HRA Local Councillors call out threat to local businesses.

Havering Residents Association Councillors today write in the Havering daily:

Havering’s Local Plan is close to completion and will become the main guide to proposed development up until 2032. The Council’s proposed final amendments are open to public comment.

RA Councillors Ray Morgan (Leader of the Opposition) and Graham Williamson (Deputy Leader of the Independent Resident’s group) have, amongst other things, called for changes to the proposed policy on local business. 

Cllr. Ray Morgan (Leader of the Opposition)

They say that, in a desire to meet excessive housing targets, the Council is stripping away protections to businesses. The Council have not resisted the Mayor’s demand that we sell off part of our industrial land (in the Thames Gateway) for housing as part of centralising his control of the Capital’s industry. 

Worse still the Council’s suggested policy on the selling off Industrial land should be more ‘flexible i.e. will not oppose further loss for residential uses. Their specific Policy amendment (9.2.2 Loss of Industrial Land) is too loose’ and requires tightening to protect such land by sticking to the original text. WRONG MOVE

Furthermore, another suggested amendment (9.2.5) of ‘relocating’ existing business (almost always outside the borough if still viable) if in conflict e.g. noise, to accommodate new residential developments, is the wrong move and is probably the result of such an existing conflict between the Council and Rainham Steel. 

Cllr. Graham Williamson

South Hornchurch RA Councillor Graham Williamson says “Traditionally Havering has a strong local SME presence but any loss of industrial land is a negative, especially with a growing population.”

He added “We are already losing retail units and if we are not careful Havering will become a ‘dormitory borough’ supplying labour to the City of London with little homegrown industry or retail outlets” 

As part of the process, residents and local groups have one opportunity to comment on the Council’s final amendments to the Plan. This has been extended until 5th of November when it will ultimately go to the Inspectorate in Bristol for final approval. Go to Local Plan Consultation August 2020 | The London Borough Of Havering and check out the proposed policies. 

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