Scheme was for football stadium and flats

The new mayor of London has thrown out a planning application for a football stadium and two blocks of flats in suburban Kent.

Sadiq Khan said the decision was evidence he was sticking to his election pledge to protect the green belt. As one of his earliest planning decisions, it will be seen as a statement of intent for the next four years.

He over-ruled Bromley council which approved the scheme, designed by Orpington-based Brouard Architects.

The Flamingo Park development in Chislehurst would have provided a three-storey stadium for local club Cray Wanderers FC, community sports pitches, 28 flats in two four-storey blocks and above-ground parking for 393 cars.

The case, which was automatically referred to the mayor, hinged on whether there were “very special circumstances” to justify building on the green belt. The applicant argued that provision of sporting facilities met this requirement and that the new scheme would replace ageing facilities characterised by “desolation and decay”.

But Khan said the plans would cause “significant harm to an area of much-needed open green space”. He was also concerned the application included no affordable housing and only two-bed units. 

“I am determined to oppose building on the green belt, which is now even more important than when it was created,” he said.

“Working with my planning team, I will continue to use my full range of planning powers to further strengthen protections for open and green spaces in the London Plan and ensure we are making the most of brownfield sites across the city, including the vast swathes of public land which are ripe for building homes for Londoners.”

Bromley council turned down a much bigger but related application on a different site in 2012.