Sunday, May 31, 2015

Oakfield – The SOS Position


Council Meeting Wednesday 3rd June 7.15pm Ilford Town Hall - This one really matters. No excuses, we need you, your family, your friends and your neighbours to be there. This is the last time we can speak at Council before it goes to Government. They will hear what happens and you must show you care.

It is time to be angry. The election is over and the Council has confirmed that Oakfields is their preferred option after all. You may think or hear that this is the end.
IT IS NOT
  • This is only a recommendation by the Council.
  • It now goes to the National Planning Inspectorate and unlike the Council they cannot simply ignore our objections.
  • We can even ask the Secretary of State to intervene, put it on hold or take the decision as happened with the planned race course at Fairlop Waters
The Council will need to explain why:
  • They have refused to respond to a House of Commons petition signed by almost 5,000
  • They have refused to let us address full Council despite this being the published process for a Council petition signed by 1,500. We were 1,800.
  • They have ignored the representations of Sport England, the Football Association, the England & Wales Cricket Board, London Sport and London Playing Fields Foundation.
  • They have ignored the evidence: pollution, obesity, traffic, overpopulation, hospitals in special measures and loss of maternity and A&E, Council services and schools unable to meet demand, Green Belt and covenant protection passed on when Oakfields passed into public ownership, sports participation by boys and girls and women and men.
  • THEY HAVE IGNORED YOU
Why have they done this?

Money. Oakfields was the only option that would make the Council money and they have been after it since at least 2008 according to official Council reports and minutes.

As for Housing, today their are 1,800 properties for sale or rent in Redbridge on Right Move. Developing Oakfields would provide less than 5% of the Council's plan. The issue is not availability but affordability and that is based on low interest rates, high deposits, and high rents driven by overseas demand and buy to let. [Ed: There are 10 empty homes for every homeless family in England]
Instead of selling YOUR asset used by OUR existing community, the Council should explain why it has failed to deliver sufficient affordable housing despite enough housing being built to accommodate 50,000 more people between 2001 and 2013.

Stand with us next Wednesday 3rd and Save Oakfield Site

20 comments:

  1. As one of a few members of B21 dissenting from this position, I urge you to go to the meeting and stand up *for* building on Oakfield.

    We need new homes, now. Although I would stand against building on a number of other sites which are of importance to nature and recreation, such as Claybury Woods, Fairlop Water, &c, taking this on a case by case basis, I do think we need to build on Oakfield.

    How about standing up for homes for your friends and families, and more custom on the High Street - custom that is near enough to walk there rather than driving cars through that not-so-green greenbelt. In fact the greenbelt in question is a pesticide-covered monoculture. If we seriously want greenbelt, shouldn't we start with the belts round our homes, aka our gardens?

    And am I correct in assuming that most of the users of Oakfield drive there by car? If so, then if, as I understand, another site has been found for the sporting pursuits, that removes a major objection to new homes there.

    Perhaps I can be persuaded by arguments that we have enough brownfield sites, if we build high. But are there enough amenities? Do people actually want to live there?

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    1. And yes, I dare say the Council needs money. The country has just voted for more cuts. I think we all understand why the Council might need money to make sure the things we need run smoothly. I've just spent the morning picking litter up at Fairlop Water because the people who dropped it don't understand precisely that.

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    2. And by the way, I am angry. With the Save Oakfield Site campaign, for totally failing to engage with the housing shortage, or with the science questioning the value of greenbelt when it drives up car travel, and in doing so drives up pollution.

      And if we don't want the council to sell our asset then we should campaign for social housing rather than selling to a for-profit developer. Lewisham has done this. Redbridge could, too.

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    3. *One of a few ...*

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    4. So why this one specific piece of green belt, Mira? There's plenty to choose from in Redbridge.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/greenpolitics/planning/9708387/Interactive-map-Englands-green-belt.html

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    5. This bit of greenbelt is no longer considered to be serving that purpose and therefore can be de-designated as per the independent review carried out by the Tory administration in 2010.

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    6. Very convenient that the "Independent Review" identified the one piece of green belt that the Tories wanted to sell for development as "no longer serving its purpose".

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    7. Weggis, convenient indeed. Let's be honest, the site would have been identified, any planner worth his / her salt would have worked out it no longer conformed to the remit of green belt. I still believe the review was independent but the Council would have been expecting Oakfield to no longer have been considered greenbelt. In essence the review was completed in confindence, but let's remember all the other Green belt sites within the Borough were reviewed too and they were not 'released'. Like it or not, the argument that it doesn't serve as greenbelt is valid.

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    8. Jack, I disagree. I accept, like it or not, that a recommendation has been made but I'm not sure the final decision has been made. It that is the case then the argument will be put to further scrutiny.

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  2. And lastly, a link to the local plan documents is in order.

    http://www2.redbridge.gov.uk/cms/planning_and_the_environment/planning_policy__regeneration/local_development_framework/draft_local_plan.aspx?utm_source=home_page&utm_medium=advert&utm_campaign=local_plan_meeting

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  3. Some very thoughtful comments above. The users of Oakfield almost exclusively travel there by car as do any of their match day supporters, does this pollution not matter? The housing estates built all around Oakfield, the ones we live in too, were not too long ago also green open spaces, any irony there? This is nimbyism of the highest order, the draft local plan has dozens of other sites within it and if pollution and traffic are the main arguments of the save Oakfield campaign then why does it not matter in the case of the other sites in the Borough? Fight the cause everywhere not just here if there is any conviction in the cause. My understanding is the pitches must be replaced and therefore if this the case that argument disappears. We either build in the Borough or not, but I will not accept the sanctimonious self serving SOS argument who are only concerned by this one site, the one that actually makes some sense.

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    1. I have to take issue with you Jack.
      Some years ago the local Tories wanted to sell off the allotments. Those allotments would have had to be replaced somewhere else by statute. In the end the Tories backed off and they are safe for the time being.
      This is not about nimbyism. It is about preserving highly valued community amenities, the sort of thing that attracts people to move here in the first place.
      Unfortunately it is very difficult to motivate people when it does not immediately affect them. First they came for the allotments ...

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    2. Nimbyism stands because there are 150 other sites in the local plan, none of which anyone has said boo about. The point being is if it's about traffic and pollution then all the sites will increase them so object to them all. If it's about sports facilities then my reading is they must be replaced with the same or better, so again no real loss. Ergo Nimbyism.

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    3. This is simply not true. There was a huge campaign against the Woodford/Wanstead corridor option. Are they Nimbys? There are also many objections to the green belt option and those in the south of the borough.
      Of the 150 sites most are brownfield and most people will accept development on those type of sites.
      There is one recent brownfield (also green belt) completed development quite close to me which i did not object to, but quite a lot of my neighbours did.
      I do not see the Oakield objectors position as being just about traffic and pollution and the idea that something can be "replaced" overnight elsewhere is fanciful and could apply to any community asset, facility or amenity.

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  4. mora vogel...........you dont arf get on my nerves

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    1. Right then Jean, how about you introduce yourself one of these days, and we can find out if the feeling's mutual.

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  5. The Wanstead and Woodford campaign was exactly nimbyism! Manufactured by the Tories, the same Tories who were happy to high rise Gants Hill, Ilford Town Centre, Newbury etc. My personal feeling is that we don't build at all, we are already overdeveloped and why should only those in the shires have greenery or even bits of open brown fields, but the argument for Oakfield is largely based on pollution and traffic which I've already addressed, and the replacing of pitches would not be overnight, but neither would the sale or development of Oakfield. I feel this campaign is hypocritical, as many of the objectors are pointing at increasing density elsewhere or building in and around Seven Kings,and that's why I call it Nimbyism. Have the same standards / Convictions for other parts of the a Borough too.

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    1. OK Jack. I'm sure there are many who would agree with you to stop building, period. There are others who would argue that existing amenities should be enhamnced to deal with the existing population before any new housing is considered.
      Unfortunately Redbridge council do not have this option. You need to address your concerns to the Mayor of London and Central Government and if you wish to mount a campaign I'm sure Barkingside 21 will be able to advise you.

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  6. Council Green Belt Review "further development of this GB parcel would break the urban edge". PPG2 criteria includes. prevention of urban sprawl and another is encroachment onto the countryside.

    Anyone who turned up at Council tonight would have heard 17 people speak out against the proposals ln front of a packed gallery on a wide range of factors including housing. Contrary to some views, and perhaps incoveniently, it was not just SOS but also people from Woodford and Seven Kings. We all have our views but please recognise that there are others and they deserve to be heard too, not dismissed because they don't conform to your spin.

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