January 2009:
The Government Office for London (GOL) and LDA Park application 

Following grant of approval by the London Borough of Bromley on 9 December 2008 to the LDA Crystal Palace Park ‘Masterplan’ application, the CPCA and others requested GOL to call in the application for public inquiry.

As the proposals for development on Metropolitan Open Land and protected parkland are contrary to policies in Bromley’s UDP, this is known as a 'Departure Application' and Bromley must refer it to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Call-in criteria apply when the application:

  • - proposes the building of 150 houses or more,
  • - is on land owned by a local authority,
  • - conflicts with UDP policies,
  • - develops housing on any Greenfield site of 5 hectares or more,
  • - involves building housing at a density of 30 dwellings per hectare or    less,
  • - raises significant effects beyond the immediate locality,
  • - has serious urban design issues,
  • - gives rise to substantial regional controversy.

All these criteria apply to the LDA Park Masterplan application.

GOL has confirmed that: "…the proposed residential development in the Park would represent a departure from Bromley’s Unitary Development Plan. Therefore before a planning application was permitted, it would automatically fall to be referred to the Secretary of State to enable her to consider whether it raised matters of more than local importance, such that she should call it in for her own decision following a public inquiry."

GOL Planning Division has advised the CPCA that the interruption for the Christmas break meant a decision on call-in could not be issued within the statutory 21-day period after referral. GOL has therefore issued an Article 14 direction to Bromley Council to prevent planning permission being issued unless authorised by the Secretary of State. This is a mechanism to allow the Secretary of State as much time as she needs to reach a decision. The new target date for a decision is 28 January 2009.

The CPCA's letter to GOL requesting call-in is linked here.

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