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When one door closes, another one opens

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The Chislehurst Town Team takes a very keen interest on all changes on the High Street so when a business closes, we do what we can to try and ensure that the next owner is one that will add value to the High Street. I guess our greatest achievement to date has been helping to secure Cote coming to the High Street by supporting change of use against quite some opposition at LBB.

Our attention is now turned to what was the NatWest branch at 11 High Street. Occupying a prime position on the High Street with external features of great architectural merit, we want to see an incoming business that is sympathetic to the attraction, heritage and charm of its setting and which will add value to the High Street.  With this in mind, we have been in contact with the agents, GVA, to whom we outlined our aims and objectives and drew their attention to the findings of the Dwell Time survey we, together with The Chislehurst Society, conducted last November which summarises the wishes of local residents and visitors to the High Street as to what they would like to see. We have also drawn their attention to our post on the sale on Monday 24th July on VisitChislehurst’s Facebook page so get commenting if you want your voice heard too!

We have also drawn GVA’s attention to the following:-

  • We wrote and have had adopted by Bromley Council, a Shopfront Design Guide to protect the external appearance of premises on the High Street – we would want to draw the new owner’s attention to this.
  • With The Chislehurst Society’s planning sub committee, we scrutinise all planning and advertising consent applications and make representation to the Planning Dept as appropriate.  We have told GVA itt would be helpful if the new owner were to have discussions with us PRIOR to submitting any planning application to LBB
  • We invite all new businesses to join our active Chislehurst Business Group and Town Team to promote footfall on the High Street – sadly NatWest never took us up on our offer to engage with us over the last 5 years so we hope the new owner will.

On Thursday, 27th July, along with several other interested parties (apparently there has been a lot of interest in the property, some from developers), I took a look behind the scenes at the now de-commissioned NatWest branch. It was fascinating. Spread over 3 floors, it was so much larger and went back a lot further than I had thought. Sadly, the safe though open, was empty!! Here are a few photos.

 

There will be a further viewing on Thursday, 3rd August 10 am to 12 noon. Please register with Jessica Hawes at GVA if you wish to attend: 020 7911 2409; jessica.hawes@gva.co.uk . I understand this will be going to bids with a decision made in the next few weeks. I will keep you posted as soon as I hear any news.

 

Alison Stammers

Chair, Chislehurst Town Team

The CTT is a voluntary group that brings together Chislehurst businesses, landlords, local charities, interest groups, ward councillors and residents to focus on the vitality and betterment of Chislehurst Town Centre.

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