Bromley Council is set to take on developers as a row over a controversial housing scheme has been taken to the government. 

This is the fourth time developers have tried to push through schemes for the former Footzie Social club in Lower Sydenham Road, but the plans have been blocked because of the use of protected land.

West and Partners has most recently proposed 151 homes in a block between three and eight storeys tall back in April, and also plans a public outdoor gym and play areas for children.

The developer said this latest attempt includes 36 per cent affordable housing, and said it would help Bromley with its housing needs and enhance public space.

The developer has appealed straight to the government on the grounds of “non-determination”.

The developer has gone over the council’s head to appeal for a decision as the council has yet to come to a conclusion in the five months since the plans were submitted.

Planning chiefs have previously turned down a larger applications on the grounds it was “inappropriate” on the protected area known as metropolitan open land, and there have been a number of appeals turned down.

On Tuesday night, the council’s planning meeting confirmed it would be contesting the appeal.

Cllr Alexa Michael, chairman of the development control committee, said the council doesn’t want to lose its metropolitan open land.

Cllr Michael said: “We do not think the applicant has demonstrated the very special circumstances that would be required to grant a planning permission.

“We have previously rejected an application for residential development on this site and we will be outlining our strong principled positions to the planning inspector.

“We also consider that it is an inappropriate location for tall buildings and the scale and massing would also amount to overdevelopment.”

According to its application, the developer said the plans represented special circumstances which meant the development should be given the go-ahead.

The application said: “There is a clear absence of sufficient other readily available new land which will enable the council to meet the current minimum housing targets set by the London Plan, let alone the required increase set by the draft New London Plan.”

However, as well as the harm to open space, council officers said in their report: “There are fundamental issues in terms of amount, scale and detailed design of the proposal that would seriously threaten the character, place making and functionality of the area as well as giving rise to a poor standard of amenity for future residents.”