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Bromley planners reject towers by Broadway Malyan and OWAL

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Councillors have thrown out separate proposals from Broadway Malyan and OWAL Architects to replace a south London garage and low-rise offices with a 23-storey residential tower and a 10-storey mixed-use scheme

Bromley Council’s development control committee voted to refuse planning permission for both proposals put forward for adjacent plots in Sherman Road amid fears of their impact on the local conservation area.

Broadway Malyan’s proposal for Be Living would have created a stepped tower rising from four to 23 storeys and containing 219 build-to-rent apartments, along with flexible space for businesses or other bodies, car and cycle parking and public realm improvements.

It would have replaced two office buildings of three to four storeys each at 6-10 Sherman Road near Grade II-listed Bromley North rail station. But planning officers recommended refusal of the full application.

’The proposed development is considered lacking justification for its excessive density, which contributes to its overly dominant scale from a strategic townscape level and also at a site level, resulting in a proposal which visually competes with the modest market town character,’ said a report to councillors.

It continued: ‘The building is considered of poor design with little relief or articulation achieved through the massing of the building, resulting in a slab-like block, thereby exacerbating the harm.’

Meanwhile, the neighbouring OWAL project, backed by developer South East Living Group, would have created nine homes and 380m² of commercial space on an adjacent plot at 10a Sherman Road currently occupied by a tyre fitting and MOT/servicing business.

Here planning officers warned that the outline application did not contain enough detail to allay fears of harm to the amenities of the train station or the wider Bromley Town Centre Conservation Area.

Rejecting both proposals, the development control committee called for a plan to be brought forward for a broader area ‘rather than piecemeal applications’. 

Committee chair Alexa Michael said: ’We had a number of concerns about each of these proposed developments, with both of the proposals harming the setting of the conservation area.

’The outline 10-storey proposal would have a detrimental impact on residents living in the neighbouring 10-storey Northpoint apartment block. We were also highly concerned about the overly dominant 23-storey application and the wider impact this would have.’

South East Living Group chief executive Nigel Styles said: ‘We are disappointed with the council’s decision relating to our planning application and we are in the process of reviewing our planning strategy.’

Be Living said it was assessing its options following the council’s decision.

OWAL and Broadway Malyan have been contacted for comment.

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