Bob backs calls to protect Chislehurst Rec and Walden Woods

The fantastic team that make up the Friends of Chislehurst Recreation Grounds (FOCRG) have recently submitted a nomination to Bromley Council for Chislehurst Recreational Grounds, Walden Recreational Grounds, Whytes Wood and Walden Woods to be designated as Local Green Space. I know how much support this proposal has received from local residents, as well as the local councillors – Katy Boughey, Eric Bosshard and Ian Payne – and it is something I am very much in favour of too.

As a part of the consultation that ran last year on the Draft Allocations, Further Policies and Designations document published by Bromley Council, it was announced that land on Bushell Way is being considered for a new school. There certainly is a need for additional school places across the Borough, and although if this site were to be taken forward it would have to be shown to be acceptable in planning and highway terms through the usual planning process, it is a location I can see a case for.

Having said this, in my response to the Council’s consultation I made clear that only the minimum land necessary for a school should be released for development, with the remainder upgraded to Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) status. This would essentially give it the same protections as Green Belt land, ensuring that these much cherished sites, which have already been recognised in the Council’s Biodiversity Plan for their recreational value and excellent wildlife and habitats, can be protected for the local community.

I fully support all of the efforts FOCRG have made in this regard, and have written to Jim Kehoe, the Chief Planning Officer at Bromley Council, to reiterate my views about the importance of Chislehurst Rec and Walden Woods. A copy can be found at the bottom of this page.

I will, of course, continue to keep a close eye on the progress of FOCRG’s nomination.