they were not going to fail and were adequate in their current condition.


Mr Munnelly expressed the view that transformation was key, and that aspirations should not be limited; he encouraged the Group to utilise the available funding. Marsha Berg raised the issue of cleaning chewing gum off pavements, and Mr Lewis commented that this was a genuine problem. The Chairman stated that it would be good if samples of the proposed new paving were available for the Group to sample; Mr Lewis thought that this was a good idea. Mr Goy commented that whatever new paving was going to be used, it should be able to be easily replaced; Mr Lewis responded that all of the proposed materials were widely used. 


Gail Low (Guide Dogs for the Blind) informed the Committee that new guidance had recently been drafted by the Department for Transport concerning tactile paving—this had gone for consultation. Chris Cole stated that plans would need to progress based on the current situation, and that there was not time to wait for the guidance to change. Ms Jean Appleton stated that she favoured audible and rotating lights at crossings, and that the corner of Rectory Road was a particularly difficult place to cross. There was discussion amongst the Group concerning the colour of kerbs and paving, with a variety of opinions expressed. Ms Low pointed out that a change in colour between pavements and kerbs helped blind people with orientation. Chloe Jane Ross stated that she preferred the use of brown and red paving, and that when changes were made to paving in Sydenham, no one noticed as the paving was grey.


Mr Lewis expressed the view that trees could be enhanced by light, and that it may be possible to put lights in the trees at Beckenham Green, and seating “perches” next to the Odeon. Mr McConnell informed the group that he was familiar with all of these materials, having worked with them previously—this included lighting schemes. Marsha Berg  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.




The update on the Albemarle Road/High Street Junction Realignment was provided by Mr Chris Cole (LBB Transport Programme Manager).


Mr Cole informed the Committee that all of the design work for the junction was complete, and had been approved by TfL.  However, there was still an unresolved issue with Virgin Media concerning the depth of cables that they had installed recently. Virgin Media were disputing the fact that their cables had not been laid to the correct depth, and were refusing to move the cables unless they were paid. Negotiations were ongoing. LBB had previously given permission for the works to start, but the relevant email detailing the contractual obligations around laying the cables had not been found to date. The issue of cables not being installed to the correct depth seemed to be a UK wide problem, and was not just confined to Bromley. Carriageway construction could not take place until the cables were lowered.


Because of this delay, works would not now be able to be completed before the December moratorium. Cllr Stephen Wells stated that it was likely that LBB would end up having to pay Virgin, and if so, the money for this should not be taken from monies allocated for the Major Scheme.


Once the issue of cables was resolved, the Group was happy to progress with the work. The full programme of works would take between 6-8 weeks, and temporary traffic lights would be in place during this period.


It was RECOMMENDED that works on the junction realignment proceed as soon as the Virgin Cables were moved.   


CONTROLLED PARKING ZONES (CPZ) UPDATE--Chris Cole, Transport Planning Manager pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:


The update on Controlled Parking Zones was given by Mr Chris Cole, based upon a report that had been written by Mr Malcolm Harris.


The Chairman enquired when the changes would be implemented and if the changes would impact on the Major Scheme. The answer to this question was that the changes could be implemented as soon as the relevant Traffic Order was obtained, and that there would be no impact on the Major Scheme. It was noted that with respect to Fairfield Road, it had been agreed that for residents living in numbers 6-16, the single yellow lines would be replaced with residents’ parking bays, and that only the residents living in those premises would be allowed to apply for parking permits.


It was noted that concerning Burnhill Road, it had been agreed to implement parking bays, and also to put double yellow lines opposite the LIDL supermarket, which would improve road access for other vehicles. The Group noted that the reference to Kelsey Park Lane in section 2.2 of the report was incorrect, and that it should refer to Kelsey Park Road instead. It was also noted that single yellow lines would be removed in Village Way, to be replaced by parking bays and permit bays.


The Group was in favour of using thinner yellow lines in Primrose Yellow wherever possible. Marsha Berg pointed out that in the report there was no mention of parking zones around the Beacon, and around Cedars Road. Chris Cole responded that this was something that he would investigate. Cllr Dunn mentioned that there was currently an ongoing consultation concerning CPZ’s in the Clock House Ward.


Mr Goy felt that the entry signs to Controlled Parking Zones were difficult for the general public to understand, and that they were confusing. Chris Cole responded that the signs complied with DFT guidelines. The Chairman enquired if it was possible to have Controlled Parking Zones with no yellow lines and just bays. Mr Cole responded that this was possible but not advisable, he felt that it made more sense to use thinner lines rather than Restricted Zones. He was of the opinion that the general public did not understand Restricted Zones, and the resultant issue of PCN’s caused annoyance to residents.


Mr David Wood expressed the view that it would be good if the regularising of parking controls could be achieved to make matters simpler for all concerned.


Post Minute Note:


Chris Cole investigated the query raised by Marsha Berg and the response was:


As part of the Clock House CPZ review,  a consultation was undertaken last year in Blandford (and adjoining roads) and it came back with a “no” so it was agreed the scheme would not be amended and/or extended. Churchfields is being investigated this year – to see if it is to be included in the CPZ. 


TOWN CENTRE TEAM/TOWN CENTRE MANAGEMENT UPDATE--Chloe-Jane Ross, Chairman, Beckenham Town Team


The Town Centre Team update was presented by its Chair, Chloe Jane Ross.


The Working Group Chairman expressed his disappointment that no one was present from Bromley Council Town Centre Management.


The remainder of the Town CentreTeam update is noted in the individual sub sections.




It was noted that a contractor had been appointed, and that work on improving the signage for the alleyways would commence soon. It was noted that some of the alleyways had problems with rats.


Lighting would be checked, and any problems would be conveyed back to the freeholder. Recommendations for the installation of security lighting would be conveyed back to freeholders as appropriate. 




Mr Munnelly informed the Group that it was his intention to use funding primarily for the market element of Beckenham Green at this stage, and that he would try and get funding for the canopy later—the canopy project had not been abandoned.  




A member of the Group made the comment that the bins on the Green were disgusting; Mr Munnelly said that he would investigate.


Chloe Jane Ross asked who was responsible for maintaining the bins, and the Group was of the opinion that it was the Landscape Group, and that the matter should be brought to the attention of Cheryl Curr. 


The Group heard that there was a  problem with street signs that were moving and pointing the wrong way.



It was RECOMMENDED that a report concerning the bins on the Green and on Street Signs be presented at the next meeting.   




Chloe-Jane Ross raised the issue of the “Permitted Development” of office and commercial premises for residential use advising she had written to Cllr Dean on behalf of the Town Centre Team to seek an Article 4 Direction for Beckenham High Street to exclude it from the effects of the General Permitted Development Order.


The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, allows changes of use from office (Use Class B1(a) to dwelling house (Use Class C3) subject to prior approval.


For a period up to 30 May 2016, the Government has stated that a change of use of an office building and land within its curtilage to a residential use falling within the Class C3 dwelling houses use class (which includes flats and houses) will be permitted development (i.e. the change of use will not require planning permission).


There was concern expressed by the Group regarding the probable loss of office and commercial premises in Beckenham as a result of this Order. There was a concern as to how small businesses would survive. The Group was encouraged to make their views known via the Local Plan consultations. The Group felt that it would be appropriate to seek an Article 4 Direction for Beckenham High Street to exclude it from the effects of the General Permitted Development Order.


Cllr Wells stated that the market was not elastic, and that if premises were converted to residential use, it would be difficult to ever see them changing back into business use in the future. There was concern amongst the Group that the Order would adversely affect the employment and economy of the area.


Chloe-Jane Ross asked whether Councillor Tickner and Councillor Wells supported an Article 4 direction for Beckenham Town Centre both advised that they did.


It was RECOMMENDED that one of the Councillors write to Cllr Dean to express the concerns of the Group concerning Permitted Development, and that an Article 4 Direction be sought for Beckenham High Street. 





The update on Beckenham Junction Station was given by Stephen Oliver (LBB Project Planner from the Town Centre Renewal Scheme).


He stated that there was going to be a meeting of a Network Rail Committee to discuss funding for Beckenham Junction Train Station improvement works at the end of October. A letter from LBB had been sent to Network Rail supporting improvement works.


The Chairman commented that it would be good to get an update from Network Rail, but that they never turned up to Group meetings. Mr Munnelly stated that he would try again to get them to attend one of the meetings. He informed the Group that the coffee shop in the station was not asked to leave, but rather they had given up the lease. Chloe Jane Ross wondered if the premises would be re-let.


Councillor Stephen Wells wondered how much of the forecourt Network Rail controlled. He also expressed frustration that both South Eastern Trains and Network Rail were not available to answer questions.


It was RECOMMENDED that invitations be sent to both Network Rail and South Eastern trains asking inviting them to attend the next meeting, and that the item concerning Beckenham Junction Station be retained on the next agenda.   




The Chairman  requested that “Road Names” be added to the next agenda.

Mr Munnelly expressed the view that it may be too soon to deal with the matter on the next agenda.


The Chairman stated that momentum was required as far as Beckenham Junction was concerned, and that issues should be pushed forward.


It was noted that an update on “Heritage Plaques” be brought to the next meeting.


The Group heard that the sale of the toilets in Beckenham had gone out to tender, and that the closing date for tender applications was October 21st 2015.


It was RECOMMENDED that an update on Heritage Plaques be brought to the next meeting. 



The date of the next meeting is to be confirmed.


The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 10th December 2015.


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