At a London Borough of Bromley Executive meeting on 5 July the Orpington Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted and will now be a material consideration for planning applications in the Orpington Town Centre area.
Its adoption follows a preliminary consultation which informed the draft SPD and a consultation on the draft SPD.
The final document (subject to minor formatting changes) can be downloaded HERE.
Orpington 1st has long called for a stronger vision for planning decisions in the town centre and we welcome the adoption of the SPD. It is a comprehensive document, and a much needed and long overdue guide which will help attract and support essential inward investment. Some development has taken place without a cohesive vision, and the BID has underlined to the local authority the importance of showing leadership, steering with confidence the economic growth of the town; enabling, not preventing, new build, working collaboratively and efficiently to ensure the highest quality of design and delivery, and enabling creative solutions which support modern trading requirements and improved social cohesion.
Through Orpington 1st's response to the consultation, the BID was able to shape the document, including:
- the addition of a specific reference to the benefits of the retention of the leisure centre within the town
- additional references to employment opportunities as a consideration in new developments
- future proofing the size and nature of new commercial space where possible
- highlighting the opportunities presented by Priory Gardens
- the importance of green space surrounding the town
- highlighting the benefits of cultural uses within the town centre
- the value of the college premises within the town
- the importance of clearly identified and funded management for the sustainability of public realm and public/private spaces as an essential component of good town centre planning
Orpington 1st BID emphasised the importance of Orpington's status as the borough's major town centre in Greater London and the opportunities and benefits this can bring to business as well as the community at large. We were pleased to see the council confirm that the guidance in the SPD is aimed at ensuring that future development in the town centre is commensurate with its major town centre status.