Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Barkingside Regeneration

Fullwell Cross LibraryAs reported earlier the Redbridge Cabinet met on 4th September 2007 and considered a report entitled “Fullwell Cross, Barkingside District Centre – Improving community infrastructure and the town centre”

At this meeting the Deputy Leader of the Council gave a summary of the report that was clearly at odds with the interpretation of some members of the public, including myself. However, she also said that she was not happy with the wording of the report but chose not to have it re-written in order that the matter may be progressed promptly. As a result we have offered the Deputy Leader the opportunity to clarify the position – here it is:

"The Council will ensure that an early priority for consultant master-planners, when appointed, will be to meet with both the newly formed Barkingside business partnership and Barkingside 21, [plus other recognised stakeholder groups in the area] and to hold at least one public meeting. The purpose, as part of the project's inception, will be to capture at the earliest possible stage, the views, ideas and aspirations of the community (including residents and business'), in addition to understanding the policies and plans of the Council and other statutory bodies such as TfL and the Police.

The scope of the study, which will be informed by a detailed specification - when adopted, will be to examine options for development at both the Fullwell Cross end and at the Southern approach, taking into account e.g. Barnados' Estate, but with a clear emphasis on the physical, social and economic regeneration of the whole of Barkingside High Street. Whilst the Council cannot be bound into ring-fencing (e.g. for Barkingside alone) a specific sum from any capital receipts generated by land sales, benefits from any S.106 planning agreements can more easily be dedicated to a defined area or neighbourhood.

Finally, the Council has a duty to examine properly and in detail, any research findings, conclusions and recommendations set out in the final report(s) of any studies it commissions. It is not however, obliged to accept any or all such recommendations and in reaching a view, it will want to consider carefully the implications and impact on the area concerned, in this case - Barkingside and Fullwell Cross."
Cllr Mrs Huggett

Councillor Mrs Linda Huggett
Deputy Leader of the Council



  1. So does this statement mean that there are signs of some alleviation for the council's customary acute hearing impairment? At this rate they will soon be tackling the waiting list for allotment plots and giving the plotholders formal tenancy agreements.

  2. Well, it appears to be a badly, but typically, written statement of the bleeding obvious:

    We will hire very expensive consultants.

    We will take statements of interest from relevant State bodies (TfL, police etc),

    We will take statements of interest from Council Tax payers, and Business Tax payers.

    There is no specific pot of gold for the regeneration of Barkingside High St.

    We may, or may not, pay any attention to any opinions expressed by any interested parties, other than where obliged to in law (and even then, we may or may not just shrug our shoulders - see excess numbers of cafes).

  3. Oh come on Judith. Be reasonable. As Doubting Thomas points out they've only just recovered their ability to hear. You can't expect them to change ALL their ways in just one year, it's a process of gradual evolution.

  4. Was not Sir Humphrey's advice to the minister on giving a written response, to ensure that the recipient had no additional knowledge or information than they had before the response?

    See the two replies from Ken Livingstone earlier!

  5. I would like to include a recent Press release from Ken Livingstone - which might clarify the position:
    Press Release
    Mayor moves to protect Green Belt
    25-9-2007 577
    Mayor of London Ken Livingstone today directed Kingston-Upon-Thames Council to refuse a planning application by Chessington Nurseries Ltd for plans that encroached on the capital’s Green Belt.
    The proposal would have doubled the size of the existing garden centre. The area of built structures would have increased by over two hundred per cent and car parking areas by over two hundred and fifty per cent. Under UK planning law, developers wishing to build on Green Belt land must demonstrate that very special circumstances exist that outweigh the harm caused. The applicant failed to do this.
    In 2002, a Government planning inspector refused planning permission for expansion of the property on the same site, referring to this area of land as ‘highly sensitive’. Since 2004 the Mayor’s planning officers have advised Chessington Nurseries Ltd that only limited development within the footprint of existing buildings and spaces would be permissible. The new application did not heed this advice.
    The Mayor said:
    ‘If this planning application were approved, Londoners would forever lose a significant area of valuable open space. The Green Belt performs a valuable role in preventing urban sprawl and providing Londoners with access to the countryside. It should only be altered in exceptional circumstances.’

  6. Interesting quote from Red Ken. According to Redbridge Council, he's threatening to take Redbridge to court if it doesn't cover our allottments and other green areas with housing. Two-faced Red Ken or lying Redbridge councillors?

    As for the regeneration of Barkingside High Street, the best way to achieve this is to demolish Tesco, where all the trade is going. If Redbridge Council isn't prepared to do this, it should shut up about regeneration.

    As a compromise, the Council could shut all those pesky shops that blight the High Street with litter and loutish youths and generally lower the tone: McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, newsagents licenced to sell booze, such as Baylis, and betting shops. Removing these slummy places might encourage better shopkeepers into the area.

  7. To be fair and to clarify, Coxsoft.
    Ken's statement refers to Greenbelt, but the allotments currently under threat are not designated as greenbelt. Perhaps they should be?

    Also the reports of Ken's threatened court action was reported in the local press, so presumably they have first hand quotes from Ken. This was also refering to the percentage of social housing provided by Redbridge.

    However, it is true that Redbridge is being pressured to provide a large number of new homes [note the choice of word] and these are being squeezed into ever more cramped locations. Hi-density and Hi-rise are the lessons of the sixties that seem to be conveniently forgotten.

    What encourages better shopkeepers into the area is a market for their product/service and that's down to us - the consumer.