Earlier this year the West Beckenham Residents’ Association (WBRA) lodged an application to have Elmers End Green registered as a Town or Village Green. Bromley Council had previously attempted to sell the freehold for the toilet block on the Green (this is now currently being sold by leasehold). This raised concern, and local people wanted to ensure Elmers End Green was a protected green space. At our AGM, Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association members agreed to support WBRA’s application and our Association wrote in support to the Council and our local councillor on the committee. Unfortunately the Council voted against registering Elmers End Green as a Town or Village Green. An application has been lodged by The Beckenham Society to register Beckenham Green we hope the Council will approve this application. The Council can choose to register both sites voluntarily. If you think the Council should register these sites voluntarily please complete our poll at the bottom of this blog.
West Beckenham Residents’ Association released the following statement:
WBRA are very disappointed that the Council’s Executive Committee rejected the opportunity to register Elmers End Green as a Town or Village Green. The proposal was based on the special history of Elmers End Green. This triangle of land has been in exactly the same place at the junction of the road between Beckenham and Croydon and that to West Wickham for at least 300 years – undeveloped and open space used by residents of the then small Elmers End hamlet right up to the present day. If this doesn’t qualify as a town green, we don’t know what will. Dozens of local people wrote to the Leader of the Council in support of the proposition, as did eminent local groups such as Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association, Elmers End Free Church, The Beckenham Society and Bromley Local History Society. All councillors for Clock House and Kelsey and Eden Park wards supported our proposal.
The Development Control Committee had, in July, recognised the value of local history in fostering community spirit – at no cost. They felt registration would show the Borough in its best “Clean and Green” form and were enthusiastic for registration. Here was a committee that actually listened to what we were saying! On 10 September, Councillor Alan Collins gave a spirited and eloquent exposition of the case in favour. The Executive Committee however dismissed the Development Control Committee’s recommendation for registration without a shred of empathy for local people. Instead they just dismissed the dozens of emails and letters supporting the proposal and dragged up excuses to do nothing.
WBRA could understand (just a little) if we were asking them to spend thousands on the Green, but registration would cost virtually nothing. It is very depressing when our elected representatives show such little regard for the wishes of the electorate.