Monday, May 23, 2016

Oakfield – The Game is On

As you may have already heard the new, revised, special edition of the Redbridge Local Development Plan (click to download PDF 35Mb) was published last Thursday, although I was not able to download a copy until Saturday and I have still not read it through properly yet. If the link to the LDP doesn't work go here and look for item 8 downloads.

Not surprisingly it still includes the intention to develop Oakfield, and move its amenities and facilities to the Forest Road and Hainault Playing Fields, which are, well, already occupied and well used. However, more surprisingly it also includes some or part of the other options that were considered earlier with a view to replacing Oakfield in the plan.

The Wanstead & Woodford corridor, whilst not specifically mentioned, is still a possibility as, according to the opposition leader, the height of any development on any of the identified sites has not been defined.

Ford Sports ground has been included, as has a parcel of green belt land at Billet Road. This is on top of the proposed developments in Ilford Town centre that have surfaced while the plan was being revised. Most notably, the Sainsbury’s site, the Exchange Mall site and Harrison Gibsons.

The plan will be considered this coming Thursday by the Neighbourhoods Service Committee, then go to Cabinet on 7th June followed by Full Council on 21st July.

We expect the Labour administration to vote it through, whereupon it goes to a further stage of public examination and will ultimately need the approval of the London Mayor and the Secretary of State.

I may have more to say once I have read through the report.


  1. Now I know this sounds strange,,,,but does anyone get the feeling that maybe one day we are going to end up with too much housing?

  2. Not with uncontrolled migration we won't have.

  3. And are the roadworks on the fullwell cross roundabout any indication of new developments?seems. To happen few months before big projects, five Oakes lanes collier row/ Chigwell border

    1. My sentiments exactly - the present traffic hold-ups are a prime example of what to expect with 800 new homes on the said grounds - even though this is a flood plane it seems money rights over human and wildlife considerations. I believe this is already cut and dried with someone saying the developers of this playing field have already been accepted. Pollution on the fullwell cross roundabout is bad now and living near there has already induced medical problems for myself and I understand other people so this sector of Ilford will be like modern day China with the residents wearing masks - The pollution is not just from cars, each home has a boiler belching out dodgy fumes and as Barkingside sits lower than Chigwell, we will be drowning in an invisible sea of carbon monoxide - not what I had in mind for my retirement.

  4. Putting the reasons to one side, if we accept housing is in crisis, then local planning is like putting a forest fire out with a water pistol. A national issue needs a national response. The ex labour leader suggested new towns. Might even be affordable homes. But then our councils would not be able to sell land they got cheap for silly money.

  5. I sometimes wonder if London boroughs are in nothing but a competition to see who can build the most dwellings scares me that with mortgages becoming difficult to get and the prices for new properties being out of reach for most this means that the houses being built will mostly be bought by property firms meaning they will probably be rented out at the tax payers cost ...costing us would be interesting to see if I am right if research was done on previously built " new built" estates of about 10 years plus old.

  6. Where you need to build - green belt or brownfield - depends on what you need to build and what you need to build depends on who you are building for. You can concrete over London and build as high as you can but if "key workers" don't want to live there then what is the point? You can easily enough fill high-rises with NEETs but are in danger of building into a recruitment crisis by solving the wrong housing crisis.

    Where is the "science" involved in so-called predictions of housing need? Where are the impact analyses of the effects on housing demand of Barking Riverside (and Thames Gateway in general), Upper Lea Valley, "North Acton" (Old Oak Common / Park Royal), Hillingdon/Hounslow Parkway? Where are the impact analyses of the effects on employment of London Overground and CrossRail (Elizabeth Line) and Sutton Tramlink (not to mention CrossRail 2 if it ever gets funded)? Old Oak Common / Park Royal alone is expected to deliver 90,000 homes.

  7. I have managed to find time to read through the "draft" Local Development Plan (LDP).

    There would seem to be TWO main issues arising - and I haven't begun to look through the anomalies, contradictions and factual inaccuracies. Those are for the Consultation.

    Issue 1. Councillors will vote the LDP through if they lack the expertise to understand it and will hope that final decisions will be made by the Planning Inspectorate, Mayor, Govt. (Secretary of State).

    However, they must at some time face up to the process & procedures required to "release"[Draft LDP 6.1, 7.9] land from the Green Belt. and so we the people can ask Councillors what that process is and how long will it take IF successful ( and what is "Plan B" if not)?

    Issue 2. The "re-provisioning" [Draft LDP "Objective 4" on page 28; 6.2] of activities on "released" land (mainly sport & recreation) will take how long and cost how much? Are Councillors necessarily aware of the technicalities of moving the 'infrastructure' of sports pitches e.g. relaying undersoil drainage for one?

  8. The comment above from "Jkm" is an interesting one as you can end up building too many of the 'wrong' type of housing if you don't know who you are building for, as seems to be the case.

    Miles Ashley LUL programme director for construction has said parts of the tube will be "inoperable" within 15 years due to the capital's soaring population. Problems will only get worse with passengers at 50 stations in Zone 1 having such little space that it will be the equivalent of four people crammed into a telephone box.

    Even with the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail 1) any benefit from the 10% increase in capacity won't be there in 2026! and things will be just as bad as ever with an extra 500 million passenger journeys a year. It is likely that the Elizabeth Line will be at full capacity from Day One.

    Signalling and Train Technology can reduce the 'headway' between trains to about 100 seconds (less than two minutes) BUT stations will not cope with the increase in passenger throughput because platforms are too narrow and there are too few lifts and escalators. Stratford, for example, had a major upgrade for the Olympics but now needs a further upgrade for Crossrail, HS1 & Javelin, etc.

    The elephant in the room emerges from the shadows. You can't possibly hope to solve the transport problems in London by extending or increasing services on TfL whether by rail, tube, train, bus or tram. What you need is all of the above but allied to a halt or reduction in the number of people living & working in such a confined area.

    The capital doesn't suffer from a transport problem, it suffers from overpopulation. London will need another Crossrail every five years or so until 2050.

    The Transport Planners are working on a) spreading demand for TfL services by asking the Government for legislation enabling employers to conduct business round the clock (a voluntary request for flexible hours during the Olympics was considered a success); b) persuading the Government to facilitate upgrades to lines connecting London to coastal towns in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Essex, and to outer commuting "supertowns" such as Peterborough, Swindon, Market Harborough, Cambridge, Coventry (140 mph trains, quadrupling of track, cheap deals on season tickets) and then, of course, getting developers to build truly affordable housing there.

    This is all intended to facilitate movement of "key workers" and reduce demand for transport and housing in London. That in turn will, of course, reduced the targets for housing development in London.