Orpington Labour says: No to Walnuts Tower!
Bromley Council must consult Orpington residents on the future of their town centre, after all this is a democracy!
At Orpington Labour’s Monthly meeting on Wednesday 23rd June, after a briefing by members who attended a developer’s presentation at the Walnuts Centre and a wide ranging discussion, it was decided to reject the 25 storey tower block plan, as unacceptable.
The meeting felt:
- The Walnuts Centre is tired and needs redevelopment, but not this one. The Town Centre should be considered as a whole, taking account of the impact on an already struggling High Street
- An assessment should be made of the impact on GPs, schools, social care, road capacity and traffic flows
- On past evidence the £5-£7million proposed developer payment to Bromley Council to avoid social housing commitments was unlikely to be used for Orpington’s benefit!
- Proposed apartment prices are unaffordable by many local people, who are in need of such housing
- There is no consideration for businesses and staff displaced by the development and proposals for a replacement Leisure Centre have been omitted
- The proposed tower block will dwarf the College Tower, which already dominates the skyline and propels us toward the “Croydon path”, down which Orpington does not wish to go.
The developers and the Council should go back to the drawing board and make the revisions necessary to carry public opinion with them, because as it stands Labour cannot support this plan.
A working group from Orpington Labour has been formed to discuss any alternatives, formulate an official objection that complies with planning law and disucss what a future development proposal should look like.