CANDIDATE QUESTIONS TO BROMLEY COUNCIL
(1) From Angela Wilkins, Crystal Palace Ward resident, to the Leader of the Council
(As residents of Crystal Palace ward, we welcome the potential of investment that might bring jobs and economic regeneration to the north of the Borough. We feel however that, given the potential scale of the proposals from ZhongRong Group , the public consultations undertaken to date have failed both in terms of their penetration of the local community and in the very scant level of information provided to the public.)
What safeguards are Bromley Council proposing to ensure that any disposal of land at Crystal Palace Park is genuinely in the public interest, is at a true market rate, and via a process that is transparent and fully compliant with current legislation?
The Council has a duty under Section 123 of the 1972 Local Government Act to secure the best consideration reasonably obtainable when it disposes of land (other than on a lease of 7 years or less) unless it has the benefit of an express or general consent of the Secretary of State. In the case of the proposals for Crystal Palace, the Council has appointed a valuation expert to undertake the valuations required to ensure that this obligation is met. The consultant was appointed following a selection process to ensure that he has the relevant expertise and experience to undertake this commission. The Council has also sought the advice of Leading Counsel to ensure that it is following the correct process in all its dealings. Authority to enter into any binding agreements with the prospective developer will have to be sought from Council Members and will therefore be reported to a public meeting in the normal way although some elements of the transaction will be commercially sensitive and will therefore be included in a Part II report. If acceptable terms can be agreed with the prospective developer and if Council Members give authority to proceed, the Council’s position will be safeguarded through the legal documentation. The Council has appointed suitably experienced legal advisors to provide advice in the preparation of the necessary documentation.
(2) From Angela Wilkins, Crystal Palace Ward resident, to the Leader of the Council
What plans are in place for a true and comprehensive public consultation once the developer’s plans are more developed and informed?
Where a proposal is of a very large scale I would generally encourage developers to carry out public consultation at an early and formative stage.
In my view, the developer needs to consult with the local community before submitting formal planning or other applications.
The statutory consultation and publicity requirements of the planning process will be met upon receipt of a planning application.
(3) From Richard Williams, Crystal Palace Ward resident, to the Leader of the Council
What guarantees can the Council give as regards crucially important traffic and environmental impact assessments and when will they be undertaken?
The developer will need to submit traffic and environmental impact assessments for approval as part of the formal planning process.
(4) From Richard Williams, Crystal Palace Ward resident, to the Leader of the Council
Is there any truth in the rumour that the Council and the Mayor of London are attempting to secure a change in the law via the Queen’s Speech this autumn to allow for the sale of land in the park?
No we are not and we understand that the Mayor of London isn`t either.