We specifically comment, below, on the late (30 May 2015) submission from the so-called “Marston Area (Tilekiln) Neighbourhood Watch Group and Community Association” in support of the removal from Green Belt and development of the Oakfield site. The full submission is here.
We did not make these comments earlier because our Residents’ Groups were not informed that the review was in progress.Neither was Barkingside 21, or any other community or action group informed, but we all seemed to be able to submit our comments by the deadline date of 22 December 2014. Perhaps these so-called “Residents’ Groups” should pay more attention?
Concerning the Investment Areas, that at Barkingside where investment is already in progress dictates that that area must absorb proportionate new housing development, otherwise waste of public money will result.Although Woodford Bridge is not mentioned as an investment area in the Plan, it has nonetheless received substantial investment recently. It is also a recognised Town Centre with a decent range of retail outlets plus social and leisure facilities. It is close to the major transport hub of Charlie Brown’s roundabout with access to the A406 North Circular and the M11 corridor. There is also easy access to the south and the A1400 via Roding Lane North, a category 3 road and a designated strategic route. Accordingly using the argument above it too “must absorb proportionate new housing development, otherwise waste of public money will result”.
Our view is that the objections that have been raised to Strategy 1, the development of the Oakfields site at Barkingside, lack substance and should be overruled. Objections from immediately adjacent residents are to be expected in respect of almost any development, and if such were in the general case to be sustained (consistently, as in equity they would have to be), the only sites which could ever be developed would be those lying isolated in open country.This argument could also be applied to the objections to development in the vicinity of, and made by, the so-called “Marston Area Neighbourhood Watch”, specifically the Nine Acres site and the Beal/Redbridge Recreation Ground. However, while there are no doubt objections from residents immediately adjacent to Oakfield, the overwhelming thrust of objections have come from the Clubs on the site, and their members and users, plus other rather more credible, legitimate and accountable community groups not to mention recognised National Sporting bodies.
We also think that the objections on traffic grounds cannot be justified. The site lies in very close proximity to a traffic hub (Fullwell Cross roundabout) whose capacity is probably second only in the Borough to that of Gants Hill roundabout. From it immediately radiate five medium distance through routes, two more within 150 metres, an eighth at just over 500 metres. Most of these roads are fifty-foot or more, some sixty-foot or more. These roads currently carry little long-distance traffic. Within 2.5Km comes the Gants Hill roundabout itself and several other hubs. Further we note that in the 1990s the redevelopment of the former Claybury Hospital site with a comparable number of units in an area where the road system has a much lower traffic capacity was not considered objectionable.This whole argument is a red herring, which omits the uncomfortable facts the petitioner does not like. Later in the submission there is this:
Unlike Tomswood Hill (above), Roding Lane North is a mere forty-foot road and at this point at least is very heavily trafficked at peak hours for access to the school. Any introduction of additional traffic at this point would massively increase congestion.Firstly, Roding Lane North may be a “mere forty-foot road” but the actual carriageway, by the petitioner’s own admission elsewhere, is much wider than a normal forty-foot road having been widened many years ago. And if this road is “heavily trafficked at peak hours for access to the [singular] school” then the roads in the vicinity of Fullwell Cross must also be subject to the same problem and also to “massively increase[d] congestion” from the introduction of additional traffic there. There are seven schools in the immediate vicinity of Fullwell Cross, two of which are secondary schools. King Solomon, IJPS, Clore Tikva, Mossford, Ilford County High, Avanti, Fairlop Primary, some of which, unlike Roding Primary, have recently been expanded to cope with extra demand and some where expansion is in the pipeline. The plain fact is that while there is some congestion at Woodford Bridge it is nowhere near the levels at Fullwell Cross, as will be recognised by anyone who actually drives a vehicle; which the petitioner does not.
Also this indicates that a Strategy that we do not object to is No 3 the “Western” or “Woodford” development corridor. The eight sites so far involved there would, like Oakfields, have adverse affects only in their immediate vicinities, and there are many other sites in that area which could be added to extend or spread development. We have in mind the many crumbling mansions a century or so old like Bedford House which give the whole of South Woodford a very run-down air.
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