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Plans for hundreds of homes on former social club rejected again

PUBLISHED: 12:05 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 12:05 10 May 2017

The former Footzie Social Club site. Photo: Google

The former Footzie Social Club site. Photo: Google

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Proposals for an apartment building on the site of Footzie Social Club in Lower Sydenham were discussed last night

Plans to develop hundreds of homes on the site of a former social club in a deal which could bring £40m of private investment to Sydenham have been rejected by Bromley councillors.

Developers have tried on numerous occasions over the last two years to erect an apartment building on the site of Footzie Social Club on Station Approach in Lower Sydenham.

Planning chiefs turned down a similar but larger application in 2015 on the grounds it was “inappropriate” on a protected area known as Metropolitan Open Land.

A report on the project was referred to then-London mayor Boris Johnson who rejected the opportunity to take over the application himself, saying he was “content to allow Bromley Council to determine the case itself”.

The site is not currently open to public use after falling into a poor condition and is currently being used for a range of different uses which include ad-hoc storage, a builder’s compound and parking.

Improved plans were then put together and submitted to the local authority for a smaller-scale project, comprising 229 flats, but planning chiefs last night threw out the plans.

The applicant had argued provision of affordable homes, a public park on the eastern part of the site and general economic benefits including £39.1m of private investment in the area, 170 temporary construction jobs per year and a further 255 “spin off jobs” represent “very special circumstances” which outweigh the harm caused to the open quality of the land.

However, other parties such as Sport England, objected at the loss of a playing area on the site, while National Rail has expressed concerns about the impact on the capacity and footfall at Lower Sydenham train station.

The plans have now been referred to the Greater London Authority and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

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