After five years of campaigning to protect the Dovers Farm Green in South Hornchurch locals were relieved when the Council Leader announced in September last year that he was no longer going to build on their Green.
Councillor Graham Williamson (South Hornchurch) said “Damian White said at the time that there would be legal protections introduced to prevent the Council from changing its’ mind. It is now however some four months since and there is no sign of any protection. Cynics are suggesting that the Leader’s decision was related to his announcement shortly afterwards that he was standing in the area for MP and, now that he was unsuccessful, could he be trusted?”
Local MP, Jon Cruddas (Dagenham & Rainham), says “We have had a stay of execution to stop developers concreting over Dovers Farm and now the Council has to honour its promise to protect the Green and respect the views of residents”.
Local activist Ross Elliott said “Almost 4 months ago Damian White announced the council no longer planned to develop on Dovers Farm green, and it would put the necessary protection in place to ensure no future development could happen. This news was well received by the community, however, until the protection is in place they are still at risk. It is vital we keep applying pressure until our green spaces are protected”
Initially, the Leader suggested using the Local Plan but that could be reversed by any future Council. The campaigning group, The Dovers Farm Estate Committee, originally applied for Village Green status for the Green. It failed due to the land owner’s, Havering Council, objections.
The importance of such a status is that it prevents any further building on the designated area except by an Act of Parliament.
Campaigners, therefore, are turning up to demonstrate outside the Town Hall on the 22nd (6.30 pm) calling upon the Council to protect the green by making it a Village Green!