Thursday, October 30, 2014

Garden Grab in Old Barkingside
– Episode II

Readers may recall Episode I back in July last year. That application was rejected but, as with so many planning applications, the applicant has gone away and tried to address the reasons why it was rejected and come up with a new proposal that they hope will be approved. The new application is 3388/14 and you can find the relevant papers here. There are already quite a few objections.

click on image to enlarge
The key differences are that the development has been rotated through 90° so that the houses now face Sandringham Gardens and the listed Pert Cottages opposite, the number of houses has been reduced from seven to five, instead of 3 storey town houses with a pitched roof on top they are now 2 storey plus living space in the loft area and each dwelling now has its own refuse storage area.

However, because the new dwellings front the road they all have dropped kerbs with off-road parking, but only one space each and one spare. This means that on road parking for others is effectively being reduced in an area where parking is already at a premium. It is close to the High Street and Barkingside tube station which attracts “free” commuter parking.

The planning guidance, as we understand it, is to encourage development in precisely such locations in order to reduce car use. There are also two major supermarkets within walking distance and plenty of buses that will get you into Ilford Town centre in 20 minutes. The problem is that these are three bedroom houses and while car use may reduced it does not necessarily reduce car ownership and if the car is not in use and the owner does not have sufficient off-road parking then it is going to be parked on the public highway, or worse on the footway. Added to this, there is the Barnardos development across the road where parking provision could also be described as meagre.

If you look at those places where there has already been substantial infill development you will find Residents Parking permit schemes and if you go further afield to places like Islington you will actually find car ownership on the decline simply because there is nowhere left to park unless you rent a garage for £2,000 per month.

When communities are designed and planned properly, like when Barkingside was expanded and Clayhall developed in the 1930s, they included space for schools, doctors surgeries, small residential shopping parades, places of worship, pubs, parks, playing fields etc. It is when these communities suffer from extra piece meal and infill development that amenities are placed under pressure. It is not any one development, but the cumulative impact that is the problem. That said, Redbridge council has an obligation to build something like 10,000 new homes in the next few years and as far as I can see there is no plan for infrastructure or amenities. This is where we are. These things are now left to the market because the market knows best and always delivers at the cheapest possible price, doesn’t it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Stepping Up at Newbury Park

From the Seven Kings & Newbury Park Residents Association

Over one year ago, Saturday 13th July 2013, we started our campaign to persuade Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and Mike Brown, Managing Director of TfL of the merits of finishing the job that TfL started in 2008 and abandoned in 2009 due to the recession, for step free access lifts to be installed at Newbury Park station.

As a residents association, we are a non-political, non-religious group that exists to maintain and improve the areas of Seven Kings and Newbury Park. We believe that this issue should be non-political and everyone should come together whatever party they are associated with to show the strength and depth of feeling from residents, commuters and visitors to the station that not having step free access at such a busy station with high usage and footfall is unacceptable.

For a 21st century public transport system to have no step free access at a such a heavily used commuter station as Newbury Park is unfair, particular for people who are disabled, in wheelchairs, have trouble walking, the elderly, mums, dads and carers with prams/buggies/pushchairs and those who have heavy luggage.

We are now stepping up our campaign by officially launching our petition at a photo shoot outside Newbury Park station on Saturday 1st November 2014 at 9:15am. The last photo shoot was a resounding success, with cross party support from Redbridge councillors, MPs - Mike Gapes (Ilford South) and Lee Scott (Ilford North), plus Roger Evans, the GLA member for Redbridge and Havering. We are inviting the same list again as well as other interested parties and local groups.

Your support on the day would be most welcome!

Mark Kennedy
Membership Secretary & Press & Publicity Officer

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dark Days Ahead – so shine a light

Redbridge is one of the safest boroughs in London. However, in the autumn and winter many of the burglaries that do occur are carried out in the late afternoon or evening. A home in darkness between 4pm and 9pm is seen by thieves as a sign that no one is home. Redbridge Police are taking a number of measures to combat burglary (see below) but YOU can help reduce the risk of your home being burgled by taking the following measures.
  • Internally – Fit timer switches which will turn your lights on when you are not at home (They can be bought from DIY stores for as little as £5)
  • Make sure your home is secure and fit additional locks if necessary
  • Report immediately any suspicious incidenst to the police by dialling 999
  • Mark valuable items with your postcode and house number
Operation Bumblebee is Back
"My fellow Borough Commanders and I are putting our heads together with East London’s top investigators and experts on acquisitive crime to formulate a solution to the seasonal burglary that blights our boroughs during Autumn and Winter.
Our aim is to provide the community with the prevention information they need while making the best use of the policing resources available to us to fight acquisitive crime.”
More… plus the Met’s Ten top burglary crime prevention tips for Londoners
And in the garden
By making simple changes in your garden, for example, securing fences and gates and by locking away tools and equipment you can prevent an intruder from accessing your home. The following section contains more advice and tips, which will help you secure your garden.
More…. There are some counter intuitive tips here especially on fencing and gates so do please go have a browse.
Stay Safe in Redbridge (Asian Gold)
Police from Redbridge borough are urging local residents to take care of their valuable jewellery , especially when they are out of their homes during forthcoming festivals such as Diwali and Navrati.
Local officers are stepping up patrols around areas and temples where members of the Asian and Hindu communities congregate in a bid to curb jewellery theft, both on the streets and at their homes whilst they are out celebrating.
Chief Inspector John Fish, from Redbridge Borough, said: "The overt wearing of valuable jewellery and the periods when residents are away from their homes to attend festivals and events presents an opportunity for scurrilous criminals. Our aim is to make it as hard as possible for them to identify and target individuals and their homes. We will respond robustly to those responsible for committing any offences and thoroughly investigate any crimes which occur.
More …. Plus a few simple measures to protect yourself and your property.