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Planning consultation: Labour and Tories bottle out

by gwynethdeakins on 6 October, 2014

Last week a Council Committee considered a Council planning consultation document which will seek views on the idea that there should be a major intensification of  development in Woodford, South Woodford and Wanstead.  This would be in order to meet Redbridge’s housing targets, as one of several alternatives to developing the Oakfield site in Fairlop.

Roding ward’s Cllr Gwyneth Deakins pointed out that any such proposal for Wanstead/Woodford, if implemented, would:

  • completely destroy the character of the area,
  • exacerbate the current shortage of community facilities such as schools in South Woodford, and
  • go against present planning policy and hard-fought battles to keep undesirable development at bay (e.g. Bedford Road).

She also noted that some of the sites suggested for redevelopment in the officers’ report already have planning permission and indeed buildings so are out of the equation.   

She pointed out that there are dangers in proposing a Woodford/Wanstead ‘growth corridor’ even if it is not thought to be a serious option, because it gives a signal to predatory developers that the Council may consider altering its planning policy in the future.

On these grounds Gwyneth proposed that the Woodford/Wanstead option be taken out of the consultation document completely – but she received NO SUPPORT for this proposal from either Tories or Labour.  This is despite the fact that the Tories issued a hue and cry about the draft proposals in the summer, and two Labour Councillors from Wanstead were on the Committee.  As is usual with Labour councillors, they had nothing to say.  As is usual with the Tories, despite their rhetoric in the Press, when it came to a vote they bottled out.

So when the consultation is published it will be very important for Woodford and South Woodford residents to have their say on the proposals.  We will be publicising them on this website and through Focus.

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