Porcupine Update 17th November
Bricklayers on site
Roof going on
The Porcupine Then & Now History in Pictures.
You might appreciate a fuller History from an original article published by John Kennett in the June 2011 edition of SENine Magazine
LiDL’s appeal to Planning Inspectorate Successful
After 7 years of planning blight, the replacement of the Porcupine Pub by a LiDL supermarket has been passed by the National Planning Inspectorate, overturning repeated refusal by Bromley Planners.
This development is bound to engender mixed sentiments among residents. The long and protracted discussions have raised passions, but I am sure we shall all be pleased to see the removal of the blue eyesore.
A Brief Resumee of the last 10 years.
The Porcupine Pub provided a valuable community asset to local residents with a pleasant garden area and a small menagerie of animals to amuse the children. However, it also had a darker side relating to local nefarious activity, which became an increasing problem. In latter years, it had been allowed to become run down by its owners and their management decisions. In 2012 it was finally sold in a rather clandestine manner, which engendered outrage among many local residents and political figures, including the local MP who even mentioned the establishment in Parliament.
The consequence of the campaign against the closure resulted in its being declared an Asset of Community Value by Bromley Council, with the agreement of the Government. This suspended any proposed demolition on the site for 5 years to allow the community time to find an alternative development. During that period several different providers offered suggested alternatives, but LiDL, who have throughout been the outright owners of the site, did not consider the financial redress adequate.
The initial planning application from LiDL was turned down by Bromley Council on the grounds of pedestrian and traffic safety, mainly due to the difficult access to the site by the 40 tonne delivery lorries. An appeal by LiDL was initially viewed favourably by the Council planners, but was referred to the Council’s higher development committee following the expression of continued safety concerns. That committee refused the planning application prompting LiDL’s appeal to the National Planning authorities, whose final report is here : Lidl – Porcupine Inn – decision March 2022
The MRA View
The MRA restates its firm responsibility to protect the environment and safety of the residents it represents. The majority of respondents to an all-doors survey was in favour of opposing the planning proposal, and this decision will come as a disappointment to them.
We still have serious concerns about the local traffic impact of the illustrated 40 tonne delivery lorries, and the associated customer cars. During deliveries some of the 33 planned parking spaces will be inaccessible and lorries will be manoeuvring in pedestrian areas, so there is concern that there will be hazards and overspill parking onto nearby residential roads.
Nevertheless, it has to be acknowledged that there is a significant number of our local residents who will welcome the addition of the LiDL budget brand to our area, which will be a benefit to those affected by current inflationary pressures.
It remains to be seen whether it will elevate the retail profile as predicted by the developers and perhaps enhance local trade – apart from the existing 3 (and rising !) local food outlets.
History of the Porcupine :
John Kennett’s History of The Porcupine from 1688-2010 can be seen here.
You can view all the Bromley planning documents HERE