Thursday, October 30, 2014

Garden Grab in Old Barkingside
– Episode II

Readers may recall Episode I back in July last year. That application was rejected but, as with so many planning applications, the applicant has gone away and tried to address the reasons why it was rejected and come up with a new proposal that they hope will be approved. The new application is 3388/14 and you can find the relevant papers here. There are already quite a few objections.

click on image to enlarge
The key differences are that the development has been rotated through 90° so that the houses now face Sandringham Gardens and the listed Pert Cottages opposite, the number of houses has been reduced from seven to five, instead of 3 storey town houses with a pitched roof on top they are now 2 storey plus living space in the loft area and each dwelling now has its own refuse storage area.

However, because the new dwellings front the road they all have dropped kerbs with off-road parking, but only one space each and one spare. This means that on road parking for others is effectively being reduced in an area where parking is already at a premium. It is close to the High Street and Barkingside tube station which attracts “free” commuter parking.

The planning guidance, as we understand it, is to encourage development in precisely such locations in order to reduce car use. There are also two major supermarkets within walking distance and plenty of buses that will get you into Ilford Town centre in 20 minutes. The problem is that these are three bedroom houses and while car use may reduced it does not necessarily reduce car ownership and if the car is not in use and the owner does not have sufficient off-road parking then it is going to be parked on the public highway, or worse on the footway. Added to this, there is the Barnardos development across the road where parking provision could also be described as meagre.

If you look at those places where there has already been substantial infill development you will find Residents Parking permit schemes and if you go further afield to places like Islington you will actually find car ownership on the decline simply because there is nowhere left to park unless you rent a garage for £2,000 per month.

When communities are designed and planned properly, like when Barkingside was expanded and Clayhall developed in the 1930s, they included space for schools, doctors surgeries, small residential shopping parades, places of worship, pubs, parks, playing fields etc. It is when these communities suffer from extra piece meal and infill development that amenities are placed under pressure. It is not any one development, but the cumulative impact that is the problem. That said, Redbridge council has an obligation to build something like 10,000 new homes in the next few years and as far as I can see there is no plan for infrastructure or amenities. This is where we are. These things are now left to the market because the market knows best and always delivers at the cheapest possible price, doesn’t it.


  1. I must say I could not believe that the council could grant planning permission for any new houses down this road, I was forced down it on bonfire night as the high street traffic was at a standstill due to the very successful Barkingside park event.....the cars down here are parked all over the place I did not know that there is a cul-de-sac too crazy idea full stop