A Planning Application has been submitted for Cranbrook Court, the former sheltered housing scheme in Thesiger Road, to be used for accommodation for homeless people. There has been a lot of understandable concern expressed by neighbouring residents.
We do understand residents’ concerns but there is also some misinformation that needs to be put into context. We have been aware for some time that an application was imminent and many residents will have received the letters the developers sent out regarding their proposals.
As Cranbrook Courtwas previously used for accommodation for people requiring care, there is little or no chance of this planning application being refused. I am sure we are all aware of the increasing need for accommodation for individuals and families who suddenly find themselves homeless. (See this week’s Bromley Times.) There should be no no-go areas for helping people who find themselves in this situation. They could easily be our relatives.
Our approach so far has therefore been to work with the developers to make the scheme as acceptable as we possibly can, before it gets to the stage of final approval. That way, we can make sure the proposal fits in with the local area, rather than having a scheme foisted on us that we have been unable to influence.
As a result, the developers have agreed to only accept people nominated by Bromley council. This can be guaranteed by legal agreement. The only occasions we have had problems in the past is when nominations have come from other boroughs, who take no account of the interests of local residents. This is not a hostel for down and outs, reforming drug addicts or alcoholics. These facilities will be for Bromley (in fact, probably mainly Penge) people who may have become unable to meet their rent or mortgage payments (increasingly common at present) or found themselves homeless for any other reason.
The scheme will be managed, again by legal agreement, by a company that has worked extensively with Bromley Council in the past. That way we can be sure that should any problems arise, your local councillors will be able to raise the issues with local council officers who are answerable to local opinion. It will be in the interest of the managing agents to sort them out immediately. To help with this, there will be an on-site manager’s office that local residents can refer to.
So long as our conditions can be met, we may have a way forward here. If the legal agreements are not forthcoming, or if insurmountable problems become apparent, we will strenuously oppose the application.
We will make sure that local views are listened to. Any resident can still make representations to the council regarding the proposal. If you follow the links on the Bromley web site to search planning applications, the reference number is 12/00842. More details of the application can be found there. You can also contact us directly with any further issues. Once the planners have studied the application, it will go to committee for decision and one member of the public will be able to put their view to the committee.
We will update this site with any further information we receive.