Sir Bob Neill has urged the council to reject plans to build a 16-storey tower in place of a former Maplin store on Bromley High Street.

The Bromley and Chislehurst MP expressed his opposition to the project in a public letter, claiming that it “represents a considerable overdevelopment.”

A previous planning application for the same site, submitted in March, which would have provided 47 flats and retail space, was rejected by the council.

The developer, Matterhorn Capital, returned in August with the current plans, which would see a larger part-16, part-13-storey tower built, comprising 68 flats of varying size.

Sir Bob wrote: “I write to place on record my strong opposition to the above application.

“It represents a considerable overdevelopment that, due to its height and design, would result in a tower block at significant odds with our historic street and Bromley town centre conservation area.”

He added: “Indeed, the applicant appears to have made no effort whatsoever to address the concerns raised during the course of the previous application, instead increasing the proposals from 12 to 16 storeys.

“I believe this demonstrates a cynical opportunism that seeks to exploit the pressure Bromley is under to meet the Mayor’s unrealistic housing targets.”

Sir Bob highlights the level of public opposition to the application, which has received 390 objections, compared to just 17 comments in support.

Bromley town’s Conservative councillors have already expressed their opposition to the proposals “on the grounds of its design and height”.

The council's planning committee rejected the initial plans, with Cllr Harmer arguing the block would "appear overly dominant and out of keeping with the immediate surroundings" due to its height at the materials used.

The developer’s planning statement argues that the predominance of low-rise buildings is “at odds with general best practise principles of urban design for the densifying high streets, whereby taller elements are located on the street itself and not along secondary routes.”

It is claimed that the building’s height is in line with the height of other surrounding proposals such as Churchill Gardens, and recently completed buildings such as St Mark’s Square, as well as the Churchill Theatre.

A spokesperson for Bromley Council said: “Whilst a previous application was rejected and is the subject of an appeal to the government's independent planning inspectorate, all applications are considered on their own merits, with comments on this revised application welcome and still being accepted as part of the council’s consultation prior to a decision being made.”

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