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Public nearly booted out of planning meeting as councillors give early approval for 60 homes at Old Farm Park

PUBLISHED: 09:21 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:21 30 May 2017

The access to the park opposite Hollies Avenue, on Old Farm Avenue could be transformed into an access road

The access to the park opposite Hollies Avenue, on Old Farm Avenue could be transformed into an access road

Archant

Plans were approved on Thursday

A meeting to give outline approval for a 60-home housing development was marred last week when the public were told they could be thrown out for making too much noise.

Planning councillors met on Thursday to discuss an outline application for the development on the eastern half of Old Farm Park in Sidcup.

But when cries came from the gallery that residents couldn’t hear councillors talking over the planning notes, which include turning the park’s entrance on Old Farm Avenue into an access road, residents were warned they could be thrown out.

Sidcup resident John Johnson was in the gallery.

He said: “We asked the councillors to turn their microphones up so they could be heard, which they said they did but there wasn’t much improvement.

“We asked again, before we were warned that if we kept making noise we would be chucked out.

“There were alot of campaigners there who don’t want to see that park developed on, the council is talking about how they will redevelop the western half, that’s not the point, they should be protecting the entire space.

“I’ve lived in Sidcup for 30 years, the park is a meeting place for people and dog walkers alike.”

Under proposals, the western half of the site will be improved with, according to the council, “new pathways, water features, formal and informal play space, new planting and outdoor fitness equipment”.

A council spokesperson said: “We are sorry that problems with the sound at Thursday night’s planning committee made it more difficult than normal to hear all the discussion.

“The views of those who opposed the application were heard and the Committee considered all the written objections that were received.

“People are asked not to shout at all Council meetings, because this makes it difficult to hear those who are speaking. Those present responded to the Chairman’s request not to interrupt the discussion and after considering all the information before it the Committee approved the application.

“Further details of the development, including the design and layout of the residential units, will be submitted in due course.”

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