Ravensbourne Valley Neighbourhood Forum

Creating our neighbourhood


Better developments
More attractive buildings
A better place to live

   Neighbourhood Planning

Your chance to be involved and help create a beautiful neighbourhood with attractive new houses

Everyone living or working in the Area (see below) can be involved in Neighbourhood Planning and contribute to making our community an attractive place in which to live.

The concept of ‘Neighbourhood Planning’ was introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and provides residents with the statutory authority to control, to an extent, development in their designated local area (the Neighbourhood Planning Area, or simply 'Area'). 

Ravensbourne Valley Neighbourhood Forum is the proposed body which all residents of the Area can join and which determines what should be in the ‘Neighbourhood Plan’.

Background

Detailed background can be found here.

In summary, controlling development would mean the implementation of a ‘design code’, as approved by residents, with which all new developments would have to comply.  This design code would have statutory authority and is therefore a meaningful and powerful planning tool.  Other issues which might be controlled could include the protection of buildings of historic interest and certain changes to existing buildings. 

The Neighbourhood Plan carries equal weight as the Council's Local Plan and the Mayor's London Plan with regard to planning decision making.  The Local and London Plans, are essentially  strategic documents which do not have localised policies and this is what the Neighbourhood  Plan does - in essence a design code. So when a planning application is being considered all three plans  have to be considered.

Neighbourhood planning covers a wide range of issues not mentioned here because the principal focus in this local area is on the quality of the built environment.

An indicative Area is shown below.


Above is an approximate, indicative area which might be suitable for the Area.  If adopted, the Area would need to be fixed and mapped accurately. Residents, via the Forum, would decide upon the final Area.

The boundaries might be: -

To the west: - following the boundary of the Downs Hill Conservation Area and the railway line  to Shortlands;

Moving eastward: - the boundary would follow the rear of the low numbered houses in Ravensbourne Avenue, the southern edge of the Golf Course and then following Beckenham Lane;

To the east: - the boundary would follow the east side of Bracken Hill Lane and along Park End to London Road.  The boundary would then run parallel to London Road/Bromley Hill as far as McDonald’s but not include buildings actually fronting London Road/Bromley Hill;

To the north: - the boundary would follow Ashgrove Road, the edge of Millwall Training Ground and the boundary between Lewisham and Bromley

Why is this being considered now?

Many residents will have been appalled that the application to demolish 2 Warren Avenue was proposed in the first place although fortunately, Bromley did of course refuse permission.

However, this is not always the case.  Over the years there have been numerous developments which have not enhanced the area because of their insensitive design and size - we can all think of examples.  It is this issue that a design code, developed and approved of by local residents seeks to address.


What is the process for creating a Neighbourhood Plan?

An established process would see the Local Authorities (Bromley and Lewisham) designating the proposed area as a Neighbourhood Area.  Bromley and Lewisham would also need to formally designate a Neighbourhood Planning Forum.  The Forum is responsible for determining the Plan for the Area, and the Neighbourhood Area itself, and consists of a minimum of 21 people.  All residents over the age of 18 in the Neighbourhood Area are entitled to be involved although the bulk of the work would be carried out by a small elected committee.

Following an established process, the Neighbourhood Plan for the area is prepared (including the ‘design code’) and a local referendum is held to see if residents wish to adopt it.  If a simple majority vote is achieved, then all future planning applications and appeals must be determined in accordance with this plan.

Other issues

Local neighbourhood planning cannot be used to inhibit development.  Its purpose is to guide future development for the benefit of local residents. Nor can it override national planning policies.

What can I do now?

Simply contact us to express an interest and/or comment. Already, a significant number of people including local Councillors support the idea but the more the better.  We really want to hear from you so do please get in touch. We are currently rolling out our public notices (Whatsapp, Twitter, newsletters etc) about this project and upon completion will determine the next step.

Who is organising this?

The idea of a Neighbourhood Forum was raised at a meeting of Ravensbourne Valley Residents on 4th November 2021 where considerable interest was expressed. This website is being co-ordinated by the Chair of Ravensbourne Valley Residents, Clive Lees, but the Forum would be a separate body, albeit covering, or likely to cover, a similar membership area.