Linden Homes

Bardhill, New Eltham

Acting on behalf of Linden Homes, Planning Potential secured permission, at a local level, for the redevelopment of the disused Bardhill Sports Ground, off Footscray Road in New Eltham, to deliver sports pitches, a community building, school/community garden and associated parking and landscaping.

The Bardhill scheme is linked to a nearby residential development project, which seeks to deliver 135 dwellings on a vacant site off Avery Hill Road. Although Greenwich Council refused the Avery Hill application, we were able to secure consent at appeal – facilitating the delivery of these brand new sporting and community facilities at Bardhill.

The 3.5-hectare Bardhill application site, at New Eltham in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, was formerly used as a private sports ground. It ceased being used in 1999 and had since become overgrown and neglected. Although the site is in private ownership and not publically accessible, it was designated as Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and therefore afforded a degree of protection from development.

With an interest in two vacant sites in New Eltham – just 1.1km apart – Linden Homes appointed Planning Potential to consider the opportunities and constraints presented by both sites and devise a suitable planning strategy to bring them back into use. We simultaneously managed two complex planning processes, to promote the development of a high quality residential scheme at Avery Hill – which would enable the delivery of sporting and community facilities at Bardhill.

Following extensive discussions with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the Greater London Authority, local schools and sports clubs, we devised a strategy which sought to address the planning policy requirements and make a number of improvements to the MOL at Bardhill – improving the quality, accessibility, health and biodiversity benefits of the site. Our plans to redevelop the site were presented to the local community during a six-day public exhibition, where we received some very positive feedback.

Having completed the consultation, we prepared, coordinated and submitted a planning application to redevelop the site and provide new sports pitches, a community building, school/community garden and associated parking and landscaping. The community building was specifically designed to minimise any impact on the openness of the MOL and the application was submitted to Greenwich Council in December 2014.

We were also involved in the creation of an operational vision for Bardhill, which detailed the proposed lease, stewardship, maintenance and management of the site – to allow the widest, most inclusive community use. Although the Bardhill application was approved by Greenwich Council’s Planning Board in July 2015, the Avery Hill application – on which it depended – was unfortunately rejected by members during the same committee meeting.

Planning Potential launched a successful appeal and, following a two-week Inquiry, which took place in April 2016, the Inspector concluded that “there is an overriding case in support of the development proposed in this appeal, when properly appraised on its individual merits.” Planning permission was granted for the Avery Hill development in May 2016 – making the Bardhill community scheme a reality.

Summary of achievements

  • Development of a fresh planning strategy for the proposal sites
  • Provision of pre-application advice
  • Preparation and submission of simultaneous planning applications
  • Involvement in the creation of an operational vision for Bardhill
  • Enabling the delivery of new sporting and community facilities, which will provide significant benefits
  • Provision of Section 106 advice