For what might appear to be a small, settled area there's been a large number of planning submissions in the past. The link will open a large pdf document detailing all our action over the past years
What we've done in the past
Our Involvement in local planning issues between 2003 and the 2020s
The North Copers Cope Road Action Group (NCCRAG) began life, in 2003, when a number of individuals living in north Copers Cope Road became concerned about the planning applications at that time, including those which sought to turn individual houses on the road into blocks of flats and a number of other planning applications which threatened to compromise the Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) adjoining this part of Copers Cope Road.
The group of individuals took the name North Copers Cope Action Group (NCCAG) in August 2006 and set up a more formal structure at the time of the High Court proceedings in 2007. We summarise below the content of our round robin letter of June 2007 about those High Court proceedings:
“Century Way” – NCCAG took independent legal advice including counsel's opinion and convinced Bromley Council to instigate Judicial Review proceedings, with NCCAG being joined in its action, against the Planning Inspector's decision to allow development of the site. We subsequently instructed a separate QC to put forward what we considered to be more pertinent arguments against the Planning Inspector's decision.
Finance – we needed funding from local residents to allow us to proceed with this legal action and asked for contributions of £100 from households interested in supporting us.
Our formal presence in the High Court action in September required us to set up more formal constitutional arrangements and we set out the officers of NCCAG for the first time.”
The name of the Action Group was modified in 2019 to include the word Road, North Copers Cope Road Action Group (NCCRAG), to make it clear that the Action Group was not involved in all planning matters in the northern part of the Bromley Copers Cope Ward. The Action Group was not, for instance, involved in the applications for flatted development in the vicinity of Lower Sydenham railway station.
The aims and objectives of NCCRAG are:
“The preservation of the local built environment and the conservation of local woodland and open space for the benefit of the residents of North Copers Cope Road and the wider communities of the town of Beckenham and South East London.”
At the beginning of the century the need for new housing brought pressure on the MOL adjoining, and behind, Copers Cope Road. Towards the northern end of the road. Crystal Palace Football Club (CPFC) had bought the old Commercial Union Sports Ground site on the eastern side of the road and, immediately to the north, Leander had acquired the old Lloyds Bank Sports Ground which included the MOL to the east of Worsley Bridge Road adjacent to Worsley Bridge School. The Nat West/RBS ground, on the western side at the northern end of Copers Cope Road, had been sold to Mr Corby who over the subsequent years leased parts of the site for various sporting/leisure activities including Goals and Gambado. In addition the land on the eastern side of Worsley Bridge Road was re-designated as developable in 2002. Permission was subsequently granted to build 49 houses and 34 flats on the site. There was also the MOL land at the back of 91 to 117 Copers Cope Road, the Old Nursery Site.
The lease of the Lloyds Bank playing fields to Kent County Cricket Club (KCCC) and the initial development of the site was agreed in 2001 before the Action Group was set up. It was part of an agreement which involved the building of two blocks of flats on the main site, Pavilion and Gallery Houses, and a smaller shared ownership block for key workers on Copers Cope Road itself. These flatted developments led to various attempts by developers to get permission to knock down 82 – 86 Copers Cope Road and replace them with blocks of flats. All these applications were refused by Bromley Council and dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate as agents for the Secretary of State. That planning process lasted from 2003 to 2008. Subsequently a further housing development, Brindlewick Gardens off Worsley Bridge Road, was permitted on the Old Lloyds Bank site to facilitate the building of an indoor Cricket Academy for KCCC adjacent to the pavilion building on Worsley Bridge Road.
Another major development involved the land on the Old Nursery Site, behind the houses numbered 91 to 117, on the other side of Copers Cope Road. Attempts had been made to develop this site at various times between the 1960s and 1980s. All were refused by the Council. At one point residents had obtained planning permission for a Nature Reserve to conserve the land but unfortunately didn't execute it in the permitted time frame. A further attempt to develop this site began with an application to change the MOL designation, in 2005, which was refused by Bromley Council. That decision was overturned by the Planning Inspector examining the Council's new Draft Unitary Development Plan in November 2006. The Action Group then joined with Bromley Council to take judicial review proceedings in the High Court to challenge the Planning Inspector's decision. The High Court hearing was in September 2007 when the Planning Inspector's decision was upheld which allowed the development to go ahead. A development of 39 houses was built on the site. Numbers 103 and 105 Copers Cope Road were demolished to create the Century Way access road.
More recently, in 2015 to 2017, there were various applications in relation to 56 and also 56a and 56b Copers Cope Road. The former, 56, has been retained as a single dwelling, the original application was for a block of 10 flats. The houses at 56a and 56b were knocked down and replaced by four townhouses, rather than five as in the original application.
The most recent, major development, has resulted from the long-term leasing of the Nat West site by Mr Corby to CPFC as its Football Academy. In 2020 CPFC was granted permission to create 9 football pitches including one in a large indoor football pitch building, an outdoor all weather pitch and a show pitch and to undertake various other works, including a grounds maintenance complex and a massive flood attenuation scheme. NCCRAG objected to the size of the proposed indoor pitch building as being incompatible with the MOL land and considerably larger than other buildings, in equivalent circumstances, around the country. Permission was granted by Bromley Council in March 2020 subject to an extensive number of conditions.
Area of Special Residential Character (ASRC)
In 2015 the Action Group put forward a proposal that the northern part of Copers Cope Road should become an ASRC in the Local Development Framework to 2030. The proposal was largely accepted by Bromley Council, although modified and came into force when the local plan was adopted by Bromley Council in January 2019. It covers the houses running northwards on both sides of the road from numbers 76 upwards on the eastern side of the road and 119 upwards on the western side of the road. The impact of the ASCR designation is that no developments will be permitted that are out of character with the neighbourhood and the residential development already in the part of the road covered by the ASRC i.e. no flats or other inappropriate development or redevelopment.
Round robin letters
Throughout its existence NCCRAG, and previously NCCAG, has kept local residents informed, by way of round robin letters, as to developments on the planning front and asked them for support when necessary. It prepared and circulated nearly 50 round robin letters in the period from 2003 to 2021.
A list of the round robin letters with their date of circulation and a brief summary of their content is set out .
There is also a note, against each letter, showing the particular planning application with the numbering referring to an individual item in the table of applications which you can view
NCCRAG has raised finance, from time to time, to pay for professional advice and to be represented by professionals in Hearings before the Planning Inspector, in cases where there has been an appeal, and by a barrister in the 2007 case in the High Court. NCCRAG has raised a total of nearly £30,000 since 2003.