Bromley North revamp plans unveiled
Traders have welcomed plans to revive a dying town centre retail district but said proposals do not go far enough.
An initial consultation for the £4.5million revamp of Bromley North went on show at Bromley United Reform Church in Widmore Road on Friday.
It is one of seven similar major schemes in the capital, with £3million funding from Transport for London and the remainder from Bromley council.
Florist George Draper, from Wells Flowers, said: “The amount of shops that have closed down is not good. It has been frustrating because we’re paying the rates and not getting what we deserve. I like the plans but they haven’t gone far enough. Perhaps we could have a canopy going down one side of the street for when the weather is bad.”
Proposals include slowing the traffic flow near Primark, changing the pavement materials, improving the appearance of empty shops and creating a ‘brand’ for the area which could include the use of over-sized yellow pots filled with the yellow Bromley broom plant.
There are also plans for public art, more trees and easier routes to Bromley North station.
Chair of Bromley North Traders Association, Bob Gregory, said: “This is the council’s chance to finally take notice of us. Bromley North is the more historic end of the town and it’s only now that they seem to be realising that.”
Owner of the Ink Company, Mark van den Hoogenband, 39, added: “We were asked what we rated to be the most important factor and we all said parking. There doesn’t seem to be enough provision in the plans.”
It is hoped more creative and independent businesses will be attracted to the area. Town planners said visitors tend to walk up the High Street as far as Market Square and then turn back.
They are considering making the area pedestrianised in the summer evenings and having al-fresco dining for restaurants.
Chairman of Bromley Business Forum, Rob Cundy, said: “I whole heartedly agree with the plans but they need to make it more attractive — all the shop fronts are dirty. We need a style and an overall vision.”
Transport planning manager Chris Cole said: “We want people to look at the plans and tell us what they want.”