Regency folly with a house attached – 14 November 2014
Last month, there was an interesting piece in The Times about the Italian Villa. It was partly owned by the peer who helped to bring the Elgin Marbles to Britain. Subscribers to their service can find it here.

The Italian Villa is a quirky 1930s house built around and incorporating a regency “casino”; this was constructed in the early 1800s for Charles and Amelia Long in the grounds of their nearby mansion. The Longs, later ennobled as Lord and Lady Farnborough, were friends of the Prince Regent and Pitt the Younger and entertained the highest society in the Italianate pleasure house.


Italian Villa for sale – 21 October 2014
Just put on the market for a mere £500,000 is the Grade II listed Italian Villa, built "circa 19th Century and sadly showing its age and in need of considerable repair and modernisation ... The Italian Villa is steeped in history. It has been owned by Charles Long (Baron of Farnborough) and guests such as William Pitt & William Wilberforce have been entertained here."

Walter Segal house for sale – 7 October 2014

Just put on the market for a mere £595,000 is a three-bedroom detached house built to the designs of the visionary architect Walter Segal. Segal (1907–1985) was the innovator of the celebrated ‘Segal Method, ’ a modern timber-frame construction technique that enabled and encouraged people to build their own homes.

Blocked drains on Elstree Hill – 27 July 2014
According to reports here and here on the London Borough of Bromley’s problem reporting site, drains on Elstree Hill are blocked, and all water and road surface is running down to Calmont Road. The recent rain means that mud sludge and stones are coming off into Calmont Road.


Councillor Michael Rutherford has also reported this lovely sofa, free to a good home. It was dumped on Elstree Hill on 23 July 2014.

Update - 2 July 2014
See here for a cautionary tale in the News Shopper of a businessman ordered to pay over £1,000 after fly-tipping waste in one of our roads.

Important unadopted roads - 3 May 2014
This information will be of particular interest to those who live in Hillbrow Road, Elstree Hill, Downs Bridge Road and The Avenue.

All these listed four roads are ‘unadopted’ and, in Bromley, it is current council policy not to remove fly tipping in these roads unless the fly tipping actually obstructs the road.

We are pleased to say that, at our recent meeting, Councillors Dykes and Harmer confirmed that they believe this policy to be wrong and will be campaigning for it to be changed. Hopefully this will mean that in the future the council will remove fly tipping from these roads. We will provide further information on this subject after the forthcoming local election when the various dates of the relevant council committees are published. 

Update - 30 April 2014
We are very grateful to Doug Patterson, Bromley Council’s Chief Executive, for providing the following answers to the questions raised when we had our meeting with him.

1. Difference between unadopted/private roads, to try to establish what rights we have over the road and our responsibilities
The Council is only under a statutory duty to keep a list of those streets in its area which are highways maintainable at the public expense.
 
There are a number of streets throughout the Borough which are not maintainable highways; however, the Council keeps non-statutory records of these streets, showing them to be either “unadopted highways” or ”private roads”.

The distinction being that the public does not have access as of right, over private roads.

Elstree Hill is shown in these non-statutory records as an unadopted highway.

The Council, as Highway Authority, believes the above information to be accurate, although this cannot be guaranteed. It should be noted, as a matter of highway law, that where disputes as to highway status and/or the extent of a highway occur, only a Court can issue a definitive interpretation.

Land Registry searches for Elstree Hill have identified that the titles of the properties include for the land as identified as the unadopted highway.

Therefore, the land is privately owned by the property owners, with highway rights over this land.

With regards to the responsibilities of the Council regarding ‘unadopted highways’:

We do not have a duty to:
  • Repair or maintain the highway surface
  • Provide street cleaning services, including graffiti and dog fouling
  • Clean or repair drainage, including gully pots
And under our current policy we do not offer these services in ‘unadopted highways’.

Under current policy we will:
  • Maintain street lighting where it currently exists
  • Remove fly tipping where it causes an obstruction of passage over the ‘unadopted highway’ or causes a danger to the public e.g. hazardous material.
  • Investigate abandoned vehicles
  • Licence skips and scaffolding on the ‘highway’
2. Why have Bromley Council suddenly [refused] to help us with collection of large items of fly tipping.

3. With regards mainly to the fly tipping Bromley’s duty of care in keeping the Green Chain Walk clean and tidy.
I refer to the information provided in Point 1.

As this is an ‘unadopted road’ the London Borough Bromley has no duty to remove fly tipping unless it is deemed to be obstructing safe passage over the ‘highway’ or deemed dangerous.

As the land in Elstree Hill is registered to the houses the responsibility for removal of all other types of waste/obstructions falls to the householders.

Therefore, regarding the Green Chain, under our current policy any obstructions/fly tipping will be forwarded by the cross borough working party to the responsible party to remove. In the case of Elstree Hill, this would usually be the landowner, unless it was deemed to be a public health hazard or obstructing the highway.

4. The derelict/abandoned bungalow in Kirkstone way which is being broken into and vandalised on a regular basis and being used by vagrants causing a major concern for security for neighbours who live next door and back onto the garden of The Chalet property.
Public Protection officers visited the property a number of weeks ago. The property did have an open window on the first floor and it appears that people have been inside at some point as there is some graffiti. Other than that there was no noticeable presence of intruders. Our officers are currently in contact with a friend of the owner and the owner’s financial advisor to see what can be done to close the window (and what future plans are for the property). Failure to get an adequate response will result in the service of a Section 29 notice to secure the property. 

5. Bromley lack of drain clearing which they state that they clear once a year and as Mr Dovey said to the best of his knowledge they have not been cleared for at least fifteen years.
I refer to the information provided in Point 1.

6. The parking of large coaches in Elstree Hill that we are assuming relate to the Bromley Court Hotel.
Parking Service colleagues have been informed of the likelihood of coaches parking overnight in Elstree Hill and will take appropriate enforcement action if the Civil Enforcement Officers observe them in situ.

7.  Why despite two applications from myself Elstree has not been afforded the litter picking arrangements that they offer to other residents of the borough.
If this question refers to the regular street cleansing then I refer you to Point 1. However, if this refers to a request for the service whereby London Borough Bromley provides litter-pickers and sacks for residents to carry out their own litter removal then please contact Dan Jones dan.jones@bromley.gov.uk.

I trust this adequately addresses the points you raised and provides the necessary clarity. If there is anything you feel is unclear, please let me know and I will endeavour to explain further where I can. You have my assurance that I will be specifically addressing the derelict/abandoned  bungalow in Kirkstone, as this certainly requires ongoing action by us. 

Please note I have copied in Clive Lees into the response, given his posting on the residents’ association website.

Please pass on my thanks to all the residents who met with me on the 10th of April. I found the visit very interesting and worthwhile, and I do hope you all found the visit useful. 

Regards
 
Doug Patterson
Chief Executive
 
Tel:  (020) 8313 4354
Fax: (020) 8313 4444

Meeting with the Council Chief Executive, Doug Patterson - 14 April 2014
About fifteen residents from Elstree Hill and the immediate environment met Doug Patterson, Bromley Council’s Chief Executive, in Elstree Hill and Kirkstone Way l
ast Thursday to discuss various concerns.

First amongst these was the issue of fly tipping. Residents asked why the Council no longer tidied unadopted roads when they had been fly tipped. Residents are forever having to tidy up themselves and have even installed cameras and signs to try and help the problem. The photographs below were taken in Elstree Hill:

   

Other concerns were:

  • parking of large coaches overnight (thought to be something to do with Bromley Court Hotel’s guests);
  • the abandoned Chalet;
  • the non-existent gulley cleaning;
  • what were the various rights and responsibilities of frontagers on the unadopted road compared to an adopted road and who were the frontagers on the south side of Elstree Hill; and
  • if Elstree Hill is part of the Green Chain Walk, weren’t the Council supposed to keep it clean and tidy, irrespective of their normal policy on fly tipping in unadopted roads?

Residents were advised that they could also bring these matters to the attention of a Councillor who is expected to attend the next meeting of the Society on Thursday 1 May 2014 at the Bromley Court Hotel.

When we get the answers to these questions, they will be posted here.