Monday, November 10, 2014

Redbridge, A Better Place to Build?

The consultation on the Draft Redbridge Local Plan 2015-2030 opened on Friday 7th November and closes on Monday 22nd December 2014. You can find the documentation and survey forms on Redbridge-i at this link. The full report in PDF format is here.

You may recall that the previous plan, the “Preferred Options Report”, was withdrawn about this time last year after a public campaign against the development of the Oakfield site in Barkingside and sent back to officers for a re-think and for new ideas and alternatives to that Option. The other options in the original report and the areas earmarked for investment, like the Crossrail corridor, remain on the table.

That they did and we now have a proposal to develop the “Wanstead Woodford corridor”, with the possibility of quadrupling housing density there. This has resulted in a “Save Our Suburbs” campaign lead by the former cabinet member who pulled the previous report and is now no longer a councillor but a very active South Woodford resident. So we now have two S.O.S. Campaigns as we expect the “Save Oakfield Site” team to be in action again over the coming months.

The other two alternatives to Oakfield in this new report are Goodmayes and Green belt. The Green belt options mentioned “include” the Nine Acre site off Roding Lane North, land to the south of Five Oaks Lane Hainault, land to south of Roding Hospital, land at Tomswood Hill, and land to the south of Billet Road, Little Heath plus land to the east of Fairlop and Barkingside Stations. The use of the word “include” suggests that there may be more …

It is important to note that none of this has been decided yet and the council will be looking carefully at the results of the consultation before making any decision. However, it is also important to note that unless the council come up with a plan it opens up a free for all for developers to build anywhere they like.

One consideration for our community is whether we can withstand any more infill development in already densely populated areas where amenities and infrastructure like roads and schools are under pressure, and if not are we willing to give up some of our green open spaces where such facilities can be planned in sensibly.

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