Friday, September 30, 2016

CPRE Challenge Redbridge Council’s Assault on Green Belt

This morning, Friday 30 September, Oakfield was featured on BBC Radio London with interviews conducted at the site the previous day. This was part of CPRE London’s (Campaign to Protect Rural England) latest media release (below) on the threat to London’s Green Belt across the capital, but specifically here in Redbridge – not just Oakfield but all the other bits of green Redbridge too.

Wednesday 28 September 2016
Redbridge Council launches assault on London’s Green Belt 
Redbridge’s plans to build over huge areas of protected East London’s Green Belt is nothing short of an assault on our precious green fields, say London campaigners. An area the size of a 180 football pitches of protected green space will be lost if Redbridge Council proceeds with plans to build over East London’s Green Belt, CPRE London has warned in its response to Redbridge Council’s consultation on its draft Local Plan. 
Alice Roberts, Green Spaces Campaigner at CPRE London, said: “If the council gets its way, massive losses to our precious green fields will follow. We are staggered by this blatant land grab. This is nothing short of an assault on our Green Belt – land which is afforded the highest level of protection. And these sites include top quality, irreplaceable cricket and football pitches used by all of East London and beyond.” 
“The council claims it needs the sites for housing but it is categorically not the case that this land is needed for housing. Even the government has said housing can’t justify building on Green Belt. The Mayor has said clearly he will not support building on protected land. And there are vast opportunity sites in Redbridge and elsewhere in London and enough brownfield land to build all the houses London needs. And more brownfield land comes on stream each year.”
“These green fields are specifically protected for all Londoners, not just Redbridge residents, so we are objecting on behalf of all Londoners and we are calling on Londoners to register their objections too.” Template here
“London’s protected green fields are under threat like never before. Enough is enough. We are calling on local councils and MPs to call an immediate halt to the give-away of London’s irreplaceable green fields.”
Please note that even though the official deadline is today, 30 September, you can still make representations after this date, but these will be marked “unduly made” and forwarded to the Inspector who will decide if they can be considered as part of the examination process.


  1. How can we combat childhood obesity without sites for them to run around without the danger of roads. Adults need open spaces to counteract the pressures of modern city life.

  2. At least 30% of this space is fenced off from the public and they have to pay to that argument falls flat?
    They are not technically public open spaces they are private sports clubs!!

  3. Dear Judge,
    Please pay attention. The privatisation of public services and amenities has been the mantra now for 37 years under successive Tory governments.

  4. My Times Newspaper reported this week-

    "More than 5,000 houses a month are being planned for the green belt as councils struggle to find land to meet the government’s target of a million new homes by 2020.

    Local authorities are proposing almost 300,000 homes on the 14 rings of land around English cities where development is meant to be strictly limited, The Times can reveal. The government has pledged many times to protect the green belt, including in last year’s Conservative manifesto and after Theresa May became prime minister."

    The article went on to say that Councils are being encouraged to use "exceptional circumstances" to justify developments - i.e the need for development, shortage of housing, is of itself an "exceptional circumstance" - this NOT being a valid reason for development under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). A Consultant was quoted as claiming that the housing requirements for London could be provided for the sacrifice of 3.7% of its Green Belt. This, of course, depends on location and quality - both of the land and the housing.

    I remember reading somewhere that someone in Government has suggested that, to cope with population increase, we will need a "new town" of 200,000 homes every year for the next TEN years. So, let's build a new town then - with a mainline rail connection and with all its necessary schools, hospitals, etc. AND the Government should say where it thinks these "new towns" should be located.

    It is outrageous that Local Authorities and "public" bodies such as the NHS should be expected to formulate and execute Government Housing Policy, on a more or less voluntary basis and without any funding.

  5. NeighbourhoodWatcher8:45 pm, October 20, 2016

    I spotted the following, which was a very interesting read:

    It can be summarised as:

    Planning Permission slow

    Lack of Available Land

    Housebuilders sit on land and hold back homes

    No more council houses (since 1980)

    Housing Associations (set up to replace "state" house building) hamstrung by unnecessary restrictions

    Skills and materials shortages

    Fewer Small Builders (since 2007-08) and lack of investment in schemes by Banks