Contact: Jo Partridge 020 8461 7694
WELCOME AND APOLOGIES
Apologies for absence were received from Louise Wolsey – London South East Colleges and Jason Stanton – Mytime Active, and Liz Lakes – London South East Colleges and Nigel Court – Mytime Active attended as their respective substitutes.
Apologies for absence were also received from Chris Glover – Churchill Theatre, Lesley Holland – Bromley Education Business Partnership, Mike Lewis – Michael Rogers LLP, Helen McIntosh – South East London Chamber of Commerce, Caroline Tatchell – Splash Damage and Bruce Walker – Lansdown Asset Management.
QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting.
Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda. Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Wednesday 26th October 2022.
No questions had been received.
The Chairman noted that there were no matters outstanding.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2022 be agreed.
INDUSTRY CASE STUDY
o Spotlight on Treval Engineering – Steel Fabrication Company, Cray Valley.
Followed by discussion on industrial intensification.
The Chairman informed members that apologies had been received from the Treval Engineering representative, and this item would be deferred to the next meeting of the Partnership.
URBAN DESIGN GUIDE AND BROMLEY TOWN SPD
o Update on Local Plan key policies
The Partnership received a presentation from Ian Drew, LBB Urban Design Officer, Ben Johnson, LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy and Ben Terry, LBB Urban Design Officer, providing an update on the Urban Design Guide and Bromley Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). A copy of the presentation is attached at Appendix A.
The Urban Design Officer highlighted the following points in relation to the scope and purpose of the Urban Design SPD:
- Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) built upon and provided more detailed guidance on policies in the Local Plan. SPDs could not introduce new policy but were material considerations in determining planning applications.
- The purpose of the document was to provide clear design guidance to inform and engage developers, architects, planners, and all other parties who had an interest in bringing forward development proposals in Bromley.
- The document set out the key principles for achieving good design with the aim of significantly raising the quality of development in the borough.
- The document was not a Design Code and did not set specific parameters but aimed to provide an overarching vision outlining key design principles that should be followed.
- The aim was to promote good design for buildings, landscape and public realm, establishing the desired characteristics for successful places and providing a quality benchmark for how new development should look and feel.
The document was divided into the following five sections:
1. Introduction (purpose and status)
2. Planning policy framework / planning application process (overview)
3. Character appraisal (understanding Bromley past and present)
4. Principles of good design (key design principles for Bromley)
5. Design guidance (application of key design principles)
It was noted that section 4 introduced six key design principles which were considered to be essential for delivering good design:
- Contextual – Character and Identity
- Responsive – Architecture and Landscape
- Connected – Movement and Connectivity
- Inclusive – Access and Inclusion
- Healthy – Health and Wellbeing
- Sustainable – Sustainability, Adaptability & Resilience
These principles were also included in the emerging Town Centre SPDs for Bromley and Orpington and aimed to adopt a consistent approach, or “golden thread”, across all design guidance. The borough-wide Urban Design SPD sat alongside the Town Centre SPDs, and its content would inform an integral part of the Local Plan review and future workstreams such as characterisation studies, site capacity assessments and design coding. The Urban Design SPD was a comprehensive document which demonstrated the commitment to improving design quality in Bromley.
The LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy informed members of the Partnership that the Bromley Town Centre SPD consultation had launched the previous week. This was an emerging document which provided guidance for development within Bromley Town Centre. The document set out the relevant local, regional and national policy frameworks which underpinned the guidance and referenced the six “golden thread” key design principles previously mentioned. The SPD divided Bromley Town Centre into a series of character areas (Bromley North, West, East ... view the full minutes text for item 19.
GREEN ECONOMY - LONDON SOUTH EAST COLLEGES (LSEC)
o Presentation on LSEC’s green projects.
Followed by discussion on how partners can get involved.
Liz Lakes, Development Director – London South East Colleges (“Development Director”) provided an overview of the Local London Green and Digital Strategic Projects.
The Development Director informed members that these projects focussed on two areas – becoming net zero by 2030 and ensuring digital progression and embedding digital skills.
- GLA funded: Local London Green and Digital Mayoral Academy (£237k)
A sub-regional project which would collaborate across 11 further education providers, 9 London boroughs and 30+ employers in the Local London region to ensure the GLA had a central delivery mechanism to improve its Green and Digital offer.
- DfE funded: Local London Green Academies Partnership (£2.46m)
A sub-regional project which aimed to increase inward investment across the Local London region. Through an intensive capital and revenue investment model would see 13 further education providers collaborate to improve the regions Green skills offer.
These strategic projects were intrinsically linked and would be managed together to ensure that efforts were not duplicated. It also ensured that commitment to improving green and digital skills across the Local London patch remained. The Development Director highlighted that this work focused on collaboration – working with providers, local authorities and employers to ensure that Further Education (FE) curriculums were driven by the need of industries. This was linked to the Local Skills Improvement Plans which aimed to ensure that, in addition to traditional skills, residents were prepared with the skills for the emerging needs of the green and digital sectors. The Development Director advised that the College were looking for local organisations to be part of the drive to develop green and digital skills, and maximise development opportunities. Members that were interested in participating were encouraged to contact Andrew Cox, Group Director of Strategic Growth and Partnerships – LSEC via Andrew.Cox@lsec.ac.uk.
Councillor Hitchins enquired what work had been undertaken to identify where the skills gaps were within the borough. The Development Director advised that this question would be referred to the Group Director of Strategic Growth and Partnerships, and a response provided following the meeting.
The Development Director noted that the Group Director of Strategic Growth and Partnerships – LSEC would attend the next meeting of the Partnership to report on progress made. The Chairman thanked the Development Director for her update, and noted that the Partnership would be interested to hear how the projects developed.
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
LOCAL LONDON SUB-REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP
o Introducing the Local London sub-regional partnership, its key priorities and activities.
Followed by discussion on how BEP can work with LL on key strategic priorities for the borough (transport, infrastructure, skills)
The Partnership received a presentation from Sarah Murray, Director – Local London (“Director”), providing an update on the Local London sub-regional partnership, and its key priorities and activities. A copy of the presentation is attached at Appendix B.
The Chairman informed the Partnership that the borough had recently become a member of Local London, which would provide greater collaboration with other London boroughs, regional partnerships and access to funding.
The Director advised that Local London was a voice for the sub-region where key decisions were being made about the future of the region and/or there were proposals, plans or projects affecting the sub-region. It would build capacity by working together and generating income for the boroughs of the partnership – bidding for grants and other financial resources for specific purposes where it was appropriate and agreed, and delivering externally-funded programmes across the sub-region and in boroughs. Areas of focus would include:
- careers, employment and skills;
- digital infrastructure and digital inclusion;
- economic recovery and green growth; and,
- Levelling Up, local economic development, devolved funding.
The Director informed members of the Partnership about the UK-wide ‘Project Gigabit‘, which was a £5 billion government infrastructure project that brought together everything the government was doing to enable and deliver fast and reliable digital connectivity for the country. Local London boroughs had been included in lot 37 of an Open Market Review (OMR) which took place between March 2022 and June 2022 by BDUK (Building Digital UK, part of Department of Culture and Media). This public consultation was seeking to provide additional detail about the proposed eligible area for government investment. Local London was a key focus of growth for both London and the country as a whole, and an absence of digital infrastructure would constrain this. It was noted that information from the Local London boroughs would be pooled that week. Over 163, 000 premises in the region were unable to receive gigabit capable broadband and of these over 19,000 premises were a ‘not spot’.
Local London had grown and changed dramatically since 2018, and now had:
o Seven programmes with a value of £85m supporting boroughs and other partners; employment and skills, careers for schools and colleges, digital for SMEs and digital infrastructure;
o Significant input into the Thames Estuary Growth Board and input into the UK Innovation Corridor programmes; and,
o Several new partnerships and initiatives underway.
Local London also led the sub-region on lobbying central and regional government on funding such as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UK SPF). The Director advised that future work would include:
o Working with Business London and Employer Representative Bodies to develop new Local Skills Improvement Plan;
o Updating Local London Data Warehouse;
o Careers Fair, November 2022;
o Contributing to Pan-London Infrastructure Framework;
o New Local London Plan 2022-25;
o Bidding for UK Shared Prosperity Fund (competitive calls); and,
o Bidding for EV Infrastructure roll out.
In response to questions from Lee Thomas – Fairlight Group, the Director advised that ... view the full minutes text for item 21.
o Key updates from Partners
The Vice-Chairman informed members of the Partnership that London Biggin Hill Airport (LBHA) had recently undertaken a stakeholder survey. Feedback received had included:
- Demand for accommodation on site;
- The need to have good, high quality welfare facilities to accommodate staff during the week;
- Mobile phone reception, digital connectivity and data capability for broadband;
- Public transport, staff bus service, and challenges in terms of reliable airport taxi services;
- Training facilities – Bombardier working with Marshall Skills Academy to provide apprenticeships and proposals for a building to be converted into a training centre for jobs needed on the airport site; and,
- The need for companies to work sustainably.
A visiting Member noted that a ‘Futures Week’ had recently been held at London Biggin Hill Airport – this had been attended by 14–18-year-olds, who had visited LBHA to experience the job opportunities that could be available to them in the future. Over 100 applications had been received from children living in the borough – this highlighted the need for a training centre which allowed children to take up opportunities to learn skills for the future. It was considered that children needed to be encouraged to aspire to these types of roles much earlier, and become aware of the opportunities offered within the borough. Lee Thomas – Fairlight Group highlighted that the work undertaken to planes on site was also a good story to tell – the businesses using these industrial units would stay and spend money within the local area. The Vice-Chairman noted that electric aviation would allow planes to become quieter and highlighted the need for ensuring that the borough maximised its opportunities.
Mark Haynes – The Glades advised that they were seeing shoppers return. Footfall in the shopping centre had been buoyant with around 1.5m visitors each month for the last three months which was 20%, 25% and 12% up on the previous year – these increases were ahead of the published industry figures, which was extremely positive. There had been lots of interest from retailers looking to open stores within the shopping centre. Recent openings included Mint Velvet, Itsu, NHS Vaccination Centre and Lulu’s. Nike would be opening a store during the first week of December, and early next year Bread Ahead, two high-end watch retailers and a shoe brand would be opening stores too. There had also been further interest from ladies’ beauty and leisure and fitness operators.
Frances Forrest – Your Bromley BID Company said that a number of new businesses had opened on Bromley High Street and in The Mall. Footfall in the town centre was up, and people felt positive and optimistic.
Chris Travers – Orpington 1st BID Company advised that footfall in Orpington Town Centre was fairly good following a decent summer period. The occupancy rate was strong, in line with the Greater London average and above the national average. It was anticipated that the winter period would be challenging with a bigger hit to consumer spending ... view the full minutes text for item 22.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
o Round the table ask for specific items of interest for next BEP
The Chairman extended congratulations to Zoe Carr, Penge SE20 BID Company, and her team for the success in securing their second 5-year term. Members were shown the BID Company’s ‘Penge and Proud’ film: https://pengese20.co.uk/penge-bid/
Christopher Evans – Community Links Bromley suggested the following items of interest for subsequent partnership meetings:
- Shared Prosperity Fund: Status, themes, governance etc.
- Digital Inclusion – What does this look like for Bromley? Who is excluded? Strategy/plans to meet the challenge.
- Green Economy: What does this look like moving forward and local implications.
- SE Integrated Care Board: How can we support the Board in its commitment to the development of more resilient communities, as well as meeting its social and economic object.
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
4.00pm, Tuesday 31st January 2023
4.00pm, Tuesday 18th April 2023
4.00pm, Tuesday 31st January 2023
4.00pm, Tuesday 18th April 2023