Redbridge desperately needs new homes. We have thousands living in temporary accommodation; people are struggling with the rising costs of renting; and home ownership is a pipe dream for too many. These problems will not be addressed, so long as the demand for new homes outstrips supply and against this backdrop, it is hard to look unfavourably at our council’s proposals for 800 homes – many of which would be family-sized houses – and much needed funding for schools and GP surgeries.A “rock and a hard place”. When in such a situation something has to give, you have to force the issue. I will have more to say on this next week, when I find the time to write it. It will be controversial.
But these homes will come at a price. The loss of playing fields on the Oakfield site is a cause of great concern and distress to many residents. The playing pitches are well used by a wide range of sports clubs. Their contribution to the sporting life and cohesion of our borough is cherished. There are also legitimate concerns about transportation, congestion and air pollution.
The council is caught between a rock and a hard place on this issue and I am glad they are listening and consulting further.
I’ve really wrestled with my conscience on this and, after careful reflection, I have decided to support residents campaigning to save the Oakfield site.
This hasn’t been an easy or straightforward decision, but I believe I’m reflecting the will of people who elected me to stand up for their interests in both the council chamber and the House of Commons, which is what I promised to do.
Wes Streeting MP