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Bickley landowners say they should be allowed to build in borough's green belt
A GROUP of landowners in the borough is trying to see 34 ‘executive style’ homes built on green belt land.
Lead plot owner Leslie Osborn, 65, of Welling, said he and 17 others purchased the 8.5 acre Blackbrook Lane site, Bickley, in 1982 with dreams of building their perfect homes.
After plans were never realised they have now filed an application for houses – 12 said to be affordable – and hope to sell to a developer in a move they say will "enhance and improve the area".
But architectural consultant Mr Osborn said authorities appear to oppose plans and have been avoiding the submission, noting disagreements regarding recent changes to green belt policy.
He said planning framework changed last year, paving the way for developments at sites built on in the past – Ministry of Defence buildings stood at Blackbrook Lane in the last century.
He told News Shopper: "It’s a brown field site. Government policy brought in in 2013 allows work on previously developed land.
"Bromley Council always has to be controversial. We lodged the application last June and it’s taking so long. People don’t want us there – nobody likes change.
"We’re all now too old to build our own so we want to sell. We want to see it used for something worthwhile."
Bob Neill MP disputed the claims and stated the plot owners are wrong about the rules, adding: "Protections for the green belt remain firmly in place. Any suggestion to the contrary is based on an entirely flawed interpretation of the National Planning Policy Framework, which is a document I part-authored as a minister."
Bromley Council said: "We were unable to validate the application until January 2014 due to a lack of necessary information from the applicant. We will assess this application carefully and consider the planning merits before making our decision in the usual way.
"It is worth noting that the site lies within green belt land where there is a policy against inappropriate development."
Mr Osborn added a squatter had been living in a shack at Blackbrook Lane and had been fighting against proposed building work. He said he and other plot owners had been threatened by the individual.
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