Sub-letting of existing space and rooms at Beckenham Place Mansion  19 March 2019
After we were notified on 9 December 2017 that the two planning applications were unacceptable, they were restricted from public viewing. The application for listed building consent is now available again, and the following documents are newly available from the Lewisham planning file for this application, ref. No. DC/17/104634:
  • Application form
  • Revised Document: Site location plan
  • Case Copy Documents: Design access heritage statement
  • Case Copy Documents: The mansion planning and listed building consents
  • Case Copy Documents: Sow [statement of work] the mansion
The proposed works are minor remedial works to bring the services and fabric of the building back into safe operational use. See the document purporting to be the mansion planning and listed building consents, actually a heritage statement, which says:

The proposed works are not visible from any public viewpoint. The proposed works are mainly minor repairs, and are sympathetic to the original character and more modern installations since the building was constructed.

The document purporting to be the design access heritage statement is actually the design, access and heritage statement from the planning application, ref. No. DC/17/104315, for the temporary change of use the mansion to mixed uses in which the Family Learning School was proposing to convert part of the Mansion into an independent primary school.

A newly available application, ref. No. DC/18/106776, relates to the retrospective temporary change of use of Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Place Park from Use Class D2 to mixed uses including artist studios, yoga/fitness centre, private hire space, business uses and use of two first floor units as residential accommodation for caretakers together with the retention of existing visitor information centre and café.

The following documents are available from the Lewisham planning file:
  • Application form
  • Site location plan
  • Sow [statement of work] the mansion
  • Lower ground and ground floor
  • First floor
  • The mansion heritage statement
The description of the proposal is very specific:

A. Provision of two existing flats for lawful use as residential accommodation for 'caretaker use'.

B. Utilisation of existing space/rooms for sub-letting purposes:
  1. Basement & 1st Floor – Art Studios;
  2. Basement – Cafe & Bar, Record Shop;
  3. Ground Floor  Visitor Centre (Freinds [sic] of Beckenham Place Park), Fitness Studio, Arts & Crafts Studio and Mixed Use Events Space;
  4. First Floor  Art Studios and Office.
C. Externally  Toilet block and neighbouring bar with outside terrace.

There is no mention of any independent primary school.

The heritage statement is the same as the relevant document for the planning application, ref. No. DC/17/104634, for listed building consent.

Update  Family Learning School at Beckenham Place Mansion  9 December 2017
We were notified today by Lewisham Council that the following applications are unacceptable:
  • planning application, ref. No. DC/17/104315, for the temporary change of use of Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Place Park, BR3 from Use Class D2 to mixed uses including artist studios, yoga/fitness centre, private hire space, business uses and an independent primary school together with the retention of existing visitor information centre and café and use of two first floor units as caretaker residences; and
  • planning application, ref. No. DC/17/104634, for listed building consent at Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Place Park.
Unfortunately the applications are no longer available for viewing. They may have been removed or restricted from public viewing.

Update  Family Learning School at Beckenham Place Mansion  7 December 2017
A planning application, ref. No. DC/17/104634, has been made for listed building consent at Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Place Park, BR3 for works including:
  • internal modifications to support temporary mixed use including independent primary school,
  • repairs to roof, sash windows and frames and internal and external doors and frames,
  • replacement of gas heating pipework and electrical wiring as necessary,
  • repairs to plaster
  • damp proofing,
  • internal repainting,
  • refinishing of floors including installation of raised floors at lower ground level,
  • renovation of bathrooms including re-plumbing,
  • installation of PIR [passive infrared] lighting, and
  • installation of ventilation terminus through cast iron air brick.
The following documents are available on the file of the application:

Application Form

Case Copy Documents
  • Attachment summary
Case Copy Drawings
  • Site and location plan
  • Lower ground and ground floor
  • Proposed section A
  • Window 01 details
  • Window 02 details
  • Floor plans first floor
  • Proposed part lower ground floor mechanical and electrical intent
  • Proposed part elevation
  • Existing lower ground part plan
  • Existing elevations
  • Existing part elevations
  • Existing section A
  • Proposed lower ground part plan
  • Existing lower ground plan
Site Location Plan

Family Learning School at Beckenham Place Mansion
 28 November 2017

Family Learning Day - 30/09/17 - an opportunity for prospective parents and pupils to trial the school
Outdoor opportunities for learning such as the chicken coop are plentiful in the park

A planning application, ref. No.
DC/17/104315, has been made for the temporary change of use of Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Place Park, BR3 from Use Class D2 to mixed uses including artist studios, yoga/fitness centre, private hire space, business uses and an independent primary school together with the retention of existing visitor information centre and café and use of two first floor units as caretaker residences. The following documents are now available on this application:
  • Application form
  • Location plan
  • Heritage statement
  • Schedule of specified works
  • Design & access statement
  • Heritage statement 2
  • Proposed section AA
  • Proposed section AA
  • Window details
  • Window details 2
  • Drawing issue register
  • Lower ground and ground floor
  • First floor
  • Proposed part elevations
  • Existing section AA
  • Proposed lower ground part plan
  • Proposed lower ground floor mechanical and electrical intent
  • Proposed part elevations
  • Existing elevations
  • Existing part elevations
  • Existing lower ground floor plan
  • Existing lower ground floor plan
The Design, Access and Heritage Statement accompanies a Planning and Listed Building Consent Application for works to the Grade II* Listed Beckenham Place Mansion. The Family Learning School is proposing to convert part of the Mansion into an independent primary school. This part of the application comprises:
  • Planning permission for temporary change of use to convert part of the Lower Ground from D2 (Assembly and Leisure) to independent primary school (D1)
  • Light touch internal modifications to provide teaching, play and ancillary spaces
  • New WC facilities
  • Sensitively integrated rewiring, lighting and heating
  • Repair and restoration of sash windows
  • Insertion of secondary glazing
  • Replacement external doors
  • External PIR [passive infrared] lighting to entrances
The report summarises their research into Beckenham Place Mansion and sets out the application area’s special historic and architectural interest. They have documented the evolution of this part of the building and any heritage assets of low significance. Applicable national and local authority policies have been outlined and previous planning applications have been listed. Pre-application advice has already been sought for this part of the application and we will illustrate how this feedback has been interpreted and used.

Their conclusions are stated as follows:
  • The Family Learning School is a not-for profit organisation that is outward looking and would benefit the local community. The school will be a valuable asset for Beckenham Place Park and pupils attending will benefit greatly from the educational use of the park and opportunity for outdoor play and exploration.
  • The Family Learning School see themselves as aligned with and complementary to the wider community uses of the building. They also see a mutual benefit in their occupation of the spaces. The school offers both the care taking of this relatively isolated building until its long term purpose can be determined and the provision of a temporary base for the school while it establishes itself and its teaching and business model is developed.
  • The proposed temporary guardianship of this relatively isolated part of the Mansion mean it will be safer and more secure whilst plans for a future consolidated use of the building are determined by Lewisham Council. This will be accomplished whilst having no impact on the future proposed use and restoration of the building. The change of use to D1 as part of a collective of community uses is supported in local policy terms as we have set out.
  • The changes proposed are not considered contentious and will not adversely impact on the special historic and architectural interest of the Grade II* listed building. Externally, change will not be obvious except for the improved condition of the doors and windows. Internally, where plan form changes are proposed they are clearly temporary and demountable, and only introduced where completely necessary for the smooth and safe operation of the school.
  • The changes are designed to respect and limit further damage to the heritage assets in the spaces. Their design is deliberately modern and contrasting in style to the historic fabric, so the history of the spaces can be clearly read. As they are fully removable, they will not prevent a full and sensitive restoration of the Lower Ground spaces in the future.
Update  Beckenham Place Park Festival  15 August 2017
Following our objection to Beckenham Place Park’s application for a premises licence, the licensing authority have refused this application. Their reasons for refusal are that the application did not satisfy the full requirements required in the Licensing Act 2003.

They have advised the applicant of its refusal and advised them they will need to re-apply in full. This will mean new blue notices and newspaper adverts will need to be resubmitted, and our current objection will not be relevant to any new application.

They have asked the applicant still to go ahead with the planned meeting on 14 September 2017, as they feel this will be beneficial for both parties.

Please see the following documents:
  • RVPS comments on the proposed conditions for the proposed Beckenham Place Park premises licence
  • latest version of the conditions
Open House at Beckenham Place Park  6 August 2017
The mansion and the stableyard will be part of Open House London on 17 September 2017. Alison Taylor, Project Manager of Regeneration and Asset Management at the London Borough of Lewisham, is asking if anyone would like to get involved in volunteering at the event – either as a tour guide or a steward.

It will be a great day when the mansion is fully open to the public. People can come into the stableyard and have a look at the buildings as they are now pre- restoration, and enjoy period music, participating in making a community sampler and learn a bit about life in the early 1800s, with a re-enactment group in the park too. 

If you are able to volunteer as a steward or tour guide, please let Alison Taylor know. Tour guides training will be on Wednesday 13 September 2017 at 6.30 p.m.

Update  Beckenham Place Park Festival  30 July 2017
Lewisham Council have agreed a set of conditions and plan of the parkwhich will be attached to the licence. The background to this is as follows.

On 12 July 2017, we sent our objections to the application by Greenscene, Lewisham's parks department, for new / variation of premises licence for Beckenham Place Park to Lewisham Council:

I am writing on behalf of Ravensbourne Valley Preservation Society, an organisation with nearly 500 members, many of whose houses are close to Beckenham Place Park.

Although not opposed in principle to the application for a new Premises licence in respect of the park, we have a number of concerns, detailed below, and would like to have these concerns considered and relevant conditions imposed should the licence be granted by the licencing committee.

Suggested conditions to apply to the events licence

  • Maximum daily attendance should be limited to 5000 (not maximum attendance of 5000 at any one time)
  • A robust ticketing system should be mandated to ensure maximum not breached
Event Management
  • All events of 500 or more people must have an event management plan. The scope and contents of these plans should be agreed before the granting of the licence.
  • Toilet facilities in the park are inadequate even for current usage. In addition to temporary facilities to be installed for events we believe there should be additional permanent facilities especially in view of the likely increased daily usage which will result from the park becoming better known as a consequence of anticipated events. 
Number of events
  • No more than four events per year with an expected attendance of between 1000 and 5000 people should be allowed
  • No more than 12 events per year with an expected attendance of up to 1000 people should be allowed
  • An area outside of which amplified sound must not be played should be specified (to ensure that neighbours are not inconvenienced by excessive noise)
  • Peak and average sound level at the perimeter of the park which sound levels will not exceed should be specified
  • Total time of amplified sound per event should be no more than 3 hours
  • All events should have sound monitoring equipment available to ensure compliance with the above
Traffic management
  • For all events over 500 people, Bromley Town Ward and Beckenham Ward councillors, Friends of BPP, Copers Cope Residents Association, Ravensbourne Valley Preservation Society and local police must be consulted regarding traffic management.
  • A specimen traffic management plan must be supplied showing how traffic relating to 5000 people would be managed.
Timing of events
  • No noisy events on a Sunday
  • Amplified sound to cease by 10:30 PM
  • Amplified sound not to start before 9AM
  • Events with over a thousand attending to be no more than 8 hours in duration
  • No event before 9AM
  • No large event (>500 people) before 11AM on Sundays and Bank Holidays
Angela Mullin-Murrell, Lewisham's Crime, Enforcement & Regulations Officer, has now replied as follows:

Following your objection to the application for a premises licence at Beckenham Place Park I would like to update you on where we currently are.
We have agreed a set of conditions that will be attached to the licence and a plan of the park.
These conditions will apply to all events taking place in the park. You will see that at the top of the conditions we have activities (under 499) and events (499 and over).
This is because a lot of the activities the park may be used for have been deregulated and therefore would not require a licence.
All events will be taken to the Events Safety Advisory Group (ESAG). This is a multi-agency group, which considers and advises on all proposals for major events. ESAG normally meets to discuss any event over 5000 people but as this is a new licence all events over 499 people will be heard by ESAG.
The map attached is a draft but it shows that we have zoned the park. This will make it easier for us as an authority to make sure the events held in the park are held in the correct areas. We have agreed that Zone (I) which is on the west side of the park near to Beckenham Hill Road can have a licence until 23:00 hours on a Friday and Saturday. This area is proposed to be used for marquees which will hold private parties. Everywhere else in the park will have a licence until 22:00 hours.
There will be no events taking place within 75 meters of any boundary property and all amplified music will be monitored while events take place.
When events are advertised they will encourage all attendees to use public transport.
All events will be advertised on Lewisham Councils Website, Beckenham Place Park website and all notice boards within the park. 
There will be no more than 6 events with a capacity of over 2,500 per year.
I have received a lot of objections from residents who have said they need more information on this application and I hope this email will answer a lot of your questions.
If you have objected and now feel you would like to withdraw your objection please let me know.
If you would like further information please send me an email and I will do my best to answer any questions.
I am working from home today and if you require a call back please send me an email with your contact number and I will do my best to call you back.

Beckenham Place Park Festival
 10 July 2017
Lewisham Council are applying for a premises licence in order to hold events for up to 5000 people at Beckenham Place Park. This raises some very serious issues for nearby residents. A copy of the application is available on the Beckenham Forum.

This licence is extremely broad. Theoretically, any number of major events could be held during the year, at any time between 00:01 and 23:00. Clearly this is unacceptable and possible representations to the Licensing Authority to restrict the activities to reasonable levels are under discussion.

Anyone wishing to oppose the application must give notice in writing to Licensing Services, London Borough of Lewisham, Licensing Authority, Holbeach Office, 9 Holbeach Road, London SE6 4TW or e-mail within four weeks of the date of this notice, that is by 12 July 2017, specifying the grounds of opposition. The application and register can also be viewed at the above address during office hours. 

Mansion House at Beckenham Place Park – 23 February 2017
There’s a new webpage at:

From this month, they are aiming to have the snug open seven days a week until 3 p.m. as it becomes home to a series of pop-up cafés which will offer a range of food and drink options and change every twelve weeks or so. They are also looking for artists to take on some studios on the first floor of the mansion from the beginning of March.

Upcoming events include:
  • Every Saturday, 9 a.m.: Beckenham Place Parkrun - walk, jog or run in the beautiful setting of our largest park. The run starts at the Ravensbourne Avenue entrance. 
  • 25 February 2017, 10 a.m.: woodland tree planting. Meet at the Mansion House steps.
Beckenham Place Park Festival of Lights – 4 December 2016
The grand switching on of the lights and Christmas tree at the Mansion House at Beckenham Place Park was advertised for 4.15 p.m., so we turned up a few minutes later, camera in hand, hoping to record the scene. Unfortunately, we were informed that the whole thing had taken place earlier than advertised, and that they were no longer allowing admittance to the public. Thus anyone seeking a photographic record will have to look elsewhere.

Mansion House at Beckenham Place Park – 19 November 2016
Sydney Thornbury, who has run the Conservatoire at Blackheath Halls and the Bussey Building in Peckham, has taken over the management of the building. She has plans for community use of the Mansion House. For now, she has arranged for complimentary tea and coffee to be available at the Mansion House for park visitors.

Sydney is running the building on a temporary basis following its vacation by Glendale Golf. This will ensure the building is kept secure and looked after while the first stage of restoration takes place in the park. You can follow Sydney on Twitter @bppmansion.

The building is still undergoing minor works so that it can be used more. Plans include artists' studios and exercise classes. During the works the visitor centre will continue to run on Sundays.

Lewisham Council have set up a new Facebook page to share information about the ongoing changes happening in Beckenham Place Park and to promote future events, activities and volunteering opportunities. Just 'like' the page to keep up with the park's progress.

On Sunday 4 December 2016, 1–4.30pm, a "free, fabulous, festive and fun event" will take place in the park. Activities include lantern-making, music, free mince pies, and a snow machine.

Call for ideas: bringing Beckenham Place Park’s historic buildings back into use – 27 July 2016
Several historic buildings in the park are in need of significant investment but are not part of Lewisham Council's current bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Parks for People grant programme. These buildings are an important part of Beckenham Place Park, and they are very keen to explore ideas for how they might be used to raise money, strengthen communities and enhance the park. 
The buildings are:
  • the Grade II* listed Mansion House
  • the Foxgrove Club
  • the remaining part of the homesteads.
They are calling for ideas about how these buildings can get a new lease of life and play a part in the new regenerated park. If you have financially viable ideas and you’d like to share them, you can find the information you need as well as key dates for submitting your ideas online. 
In just under a week’s time, Lewisham Council will be submitting their final application to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Parks for People grant programme. Under the new plans, Beckenham Place Park will provide extensive new activities and facilities to a wider range of users and visitors. They expect to hear the Heritage Lottery’s Fund’s decision on the second round application early next year.

A further page is available on the Lewisham Council site on improving Beckenham Place Park:
The draft masterplan has been updated to the most recent version of this emerging masterplan. You can find more detailed designs in the documents below:
As the consultation progresses, and more information becomes available on costings, the design will continue to evolve.