(3 October - 3350 LBB residents, including paper signatures)
At the Executive on 11 February, Bromley Council deferred its decision on selling The Priory, Orpington, which houses Bromley Museum and is the oldest building in the borough, dating back to the 11th century. It is Grade II* Listed - "a particularly important building of more than special interest; 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*"(English Heritage). This petition was instrumental in persuading the Council to consult with residents. Prior to the Executive on 10 June, the campaign group submitted an outline proposal for future uses of The Priory.
Having not had a proper public consultation before February, Bromley Council has now held a public consultation, although consisting only of an online survey, which was closed on 30 April. However, please continue to sign the petition - we still have a long way to go to ensure The Priory's future as a community asset, whether the museum is moved or not.
The Council is supportive of building a NEW Biggin Hill Heritage Centre (with a museum) and yet felt it is acceptable to dismiss an existing beautiful old heritage centre in Orpington. The Priory has now been listed as an Asset of Community Value, through the efforts of The Friends of The Priory & Gardens.
At the Executive on 10 June, it was made clear that the Council will not make a decision on whether to sell The Priory or agree to other proposals for another 6 months. The campaign group continues to work on a viable business plan and has gained support from some prominent local business people.
The loss of The Priory would be an act of cultural vandalism from which Orpington's heritage would be irretrievably damaged.
THE MORE SIGNATURES WE COLLECT, THE MORE POWERFUL THE MESSAGE - PLEASE CONTINUE SIGNING
Dear Bromley Council
As you will note from many comments added by signatories of this petition, local residents - and those even wider afield - strongly object to a significant (key) decision such as selling The Priory being considered without public consultation. The opportunity for community engagement options are important to local residents. The rush to sell the building would be a short term 'fix' (if anyone buys it) but a long term disaster for the borough, particularly Orpington. The Priory should be viewed as a financial asset which can become a valuable revenue generation vehicle in the not too distant future.
A Community Asset Transfer would be an ideal solution, whereby a community development trust would take over management of the building on a long lease.
Regards Margot Rohan