The start of a new year is about looking forward, and fresh from an eventful 2018 it is set to be another interesting 12 months in London’s biggest borough.

Challenges and big decisions will face every council this year, and here is a look at what issues will be tackled in Bromley.


Bromley Council will file its budget early this year following an “unprecedented era of financial challenge” for local government.

Parliament has squeezed the budgets of local councils in recent years of austerity, with Bromley feeling the pinch to the tune of £90million a year.


Councils are legally bound to present a balanced budget, with Bromley having already asked residents for input on how their cash is spent in the next year.

A spokesman said last year: “Beyond that, we have some very difficult decisions to make and mountains to climb as we face a future with reduced government grants and, therefore, fewer resources.”

Footsie row

One issue set to come to an end this year is the ongoing saga over a housing plan for Footsie Social Club in Lower Sydenham Road.

For a fifth time developers have tried to push through a scheme despite previous plans being blocked because of the use of protected land.


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

The developers went over the council’s head to appeal to the planning inspectorate for a decision, as the council had not come to a conclusion in the five months since the plans were submitted.

A decision is expected this year, with the housing developers recently submitting slightly amended plans as their appeal continues to take shape.

Town centre masterplan

Ambitious regeneration plans for Bromley town centre were met with mixed views when they were put out for consultation last year.

The council asked for feedback on ideas for the heart of its masterplan site, which extends along the west side of the High Street from Bromley South station to the Churchill Theatre.

According to council documents, there is scope for 1,230 homes across towers up to 15 storeys, creating a new neighbourhood with shops and community spaces.

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Ward councillors Nicky Dykes, Will Harmer and Michael Rutherford said there is a limit on the amount of development the town centre could bear – dubbing proposals “unimaginative”.

A decision will be made by the council’s executive following last year’s consultation.

10-storey school

Last year the council was forced to defend its decision to reject a 10-storey school in Bromley town centre.

Campaigners called for commonsense to prevail as a government inspector went away to consider overturning the council and approving the ‘unpopular’ plans.


A public inquiry was held in November following the decision to block plans because of safety concerns and the impact a high-rise school would have on neighbours.

More than 200 people objected to the original proposals and neighbours and campaigners turned out during the inquiry to argue against the school.

A result is expected in the coming months, with the site already being earmarked for educational purposes.