Agenda and minutes

Venue: Beckenham Library, Beckenham, BR3 4PE

Contact: Stephen Wood  020 8313 4316

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Martin Pinell, Tina Slater, Stephen Oliver and Derek Samson.


Apologies were also received from Councillors Stephen Wells, Sarah Philips, Russell Mellor, Peter Morgan and Vanessa Allen.


Cllr Diane Smith sent apologies as a visiting Member




The minutes of the previous meeting had been amended with amendments suggested by Janice Pilgrim and Nick Goy.


With the incorporation of these changes, the minutes were agreed as a correct record.   




CSD 16159


The Group noted the update concerning Bus Stop ‘Countdown Units.’ 


It was noted that the cost of each Countdown Unit including ten years’ maintenance was £8300.00, and because of this TfL were not installing new units. It remained to be seen if LBB would have a budget available for this, and the matter was being investigated. The Group felt strongly that a bus countdown unit should be installed at the new bus stop opposite Fairfield Road. It was the feeling of the Group that this was essential and imperative. Members pointed out that not all people had access to smartphones and some expressed concern of potential safety issues around using smartphones at night.


A member queried if LBB could fund the countdown unit out of the scheme’s contingency fund. Mr Munnelly stated that this was a matter that would need to be looked at again, and treated as a key priority. It was noted that countdown units also had not been fitted at the bus stops outside of Marks and Spencer’s, and Beckenham Green.


The Chairman asked if the Beckenham Business Association had been provided with a map that showed the locations of parking bays and loading bays. The answer to this was ‘no’. It was noted that it was now planned for a loading bay and parking bay to be sited outside of WH Smith’s. Mr Munnelly stated that a map would be sent to the Beckenham Business Association as soon as possible.


A member drew attention to a loading bay near the junction of The Drive and the High Street, facing north with the High Street behind. Immediately adjoining the loading bay was a disabled parking space.


The member requested that the loading bay and disabled parking bay be swapped, so that the loading bay used the space further from the High Street.  This was because when a van or large delivery vehicle was parked in the loading bay, drivers approaching the junction from The Drive had severely reduced visibility of any pedestrians crossing The Drive.  This was hazardous for anyone, but particularly for those with sight impairment, as they could neither see nor be seen.


If the loading bay was located where the disabled parking space currently was, and vice versa, no extra space would be taken up, but visibility would be much better and safety therefore greatly improved. Switching the purposes of the two bays in question would reduce the risk of accidents. Mr Munnelly stated that he would look into the matter and action the switch.


The Group noted the update concerning the feasibility of removing the boundary wall on the war memorial. It was noted that a boundary of some form would be required for protection, and to deter illegal parking. LBB’s Conservation Officer had reported that the low wall was part of the listing and had expressed the view that it was in keeping with the main structure.


Mr Gallagher asked if consideration could be given to moving the war memorial  ...  view the full minutes text for item 85.




The Major Scheme update was provided by Mr Kevin Munnelly.


He informed the Group that final sign off was due from TfL shortly. Materials would then be ordered, and the project would be rolled out. It was planned that the Exhibition would be a three day event in the town centre. The Chairman asked for clarification concerning what was meant by a ‘final sign off’ as he was under the impression that the signing off process had been completed. The Chairman hoped that materials could be ordered as soon as possible.


The matter of procurement of granite was mentioned, and it was reiterated that it was still cheaper to import the granite from China rather than source from Scotland. The group heard that ‘reconstituted’ material similar to granite could be used, but it was not as strong as it was made from cement.  Mr Munnelly assured the Group that the scheme was not halting, and was still moving forward on schedule. The electrical design had been progressed, and an office was being sourced for the site location.


Mr Warner presented a coloured plan drawing that had been submitted by FM Conway. The plan showed the six phases in which the work would be carried out. It was noted that each of the six phases would take 3 months. The work would commence at a location that was the opposite end to work being planned for Penge at the same time—this was to avoid congestion. 


Mr Warner informed the Group that a meeting would take place with the bus company the following week to look at what would happen to bus routes while the work was progressing. It was noted that in phases 1 and 2, one way traffic would be in force. The Group heard that Rectory Road would be a main diversion route, and would remain open for two way traffic. A local resident expressed concern at the potential volume of traffic using Rectory Road, and the resultant pollution. Mr Munnelly provided assurances that Rectory Road would be able to cope with the extra traffic. It was asked if a zebra crossing could be provided in Rectory Road to help pedestrians negotiate the increased traffic volume.


The Chairman enquired if a location had been determined for the Exhibition. Mr Munnelly stated that previously, exhibitions had been held at City Gate Church, and at the Public Halls. Another possibility for consideration was the identification of an empty shop by traders. A member requested that whatever site was decided upon should be equipped with disabled access. It was suggested that St Edmunds Church Hall be considered as it did have disabled access. 


Final sign off from TfL was due by 10th November 2016.









The Purple Flag was brought to the meeting for members to see. It was noted that the Group were still unanimous in their desire for the flag to be located at Beckenham Junction Train Station. This was because this was the main location of night time pubs and clubs in Beckenham.


The Group were informed that Councillor Peter Morgan was not averse to the flag being located at the train station, but that Councillor Colin Smith would prefer to see the flag sited at an alternative location. It was also noted that illumination of the flag at night would be essential, as it needed to be visible to the town’s night time economy visitors. Planning consent was required before the pole could be erected.



RESOLVED that the Group would like to see the flag located at Beckenham Junction Train Station and illuminated.  A planning application should be submitted as soon as possible. 





The Group was informed that the junction works would be completed by 8th November.


Mr Warner informed the Group that nothing else should be required to be moved after this. However, the Chairman had been informed that this was not the case, and that something was wrong. Mr Warner confirmed that he would take this matter up with TfL to clarify matters.


A local resident enquired why pink paving had been chosen. Mr Munnelly explained that the paving had been chosen because of its quality and tone. It was also the case that an enhanced cleaning regime would be implemented. Robert Straker asked who had designed the traffic phasing, as cars were excessively delayed on the junction from Albemarle Road trying to turn right. It was confirmed that the phasing had been designed by TfL. There was also a reference to the removal of the parking meters on the Beckenham Green side of Albemarle Road between St George’s Road and the new junction, as these were seriously disrupting the use of the junction at busy times of the day.




(1) that Mr Warner contact TfL to confirm the status of the works undertaken by TfL at the Albemarle Road/High Street junction. 


(2) that the parking meters on Albemarle Road immediately adjacent to Beckenham Green between St George’s Road and the junction be removed.


(3) that the phasing of the lights at the junction be checked.




The Chairman explained that currently the park benefited from a golf course, café, ornamental gardens and large open areas for walking. LB Lewisham was putting in a planning application for major changes to the park, and Heritage Lottery Funds were being applied for. The plans would impact on Beckenham. The Chairman reported that it was intended to close the golf course and cut down between 200-500 trees to make way for an artificial lake and a new car park. It was intended to hold various outdoor events. However, the existing Mansion was not being restored.


LB Lewisham had previously stated that a planning application would be submitted for restoration of the park and some of its listed buildings in November. Larger events may occasionally take place in the park in the future but this was likely to be several years off, as the restoration would not be complete until 2019. The next thing that was likely to happen would be a low key tree planting event to mark the beginning of the restoration, this would take place after the golf course closed at the end of this month.


It seemed to be the case that a definitive picture of what was going on was not clear at this time. 


A protest against the changes was due to take place outside Lewisham Town Hall on 29th October 2016. A judicial review was likely, but no one at the meeting was aware if the date had been set or not.





The update on Plaques was provided by Mr David Wood from the Beckenham Society.


The Chairman asked Mr Wood how long it was going to take to make the plaques, and Ms Chloe-Jane Ross from the Town Team offered to help. Mr Munnelly stated that numbers needed to be confirmed, along with locations and then the materials would need to be decided. The Chairman asked that the laying of the plaques be phased in to the rest of the scheme. Mr Wood promised that the Beckenham Society would deliver. Mr Wood asked if there were any Heritage Walk Leaflets in the Council. Mr Munnelly thought that there were some, and promised to investigate.


The Chairman asked that the Beckenham Society work with Mr Munnelly to agree the wording on the plaques. It was also agreed that the issue of plaques would remain on the agenda for the next meeting. 





(1) that Mr Munnelly attempt to locate Heritage Walk Leaflets for the Beckenham Society


(2) that Mr Munnelly work with the Beckenham Society to agree the wording for the plaques


(3) that plaques remain on the agenda for the next meeting 




The Town Team update was provided by Ms Chloe-Jane Ross.


She highlighted that step-free access to businesses in Beckenham was required whenever possible, and that bespoke short stay parking should be considered. She advocated that parking be modified to allow for different needs in varying locations; she asked for a strategic parking policy to be considered. 


She referred to the issues that had been looked at previously concerning central government’s push to convert office space to residential accommodation, and the possibility of seeking an Article 4 Direction to reverse the process. Marie Pender stated that the Chief Planner had expressed the opinion that the application for an Article 4 Directive could be overruled by the Secretary of State. She had sought information concerning this under the Freedom of Information Act, and it was the case that only one fifth of applications had been refused. 


A disabled local resident raised the issue of disabled access into shops. She highlighted that there were 57 shops in Bromley that she was not able to enter because there was no access for wheelchairs. It was the case that businesses could purchase ramps for just £40.00. The two businesses that were commended for using ramps were ‘Sense’ and ‘Starbucks’. Conversely, the Tapeo Café was highlighted for being particularly unhelpful. It was also noted that ‘Subway’ was helpful in that they came out to serve disabled customers. The resident asked if the Beckenham Business Association could highlight the issue of disabled access with its members. 


The Chairman expressed the view that disabled access was something that should be noted in planning applications. He also suggested making complaints to the Planning Department as they should be adhering to a Design and Access Policy. Mr Munnelly pointed out that there were some exemptions to the policy.


The Group congratulated the Town Team on the unveiling of the Clock House plaque, opposite the entrance to Beckenham library.











The Group was informed that Dan Pearce was still working on the project. The cost of the project had been estimated as £30K, and because of this, a backup project was required. The next step was to discuss the project with Patrick’s Bar (the proposed mural site) in more detail. It was possible that funding could be released from a Mayor of London’s Fund. The Chairman mentioned that if a crowdfunding agreement was being sought, then it would be advisable to get an agreement in writing. 




It was suggested that the following Terms of Reference be agreed:


“To provide oversight and strategic guidance on the design and implementation of the improvement scheme for Beckenham Town Centre.”



RESOLVED that the ToR as noted above be recommended to the Renewal and Recreation Committee.




A member enquired if the Bromley website had now been updated with the latest town centre plans, and if one of the proposed crossings on the scheme was going to be a pelican crossing. It was felt that as Cllr Colin Smith was opposed to the cost of a pelican crossing, this was unlikely to be the case.


A question was raised concerning the quality of lighting, and it was subsequently confirmed that the lights would be LED. It was confirmed that Granite would be used only the kerbs and at the Rectory Road Junction, Thornton’s Corner, and the War Memorial Roundabout.


A member asked if it would be too late to ask for any changes during or subsequent to the Exhibition. It was explained that the purpose of the Exhibition was not consultative, but to celebrate and inform.


Martin Pinnell had submitted a statement concerning BIDS which read as follows:


‘The Council has recently appointed a company called Central Management Solutions (CMS) to work alongside members of the business community and the Council to help establish the BIDs in Beckenham and Penge. CMS are a company that specialises in establishing and running BIDs across the UK, and has an excellent track record (100% success rate) in starting up BIDs in various locations. They also own the British BIDs organisation – which is in effect the industry-standard body for BIDs in the UK.  Tina has continued to meet with key Business Rate payers in both towns with a view to setting up BID Steering Groups and we are now planning a meeting for Business Rate Payers in mid-November which will enable colleagues from CMS to meet with some of the key business stakeholders in both towns and will help the Business Rate payers get up to speed on what is a BID. The aim would be for the Business Steering Groups to be formed after that meeting’.


It was noted that Janice Pilgrim had previously walked around Beckenham Town Centre with Stephen Oliver and it had been agreed that tactile paving would go back 5 metres to the kerb.




The date of the next meeting is to be confirmed.


The date of the next meeting was confirmed as January 12th 2017.


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