This month we submitted comments to Bromley Council’s recent consultation on their Open Space Strategy, which sets out their plans for our local parks, public gardens and other open green spaces (including Penge Rec, Royston Fields, Betts Park Alexandra Rec and Cator Park).
Among our comments, we called for sports fields and spaces for physical activity to be protected, for more support to be given to continue the great work our local Friends’ groups do to maintain our parks, with more council support for less well-off parts of the area to help maintain their local spaces, and to ensure our green spaces are fully accessible for disabled residents and others with additional needs.
We raised concerns with wording in the strategy suggesting the council would look at options to ‘develop or dispose’ and ‘increase commercial use’ of the council’s open spaces- particularly in recent times we have all seen how important having nearby access to parks and green spaces is for our physical and mental health- particularly around Penge where many people live in flats without gardens. We want to ensure all residents can continue to have access to green spaces in our local area.
Residents and other community groups also raised their concerns with these plans and the council responded with a statement indicating no parks would be sold off to private developers and lost- but have not yet committed that the plans will be changed to ensure no public land is privatised or built on- we will continue to monitor this when the final draft is published.