Plans to build a “monster tower block” in place of a former Maplin store on Bromley High Street have been rejected for the second time.

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 plans for a larger part-16, part-13-storey tower built, comprising 68 flats of varying size.

They were again rejected by the council’s development control committee on Tuesday night (January 11).

News Shopper: An artist's impression of how the development could have looked (Assael Architecture)An artist's impression of how the development could have looked (Assael Architecture)

Speaking against the application, Conservative Cllr Will Harmer said: “I am delighted that this application was rejected.

“This monster tower block would have been over-dominant in scale and massing and would have had a negative impact on the modest market town character of our town.

“As the Bromley Town Councillors myself, Cllr Nicky Dykes and Cllr Michael Rutherford, have been pushing for further protections for the heritage and character of our town centre.

“We recently successfully extended the Bromley Town Conservation area both in the town centre and the surrounding areas by creating a new conservation area in Shortlands.

“In addition to this we are also working on a design guide with Bromley council officers to further prevent inappropriate overdevelopments and unattractive designs in our town centre and surrounding neighbourhoods.”

Public opposition to the proposals was significant, with more than 400 people objecting to the planning application.

The developer’s planning statement argued that the predominance of low-rise buildings was “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 claimed that the building’s height would be 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.

Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, expressed his opposition to the project in a public letter late last year, claiming it represented a “considerable overdevelopment.”

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.”

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