Category Archives: Education

Beckenham Business Association Workshop

Beckenham Lines Up Day of Networking, Advice, Clinics and Workshops to Boost Your Business

Beckenham Business Association, supported by LB Bromley, is holding a day of business workshops, networking and talks to boost your business. It will be held at Time Night Club Southend Road (near Beckenham Junction Station) on Wednesday 6 September 2017, from 9am to 3pm.

As well as the networking and advice sessions, there will be one-to-one PR, social media and SEO clinics, speed networking and practical talks on hot business topics such as ‘Turning Your Prospects into Leads’, ‘Online Marketing’ and ‘Sources of Alternative Funding’.

Beckenham’s very own “2016 Great British Bake Off” star Jane Beedle will talk about ‘Following Your Dream’ and how a chat over a cup of tea turned into a successful garden design business that led to a place on TV.

All monies raised from the Beckenham Business Day raffle will go to MindCare Dementia Support, part of Bromley & Lewisham Mind. The charity helps provides dementia support across Beckenham, Bromley and Lewisham to help adults with dementia stay in their homes and local communities.

The Mayor of Bromley, Cllr Kathy Bance MBE, will officially open the event, and Kat Webb, who runs the weekly guided tour In Ziggy’s Footsteps – The Walking Tour of David Bowie’s Beckenham, will MC and present the prize for the best dressed stand.

Beckenham Business Day is FREE for Beckenham Business Association Members and just £25 if not, and that includes one year’s membership of BBA. You don’t have to be a Beckenham business to attend – visitors are welcome at a cost of £10, which doesn’t include BBA membership.

For further details and booking visit the Beckenham Business Day page.

Bromley Age UK Open Day

Balmoral Avenue – Eden Park High School

Planning permission was granted for this school on 25 January. The school would start in 2019 or 2020, and eventually take in around 1680 students.

Residents who will be very much affected by this development spoke against the application. Balmoral Avenue is a quiet, fairly narrow, residential avenue. Despite promises of a “travel plan”, parents cannot be stopped from bringing their children to school. Even if most do come on foot, the prospect of around 2000 people using the road four times a day during term time is distressing for the long term residents.

The site immediately after it was sold.

The portfolio holder  for education, Cllr Fortune, supported the application saying that under the new arrangements for education, the local authority had very little say in where schools are located. The applicant is not the local authority but the academy with the support of the Education Funding Agency (EFA). WBRA have commented before that although EFA purchased the land at a cost of over £16m with taxpayers money, the Land Registry shows the owner of the land with “Title Absolute” to be the E21C Academy.

Cllr Fortune also said the Borough is short of several thousand secondary school places over the next 10 years (precise figures given at the meeting are not available in the minutes). The council is legally obliged to provide secondary school places for all pupils across the whole of the London Borough of Bromley and not necessarily in a specific ward or location.  Furthermore, the Council had no legal ability to prevent out-of-borough children applying for places at Bromley schools or to reserve places at Bromley schools for children who live in the Borough or in certain communities.

Peter Dean, Councillor for Kelsey and Eden Park, and Chair of the Development Control Committee, moved that the application be refused. He acknowledged that the London Borough of Bromley was in need of school places to meet its statutory needs.  However, Kelsey and Eden Park Ward was adequately covered for local students so there was no need for a further school in that area.  The site in Balmoral Avenue had not been designated land for educational use in the draft Local Plan.  Whilst there was a responsibility to the parents of children to provide them with school places, there was also a responsibility to local residents, their standards of living and enjoyment of life.  Balmoral Avenue was a narrow road which opened out onto Upper Elmers End Road.

Nevertheless permission was granted. WBRA continues to support local residents in seeking stringent conditions on the use of the site both for educational purposes and for community use, particularly the use of the sports facilities in the evenings and at weekends.

Balmoral Avenue proposals for new school

The planning application for this academy was received by LB Bromley in early July, but was published only in mid September. The application is for two buildings of two to three storeys to provide an eight form entry plus 6th form school (up to 1,680 pupils) and sports hall, playing fields, Multi Use Games Area and car parking spaces, cycle parking spaces, floodlighting, new pedestrian and vehicular accesses, servicing and storage.

The residents living right next to this development are understandably very alarmed at the prospect of over 1600 students passing down Balmoral Avenue four times a day, as well as sports facilities and floodlights. They have welcomed the fact that Balmoral Avenue is one of four sites in LB Bromley’s Local Plan review recommended for removal of the designation as suitable for educational use.

There seems to have been problems with LB Bromley’s mailing of consultation letters to residents. The consultation letter dated 16 September had not been received by residents in Balmoral Avenue on 26 September – half way through the supposed 21 days allowed to make representations. There are 57 documents associated with this application, so even the full 21 days is hardly adequate! The letters have been re-issued and the deadline for responses is now 17 October.

LB Bromley has deferred a decision on permission for Eden Park High School’s temporary site at the Ravensbourne School. This could delay the whole process for the proposed new school at Balmoral Avenue. There is considerable doubt as to whether this new large school is needed in the Borough. It might well be that the school children would come from neighbouring Boroughs rather than Beckenham.

Balmoral Residents have a petition against the school. Click to link.

Elmers End Green History Panel Unveiled

On Friday 27 May, Cllr Peter Dean, accompanied by WBRA Chair Marie Pender, unveiled the history panel detailing the 300 year history of Elmers End Green.

PD MP and panel

The panel shows a map of the Green in 1775, when it was surrounded by fields, and how the area around it changed beyond recognition over the 2oth century with housing for returning soldiers from WW II,  a cinema, shops and restaurants and now a thriving set of shops on home improvements.

panel

A group of WBRA members and children from Marion Vian School attended the unveiling, under the Elmers End village sign erected in 1998 by the then    Elmers End Residents Association.

DSC00269

Afterwards the members gathered at The Elm Tree pub (formerly the William IV pub that has stood here since the 1850s) to see the plans for the refurbished ex-toilet block to be changed into medical consulting rooms. Although WBRA objected strongly to the closure of the toilets and the sale of the building, we feel that this new use is an acceptable one. It will not increase the footprint of the building, will improve its appearance and will not significantly add to the traffic either on foot across the Green on by vehicle around it.