Labour’s position on the development of the Walnuts Shopping Centre

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Mistruths are being told to residents by the other political parties, so for the benefit of residents who will be voting in May, Labour wish to clarify our position on this issue.

We recognise the need for more housing in the Borough, especially social and truly affordable housing; we also recognize that the Leisure Centre, swimming pool and shopping centre have been neglected for years and need major investment to bring them up to the standards they deserve.

These proposals would change the face and character of Orpington forever. More importantly, where are the plans for the schools, the GP surgeries, the infrastructure that people living in this new development will need?

Bromley Tories have been asleep at the wheel here for years – they should have been the ones taking the initiative, they should have consulted properly with residents and businesses about what our town centre needs for future generations and then they should have gone to Areli to seek a development partnership.

Instead, they have sat on their hands and shown they are out of touch with local people. Instead, these proposals to transform our town are being driven by the developers’ desire to make massive profits.

Yes, we need redevelopment; yes, we need more housing; yes, we need a new leisure centre and swimming pool. But for everyone, not just for Areli’s shareholders.

Labour therefore demands that the council and Areli go back to the drawing board, do a thorough local public consultation and find another way to put people before profit.”