Councillors in Beckenham have welcomed a decision by Conservative-run Bromley Council to invest £2,567,000 in improving the very popular Kelsey Park. The money will be used to replace one of the wooden footbridges and to desilt the lake in the park. The news comes as the Council also launched a new page on its website to make it easier for users of the park to keep updated on the progress made with replacing footbridge.
In November, the Council’s Environment & Community Services Policy & Development Committee approved plans to replace the long footbridge in Kelsey Park. The Council is working with the Friends of the Park to access possible lottery and private funding to replace the smaller bridge further in the park. The Committee approved £567,000 for the repairs which are expected to be completed in Summer 2024, after extensive ground investigations, ecology and arboriculturally surveys as well as tendering processes can take place.
The works will include a widening of the bridge to improve accessibility.
The bridges were closed in early 2021 due to them reaching the end of their safe life. Initially the Council had hoped to repair parts of the bridges, but survey work carried out unveiled further works which were required, which resulted in more surveys and consultancy work being undertaken before costings for the work could be finalised. The revised costs, which were received in September 2022, showed that repairing both bridges would cost close to £1million pounds. Which is why the option of only repairing a single bridge is being pursued.
Residents can keep up to date with the works here.
In February, the committee then approved a decision by the Portfolio Holder for Sustainability, Green Services and Open Spaces Portfolio, Councillor Aisha Cuthbert, to spend a further £2million to desilt the lake.
Kelsey & Eden Park Ward Councillor, Christine Harris, said:
“The Council are investing huge sums in Kelsey Park in recognition that this is one of our borough’s flagship parks. It is a spot of real beauty in our community, and I am delighted with the Council's commitment to maintaining this.
“Whilst the news on the life-expired wooden footbridges is disappointing, ie that both bridges are not being replaced, we welcome the developments in the project and the go ahead for one bridge. Park users now have a clear timetable for when each stage of the work will be complete. While I hope this can be speeded up to get both bridges reopened as soon as possible, it is important that due process is followed and a long lasting permanent solution is implemented. My ward colleagues and I are really pleased that it is now moving forward with increased transparency of the project. The Councillors will be working with The Friends of Kelsey Park to raise funds for the necessary repairs to the small bridge.
“We are also hugely delighted with the decision to desilt the lake. This is something we, as Councillors, have been campaigning on. It is fantastic news that Kelsey Park will be the first in the borough to benefit from the Councils new dredging program. Once again a sign of recognition of the important role that Kelsey Park plays not just in Beckenham life but the whole Borough”.