BATTLE lines are being drawn as a plan to build a restaurant complex in Bromley comes under scrutiny at a public inquiry – a year after councillors rejected it twice.
The £6.2m development of five restaurants on the terrace next to The Glades shopping centre was first turned down on February 14 last year.
At the time the members of the development control committee said the plan was too large but they would not rule out the idea of having one or two cafes in the area.
And the amended plan for the eateries on the edge of land given to Bromley to celebrate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee was turned down last June.
The amended plan still featured five premises and councillors considered it to be an overintensive development of the site and detrimental to the character and appearance of the Bromley town centre conservation area.
The councillors also believed the increased number of people in the area, because of people using the restaurants in the development, would disturb people in the nearby homes.
Capital Shopping Centres (CSC), which is hoping to build the restaurants, has now appealed against the rejection of its planning appeal.
The matter is now set to be heard at a public inquiry at the Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, from May 1 to 3.
Bromley Town councillor Will Harmer is preparing to defend the land at the inquiry.
He said: “We have always supported the area action plan which called for a couple of restaurants or cafes in the gardens, however this development goes far beyond that.
“As ward councillors we will be speaking at the public inquiry to ask that the planning inspectorate respect the council's decision.”
And his colleague Nicky Dykes said: "After the council rightly rejected the application at development control, we are disappointed CSC has decided to appeal the decision.
“This development represents a huge overdevelopment of Queen's Gardens."
News Shopper is awaiting a comment from Capital Shopping Centres.