The following notes are intended to give new members, and others who may be interested, an outline view of the society – how it is organised and what it sets out to do.
Who we are and what we do
The society was formed in 1987 – initially to object to the proposal to develop the "Cedarhurst" site (right) in Elstree Hill (then in Lewisham) which would have resulted in the loss of the fine cedar tree which is very prominent on the skyline (see below for a more recent picture). From the outset though, it was the society's intention to resist other unsuitable proposals that might be made within its area and support those which were seen to be beneficial.
Since that time the society has gained a reputation for being an effective restraint on inappropriate development within this area. We have regularly commented on planning applications and given evidence at many planning inquiries and appeals.
The society's constitution sets out its main aims as "to preserve the best and improve the rest of the environment" – in this part of the Ravensbourne Valley.
To do this we monitor planning and transport issues and make the responses which we consider to be appropriate and we initiate action that would lead to local environmental improvements. We also try to promote a sense of community, for example, through our various schemes regarding street trees.
Membership is open to all residents living within our area, which is approximately bounded by –
- to the West – Downs Hill and Ravensbourne Avenue;
- to the East – Highland, Oaklands and Coniston Roads;
- to the North – Ashgrove Road to Ravensbourne Station and Crab Hill; and
- to the South – Beckenham Lane.
The annual subscription is collected between July and September for the following year and covers all members of each household. From its founding up to the present time the subscription has been held at £5.00. (Senior citizens and the unwaged may donate what they feel they can afford up to £5.00.)
For the last several years our membership has remained fairly constant at about 500 households.
The annual general meeting is usually held in March – when officers are elected.
Regular meetings (at which all members are welcome) are held in alternate months – starting in January, usually on the first Thursday of the month at the Bromley Court Hotel. Current topics are discussed and actions agreed at these meetings.
Each street within the society's area has a "road representative" who collects subscriptions and distributes newsletters – these newsletters are issued at least four times each year but usually there are more. At least one of these is delivered, not only to members, but to all households in the area – of which there are about 1500.