Block giving refuge to homeless people to be turned into private flats

By Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter

Long-running attempts to refurbish and redevelop a Penge block of units providing temporary accommodation for homeless people have finally been approved.

It was the second time that applicant Gregg Rust had attempted to revamp Cranbrook Court in Thesiger Road, which currently consists of 28 units used to shelter homeless people.

A previous plan which would have seen 19 private residences built on the site, raising the height of the block to four storeys, was rejected by Bromley council in 2018 due to concerns over its size.

However, a tweaked plan heard at September’s planning board meeting saw councillors unanimously approve the scheme.

It will instead include 12 new private residences (nine one-bedroom and three two-bedroom), while the height of the building will be increased to three storeys from two.

The block as it looks now

An additional five temporary accommodation units will be added, taking the total number on the site to 33, while existing units will be completely refurbished.

An agent speaking on behalf of Mr Rust said the building’s current use was protected by Bromley council’s statutory requirements to provide temporary accommodation, meaning “comprehensive redevelopment of the site has therefore always been a difficult prospect”.

The latest scheme struck a balanced proposal around a refurbished and expanded block, which would be cross-subsidised by the building of the private homes.

Ahead of getting unanimous support from councillors, Penge and Cator ward members spoke glowingly in support of the move.

Pictured top: An atrist’s impression of what the new development could look like

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