Beckenham improvements work update week beginning 16 April 2018

Improvement Works Update courtesy of F M Conway, contractor for the works.

Phase 4 works 116 to 180 High Street.

Completed works

  • Paving has continued south of the existing pedestrian crossing opposite Lidl with Kerbing in advance reaching Santander at 212-214 High Street.
  • The entrance to Leather Alley has been excavated. As previously stated there was a void under the access the size of which could not be determined until the surface treatment had been removed. It has been discovered that a long standing water leak has created a large hole. Reinstatement was delayed whilst Thames Water investigated where their pipe was leaking. The reinstatement works will now be completed by Tuesday the 14thApril. For Thames Water to repair the leak new paving will have to be dug up by Thames Water and then reinstated. The Project team recognise the frustration this further disruption may cause however it is beyond our control as the leak is from a water pipe and Thames Water has yet to find the exact location.
  • The pedestrian island in The Drive has been removed in anticipation of works to this corner. This is a temporary measure to ensure there is sufficient space for vehicles whilst providing a safe working environment for the contractors.
  • The existing small, on street compound has been moved to the parking bays outside 258 to 262 High Street. The bays will therefore obviously be out of operation.

Next week’s works.

  • Footway and kerbing will continue south to The Drive. This phase of works is anticipated to be complete by the 30th April 2018 subject to construction complications or adverse weather.
  • Tactile paving is being continued to be re-laid at Thornton’s Corner. A high quality granite product has always been specified for this area to complement the granite paving. The concrete tactile paving was a temporary measure.

Hours of Operation

In order to maintain access to all shop entrances pavement laying will have to be conducted out of normal hours between 18pm and 20pm on some days. We do understand that this can be a nuisance and FM Conway will endeavour to keep noise disturbance to a minimum during these times.

Traffic Management

The High Street from Kelsey Lane to the War Memorial will now remain two ways until the end of April. The 352 bus will then be diverted up the High Street and around Rectory Road. Unfortunately this is unavoidable.

Two directional traffic from the junction of Bromley Road / Church Avenue / High Street south to Thornton’s Corner cannot resume because of safety concerns. If it were to be reintroduced some vehicles would be forced on to Burnhill Road and Kelsey Square. This would potentially include HGVs which would be particularly unsatisfactory.

Work by other contractors in Beckenham

Contractors not connected with the project have been working outside Card Factory and the side alley. Thames Water will be on site 3/4/18 to 6/04/18 to connect the new water to the flats above The Card Factory. UKPN have some extra work to complete in the alleyway between Miso and the Card Factory. The appalling reinstatement of the paving outside The Card Factory was carried out by Thames Water contractors and will be made good by FM Conway.

Business Rates

Business Rates are not something that the council is responsible for. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for setting the rateable value of commercial properties and has been notified about the extent and timescales for the Beckenham scheme. The VOA have stated:

“In line with similar schemes in other boroughs, the VOA is intending to apply a temporary reduction of up to 10% of the rateable value of retail properties which are directly affected by the works. These reductions will be phased to reflect the phasing of the scheme itself and will be applied to affected businesses only for the duration of the applicable phase. For example, previously a business located in the High Street between Thornton’s Corner and Rectory Road would be provided with a temporary reduction between the start of Phase 1 (13 March 2017) and end of Phase 2 (circa August 2017).

Changes can now only be made by the Valuation Office to the system from 1 April 2017. Unless a Ratepayer has made a valid 2010 proposal against their Rateable Value that remains outstanding.

Reductions will be applied retrospectively for the phases that have occurred since the 1st April 2017. By mid-May the VOA will be writing directly to businesses affected by the appropriate phases of work to provide full details of the proposed temporary reductions for their individual properties.

Customers will need a CHECK by registering through the Find and check your business rates valuation. This will confirm the facts about their property. After a CHECK of the property details has been completed the customer is entitled to submit a Challenge to the valuation. After 8 May, customers will have the opportunity to group themselves together with Challenge cases which are about the same valuation issue”.

The VOA can be contacted at:

Tel: 03000 501501

Email: ratingsoutheast@voa.gsi.gov.uk

The completed scheme

Feedback from the community has revealed that there are some incorrect preconceptions about the scheme.

• The High Street will not be pedestrianised. Improvements will however greatly improve the pedestrian environment with wider pavements, improved lighting and more and better road crossings.

• After the improvements are complete the High Street will revert to two way traffic as prior to the improvements. The larger widenings such as the North-West corner of Thornton’s Corner have been designed to enable the largest road vehicles to comfortably navigate the corner in both directions. Changes to the vehicle stop lines and traffic signalling will enable vehicles to use the reduced road space with minimal impacts on traffic flows.

• No existing bus stops will be removed from the High Street. All bus stops will however be improved and will become fully disabled accessible. In order to create sufficient waiting space for passengers some bus stops will be located on what is the highway at present.

• The scheme will not introduce shared surfaces where the footway and road surface will be on the same level. Throughout the scheme a kerb will be retained between the pavement and the road and the pedestrian areas will be a traditional pavement above vehicular areas except at crossing places.

• Many of the parking spaces are inset into the paving (achieved by widening the paving not reducing it). They are flush with the pavement to avoid a trip hazard kerb.

Further information can be found at www.bromley.gov.uk/beckenhamimprovements

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