Bromley Council has rejected plans for 150 flats near Lower Sydenham station once again.

The authority rejected with claims the land is precious metropolitan open land. But is it?

In reality the patch of land has scrap merchants on part of it and closed to the public for many years. It isn’t even visible from the nearest main road.

If it’s so important why has the authority not done more to ensure its usage by the public?

The only land that would be overlooked by the plan is a football pitch alongside and industrial sheds.

The sad fact is slapping a label like Metropolitan Open Land on some sites protects them – even if barely used or shut off from the public – while well used green spots and parks are built on as they lack such a label.

This spot is very close to Lower Sydenham station with frequent trains to central London. It’s a good site for new homes to meet demand in London. If the goal is reducing pollution and congestion then transport-oriented development are needed. I can’t help but feel this is not the best decision and to meet home targets Bromley Council will instead allow homes in less suitable locations.

Bromley Council had previously rejected earlier plans due to a lack of affordable homes, which is something I can support. The design is also far from good.

Developers are appealing a previous rejection. They will no doubt appeal this. Now they’ve increased “affordable” homes they may stand a better chance.