The Haven & Rookstone Redevelopment

The Haven & Rookstone redevelopment

The Haven was a substantial Salvation Army Care Home surrounded by substantial land in Lawrie Park well supported by the local community. It was closed, boarded up and sold to Kitewood Estates for a surprisingly low sum of just £6.5 million. Kitewood came up with a plan to put over a hundred homes on the site netting them a profit calculated to be in the order of £50 million. This was turned down by Bromley, primarily on the grounds of ‘over development’. Kitewood have gone to appeal. The results of the appeal will not come before the new year.

The meeting on the 22nd was called by local residents to discuss a NEW application by Kitewood. This reduces the original 107 homes to 46. Most of the homes will now be premium housing – expected to be £1m+. The plan has a 35% social housing element which is detached from the main gated community. This is a block on Crystal Palace Road – bottom left on plan below:

Haven, SE26 Plan 2

Around 30 people met up at the Sydenham Tennis Club. The mood was positive with a noticeable lack of nimbyism. Everybody present appeared to be in favour of housing development at the earliest opportunity. There were two major concerns:

The height of buildings. These would be substantially higher than the surrounding buildings. On Crystal Palace Park Road they would break the line and be a major impact on views from Crystal Palace Park. Here is an architecturally uninspired elevation as seen through a large car park between it and Crystal Palace Park Road.

Crystal Palace Park Road proposed block

The block on Lawrie Park crescent would also be large and nearer the road than the old Care Home. Concerns were expressed about the loss of light of neighbouring properties and how this had misleadingly presented in the plans.

The second major concern was about the major loss of trees. 30 mature trees have already been lost and 30 more would go. Bromley Council does not ‘do’ Tree Preservation Orders. The replacement by, mostly, saplings, was thought to be inadequate in the short to medium term in what is characteristically one of Sydenham’s leafiest areas. In particular a particular iconic street tree in Springfield Road is planned to go.

The two local Bromley councillors (right on picture above) present expressed concern that they had not been informed of the new plan and found out only when someone noticed a single inadequate planning notice which gave a very short time for any objections to be lodged. It was thought that the notice given did not met the legal requirements and Bromley will be pressed to ensure proper notice is given and the date for objections to be from that date.

The councillors were empowered to speak to the Planning department and Kitewood about the plan. The overall requirement was for a reduction in height of the buildings. The replacement trees should include a substantial number of mature trees to screen the development. They will also arrange to make a room available at Bromley Town Hall so residents can examine the plans in more detail (the online versions are here:

It should be noted that this application does NOT replace the current one under appeal. Pressure is planned to be maintained to ensure all the objections get to the Planning Inspector and bromley properly represent their case. This plan is essentially a back pocket application to be used if and when the first application fails. You may wish to add further questions or comments here:

As a side issue it was asked why the Salvation Army did not involve the local community in plans for the land before selling off. They replied (through their lawyers) that it was no concern of the community as “They were doing God’s Work in Lawrie Park”. This lack of empathy of the SA senior staff was in sharp contrast the good reations with the working Sally Ally people at The Haven.

It was also thought that thought should be given to forming a Lawrie Park Association to represent the triangle and unite an community arbitarily split into two boroughs. Meanwhile here is what the old care home looks like now:

The Haven & Rookstone redevelopment

The Haven & Rookstone redevelopment

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