Set out below, Millngate’s statement regarding Chislehurst Library together with a statement from Alison Stammers, Chair, Chislehurst Town Team.
Milln Gate Properties Limited (Millngate) first approached the Council in January 2010 with the idea of replacing Chislehurst Library with a new facility, funded by other complimentary development. The Council encouraged Millngate to further develop their plans, which they did, plus entering into an option agreement with the owners of adjoining properties to enable a more comprehensive and deliverable scale of development, including the provision of a new food store.
As a result of Millngate’s efforts, the Council decided to market the Library site by means of an informal Tender, which Millngate won. Millngate were formally appointed as Bromley Council’s Development Partner by the Executive Committee in December 2015, however it wasn’t until 23rd May 2017 that the first draft of the Development Agreement was received from the Council’s in house legal team, which was incomplete.
A considerable amount of work then took place by Millngate and its professional team in developing proposals further resulting in the submission of the Pre-Planning Application enquiry in June 2018.
Four months ago, following a number of meetings, the development agreement between the Council and Millngate was eventually ready to exchange, yet this never happened due to constant delays within the Council’s legal team. Millngate were then advised by the Council’s Estates Team, completely out of the blue, that the Council was withdrawing from the agreement.
Millngate have continued to honour the original terms agreed with the Council with the provision of a new library, a food store, a residential element and a substantial payment. Once the development agreement had been exchanged, Millngate would have entered into an agreement to lease with a food store and submitted a detailed planning application taking on board the comments received from the Pre Application meeting and further public consultation.Millngate are appalled by the Council’s recent actions and have written to the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council, MP and other key decision makers expressing their concern and asking for an early meeting. To date, the requests has been denied and accordingly an official complaint has been lodged with the Council and legal redress is under consideration.
If Millngate were allowed to exchange the already agreed, Development Agreement, they would be able to deliver the new library and food store within the next 30 months. The Council are now proposing to re market the library site which will lead to further delays and uncertainty and probably a smaller and less acceptable form of development. Millngate retain control of the adjoining properties and despite the Council’s recent actions are still committed to delivering a new library and food store for Chislehurst.
Tony Sweeney BA(hons) Dip TP MSc MRTPI
Milln Gate Properties Limited
Alison Stammers, Chair, Chislehurst Town Team, Statement
In January 2016, after a protracted delay, Bromley Council finally announced its development partner, Milln Gate Properties Ltd, for the Chislehurst Library site. It is thus with great disappointment, and no small amount of frustration, that we now have to advise that the development of the site is completely back to square one.
This frustration is shared by Millngate who say they “are appalled by the Council’s recent actions and have written to the Chief Executive, Leader of the Council, MP and other key decision makers expressing their concern and asking for an early meeting. To date, the requests has been denied and accordingly an official complaint has been lodged with the Council and legal redress is under consideration.”
Millngate’s full statement can be read here
A Bromley Council spokesperson said, “The Council has been unable to conclude a development agreement with its former development partner at this important location. It is therefore anticipated that the Council’s real estate advisors, Cushman and Wakefield, will be publishing details in the next few weeks about how prospective interested parties can bring forward their proposals as part of a tendering process. The Council’s aspirations remain namely a library and other development, including retail, with proposals then subject to the Council’s approval. Part of the tender evaluation processes will include clear timescales for delivery of the approved scheme.”
Having been advised the tender would go out in early October, and that timescale already having been missed, we can only hope that things progress more smoothly here on in. Fingers crossed!
Chair Chislehurst Town Team