Sunday, October 19, 2014

None of the Above!

An open letter to the leader of Redbridge Council

Dear Leader,

On Tuesday evening, at the Cabinet meeting, I listened to your response to statements made by the public about item 13 on the agenda, the Redbridge Local Plan 2015-2030 and was greatly disappointed by it.

You repeated the sweeping statement, originally made by another, that doing nothing was not an option.

The original reason for this was that if the Council did not have a viable plan to meet what many believe is an unrealistic and unnecessary target, then the Council would essentially lose control of planning policy creating a development free for all. Many would say that this cannot be worse than the current proposals.

So the Council has embraced four options, one of which, at the very least, (but probably all of them) is a disastrous blunder resulting in the loss of valuable open space. The Council would willingly destroy the Crown legacy left in trust rather than risk hypothetical appeals in the future.

You recognised that the public at the meeting had strong feelings but said it was only right that all Redbridge residents should have a say and therefore it should go out to consultation. Laudable sentiments but presumably you hope to benefit from silent apathy or an "it doesn't affect me attitude" to legitimise the proposals.

If you were really listening then you would have heard the factual, reasoned arguments put forward by speakers ever since March 2013 which show the false premises of the proposals and the serious consequences to ALL the people of Redbridge.

Consultation should be more than just the four loaded options I fear you intend. There should be a fifth - None of the Above. That would be real democracy and let people say what they really think. After all it is only a consultation, it is not as if you will be bound by the outcome if "None of the Above" was the majority verdict.

Then there are the other options which are being withheld. Full development of 5 Oaks Lane, brown field sites like Kelvin Hughes, a site that is already developed. The Goodmayes Park Extension. The double standards here are breathtaking. You are currently consulting on Goodmayes as an open space or a shared sports and community use but no housing option! It is as if you would like to turn Goodmayes into something like Oakfields. But you have already tried that and the football club could not meet your requirements and the residents did not want it anyway!

Save Oakfield Site supporters have shown that the council has been grooming Oakfields for sale for years, shown that the proposals are built on foundations of sand, and shown the consequences of development. The girls, boys, women and men from 6 to 66 who play on these fields, the national sports organisations and residents have spoken with reasoned passion as a community. You heard them, for the sake of Redbridge I hope you were listening.

Yours sincerely
Frederick Hurrell - Redbridge Resident
(via email)

1 comment:

  1. Would it be asking too much for us to be reminded which councilllor(s) stood behind the football club option for Goodmayes Park Extension (ie wanted to give it away to a particular identifiable group)?