Tuesday, February 05, 2013

How NOT to Oppose a Planning Application II


Below is a reply, penned by Cllr Paul Canal, to an article that appeared in the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian earlier today regarding a planning application that was approved at last week’s Regulatory Committee. Please note that all of those campaigners live in houses that were built on what was once open farm land, some as recently as the 1950s and 1970s.
The campaign to preserve Claybury Farm has started 50 years too late. They haven’t grown a carrot or fed a sheep there for decades.
The current buildings on the farm are decrepit light industrial buildings that have been allowed to fall into disrepair. Quite frankly the site is a disgrace and a local eyesore.
Dr White’s assertion that the site of 32 houses will have 110 cars is clearly ludicrous – that is nearly four cars per unit!
I must also assume that Hobbits are now much taller as the homes that are being proposed are a mixture of 3 and four bed family homes and other units with double the amenity space that is required. Presumably the Hobbits have benefited from better nutrition in recent years.
I called for the site visit two weeks ago having read of residents’ concerns previously. I have studied the plans with fellow councillors and officers and walked the site. Quite frankly, if every proposed site was of this standard we would be building a better borough and much needed homes fit for families.
I wish the 32 families who will now have decent homes many happy and successful years in Redbridge. 
Cllr Paul Canal
@RedbridgeBlue
Meanwhile in other news IPSOS concludes that a whopping 0% of people want to live in Tower Blocks.

35 comments:

  1. Being well acquainted with this site can I agree entirely with Paul? And knowing how assiduously he does his work I accept what he says about the design, and can be sure that he will have looked ar every aspect very carefully. This is one of those places where almost any good quality well designed development would be an improvement on what is there now.

    Well done the Regulatory Committee.

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  2. Oh dear. Cllr. Canal has a point of view concerning the state of the farm being decrepit and implying that anything would be more desireable than the current situation. So far fair comment.

    But do I sense some confusion about the overwhelming need for " much needed homes fit for families"? The homes proposed are "three and four bed family homes" with "double the amenity space space required".

    Just perfect for families struggling to get on the housing ladder, then. Talk about pulling up the ladder. After you with the motor mower, Jack.

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    1. The same can be said for any development in Redbridge, even the Tower Blocks in Ilford are bought as buy to let. It is a function of 34 years of neo-liberal government who distort the free market by using taxpayer's money to subsidise speculative landlords with Housing Benefit and low wage employers with Tax Credits.

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    2. A significant contribution to the housing shortage for less affluent people comes about through tenants buying their council houses oh Portly One.

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    3. Then perhaps the land should be used for more good quality social housing at affordable rents. It would also be a fine example of an integrated community.

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  3. I hate to agree with any Redbridge councillor, but Cllr Paul Canal is right. The campaign to save a non-existent farm must be about 50 years too late. I can remember when Claybury Farm had a wheatfield, flanked at the Barkingside end with tall trees housing a noisy rook colony and at the Claybury end with an orchard. There was a public right of way across the middle of the wheatfield. Then Ilford County High School turfed the field over to make a playing field. Residents tried to maintain the public right of way by breaking down fences and walking across the playing field. Whoever built the new houses there ignored the public right of way, which was lost. The last time I peeked through the Tomswood Hill entrance to the "farm", it was a shambles.

    Re Ed's note on high rise flats, decades ago it was found that if you overcrowded rats, as human are overcrowded in tower blocks, they developed disturbed behaviours, such as vicious fighting, killing their own young and becoming cannibals. Sound familiar?

    Another study found that residents need "defencible space" outside their front doors, even if it's merely an L-shaped wall just big enough to house a dustbin. How many such spaces do you find in tower blocks? And the lifts, which break down frequently, are often used as urinals. You'd need to be mad - or desperate - to live in such a place.

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    1. Are you sure that anything beyond Ilford County High School's visible perimeter was ever "turfed over" by the School? Where precisely do you mean?

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    2. Hi, Morris. There was wild grassland beyond the playing field, which is why dog owners needed to cross the playing field by the public right of way to reach it. You could walk across this wild grassland to reach the orchard and through the orchard to Claybury Hospital. I assume the wild grassland was part of the Claybury Farm field that had been abandoned.

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    3. Sorry, Coxsoft, still not able to identify the precise location. On which road(s) is the land in question?

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    4. Hi, Morris

      Think Mossford Lane. When I was a small boy I walked from my home in Fullwell Avenue, along Mossford Lane and up Tomswood Road (Hill) to Fairlop Primary School.

      At that time Mossford Lane was a country lane, on the right the existing allotments, on the left the Claybury Farm field and its border of tall trees with a noisy rook colony. The field spread from Fullwell Avenue to the back gardens of a line of maisonettes flanking Tomswood Road.

      Half way along Mossford Lane was a public right of way that went across the extensive field up to Hospital Hill Wood (the orchard I mentioned).

      At some point after the farm became defunct, Ilford County High School For Boys created a playing field alongside Mossford Lane. It went across the public right of way and annoyed walkers. They kept breaking down the fences and crossing the playing fields to reach the old farmland on the other side.

      The school abandoned its playing fields when new houses were planned to flank Mossford Lane.

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    5. That was not Ilford County High School. It ws the Old Parkonians' Association to whom the land was leased by the council. They wanted to flog it for housing development (Timberdene) and the Old Parks moved to Oakfield - of which more next week.

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    6. Ah. I stand corrected. It's the Old Parkonians we can blame for blocking that public right of way across Claybury Farm. And the Council took advantage.

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    7. There is access to Claybury Park (and the Orchard) from Mossford Lane if you enter Timberdene (opposite the middle gate of the allotments along Mossford Lane), then follow the instructions towards the Genas Estate and guess your route to your right where you will find a gate which should never be locked. It is sad (and was unnecessary) that the trees did die a premature death, much to the annoyance of the rooks who had to find alternative accommodation but we are still very lucky to have such access to the forest.
      annesevant

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    8. How did the Old Parkonians ever get involved in this?

      I had assumed that this post (and therefore the comments) was about the light-industrial land on the east side of Roding Lane North, south of ELHAP, north of Caterham School's cricket ground and on the opposite side of R.L.N. from the small pet cemetery.

      In the Planning Application(s) this area has been referred to as Claybury Farm and Claybury Hall Farm.

      The Old Parkonians were given use of a site bounded by The eastern end of Ravensbourne Gardens, Fullwell Avenue, Mossford Lane and Meriden Close and to the north a concrete pannelled fence that followed a line from the right-angled turn in Ravensbourne to the top turn in Meriden, roughly where now the Timberdene Estate ("Hunters") is separated from the "Broads" off Tomswood Hill.

      This site had for ten years been used by Ilford County High School(1968-1978). The Old Parkonians could never have closed off a public footpath as they had no delegated powers from Redbridge Council to do so and any gates onto the site were not ours to lock and unlock. The pitches were hired from the Council. During their occupation of the site fron 1978 to 1988, the Old Parkonians had no commercial interest in the site and received no direct monetary benefit.

      The Old Parkonians were moved from the "Fullwell" site to "Oakfield" during 1986 to 1988, so that Redbridge Council could sell the site to Beazer Homes for £1 MILLION per Acre. This coincided with a downturn in the housing market and the land outside the "Timberdene Estate" was subsequently sold back to the Council for less than was paid for it.

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    9. Maybe it's the Old Parkonian pictured above on the left?
      And the pet cemetery associated with the PDSA is in Roding Lane SOUTH. The cemetery in RLN was a Military cemetery but is now open to the general public.

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    10. Apologies for the inaccuracy regarding the cemetery.

      The former Ilford County High School pupil to whom you refer has no official position within the Old Boys Association and cannot speak on its behalf. Any views expressed are his own.

      The facts expressed in my previous comment have been verified by the Old Parkonians Association.

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    11. I doubt the former ICHS pupil mentioned has any official position - period.
      In a recent "newsletter" for his so-called "Marston Area (Tilekiln) Neighbourhood Watch and Community Association" he reveals that this "group" has not had a meeting for over 20 years. So quite how that body's officers are appointed /reappointed with any semblance of democratic accountability or legitimacy to speak for or represent that "community" is beyond me.

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  4. jean martin...Chignault4:15 pm, February 06, 2013

    obviously another councillor looking after his own "interests" as listed on the Redbridge i site,he has a business that will do well from the type of residents expected to buy the properties,as also does mr nick hayes of fairlop and bside wards,he also has "interests that will see benefit from more homes(Redbridge sports centre land) too.do hate to bring this up as this would only be good for MP's argument that if they have no other incomes then they will want more money.i still say that if someone wants to be a mp or a councillor (not sure if they are the same thing)...im a pleb you see...then it be best you cannot be...

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    1. I think that is unfair. Having councillors (or MPs) with a range of backgrounds, experience, expertise and skills can only be a good thing. I wish it were more so. Were they a builder, landscape gardener, decorator, plumber, electrician or retailer they could also benefit.
      Having a Solicitor, particularly when he was Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, was quite useful.

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    2. Perhaps Jean Martin would consider giving the community the benefit of her expertise by offering herself for election to the council next year.

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    3. It has almost become normal to accuse anyone in "public life" of acting in their self interest. It rarely is the case.

      I am delighted to tell Ms Jean Martin that I will derive no benefit, financial or otherwise, from this development. Nor will any other councillor, save for the satisfaction that good quality homes will be built.

      I am sure Ms Martin will now wish to publish an apology for her remarks and I look forward to the opportunity of accepting it.

      Cllr Paul Canal

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    4. I would be grateful if you could let me have your address Ms Martin.

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  5. jean martin chignault5:28 pm, February 06, 2013

    dear bside 21.i also assume that he is a parent /grandparent and if he thinks that filling up an already full up borough and country is ok for their future then i do hope he can tell them that when theres nothing left and the quality of life is not as it was in his day. and his day i am sure is plentyfull...england is a very different place now.

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  6. The plot of grassland referred to may be the one opposite the Wanstead Rugby Club entrance and that has for many years been reserved for use by Caterham School and not Ilford CHS.

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    1. I think this plot of grass land (caterham playing fields) will be next for building housing on it. Bloody ridiculous!

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    2. I doubt it. The site to the north is green belt but was also a Brownfield site. It has been earmarked for housing for as long as I can remember.

      The new Core Strategy, which you can find elsewhere on this blog, details where development may take place over the next 15 years and the Caterham Playing field does NOT feature.

      Don't listen to rumour and gossip, and if you do then check out what you have been told.

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  7. dear morris as i have said previously i do not think that those who want to be, or put themselves forward to be, should be.bit like the x factor.

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    1. Dear Mrs Martin - I'm still not clear about the meaning of your latest comment. As to the comment at 4.55 pm, it seems to me to be very close to libellous. Perhaps at least one of your targets ought to consider the point.

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  8. For once I completely agree and back Paul Canal. We have huge number of families in Redbridge who need housing. This development is not the buy to let matchbox studio flats and poor quality high rise blocks with no space we all hate. These are decent family homes, relatively spacious, 3 and 4 bed places. The issue is if they are not built on this site, then where will they be built. Claybury farm is not high quality farmland, or an area of beauty, but light industrial units. We have to build new homes somewhere in this borough, and I would certainly much prefer this site than somewhere else like Fairlop Plain, or even more tightly packed high rise blocks. I have no interest in the site, other than wanting to see young, local families be provided with a decent home. To the best of my knowlesge there is no way that Cllrs Hayes, or Cllr Canal, will benefit from this development other than to benefit residents, and I am concerned to hear that people are hinting otherwise.

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  9. oh well maybe they should sue me.....

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  10. It would be interesting to know how much rent will be charged for these properties, especially with the proposed housing benefit cap in place.Or if sold, how much the sale price would be and if people could get the mortgages to buy them. Very few families can afford decent homes and those that have managed to get anywhere are now in danger of becoming homeless or having to move somewhere cheaper/smaller.

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    1. The high cost of housing is the result of a housing shortage. To address this you can either increase supply or decrease demand.
      Which would you do?

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    2. The high cost of housing is the direct result of excessively generous housing benefit making "buy to let" a good investment for grasping spivs. This inflates the market pricing out first time private buyers. Simples.

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    3. I see that the Redbridge Residents Network Treasurer objected to the previous application last year (for 28 homes) on the grounds that “the substantial number of extra residents would create noise and affect his quality of life and also be a source of ASB due to the extra influx of residents and their associated vehicles”.

      See the Redbridge Residents Network Vision statement
      http://www.residentsassociations.co.uk/redbridgern/index/our-vision.html

      “Working together to create communities with a heart”?

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    4. By their deeds shall you know them......

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