Councillor Graham Williamson today writes in the Havering Daily.
The new Havering anti-overdevelopment group ‘Preserve’ was launched last week at a conference with a petition opposing proposed Government Planning. The Co-Chairs of Preserve are Jon Cruddas MP (Dagenham & Rainham), Councillor Graham Williamson (South Hornchurch), and Andrew Curtin (Chair of the Romford Civic Society).
They fear that the proposed plans to speed up development will lead to more unaffordable and lower quality homes due to an extension of permitted development. They are also concerned that the Government wishes to impose new and even higher housing targets.
To send a message to Government they have launched a petition named ‘OPPOSE THE DEVELOPERS CHARTER’ to the Secretary State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick.(see https://www.change.org/p/robert-jenrick-oppose-the-developers-charter).
Jon Cruddas MP focused on those plans which he says is opposed by members of all parties including from the Government party. There is a similar, cross-party and non, coalition in Havering now called Preserve dedicated to resist growing over-development of the borough.
I revealed that Havering’s Council Administration, unlike other outer-boroughs, offered as much land as it could to the GLA which meant Havering ongoing housing targets would be larger than it need be. That, and since only half of the borough is brownfield that can built upon it, has led to increasing densities, rising heights, tower blocks and a loss of many a green space.
Chair of the Romford Civic Society, Andrew Curtin, spoke about the increasing loss of Romford’s historic character to new developments. He was particularly scathing of the Administration’s opposition to the proposed Rom Valley development which, he says, is less dense than the Council’s own proposed re-development in the Waterloo Estate. “It seems like hypocrisy”.
Business Director and now Chair of an Advisory Board to Preserve, Julia Herold, spoke about her experiences of the Council undervaluing business property and the threat of been compulsory purchased if they don’t accept and vacate the site the Council wishes to develop.
Business owner Richard Carr sent a statement to the Conference explaining a similar conflict with the Council wishing to site residential development next door to a 24/7 and noisy business and thus jeopardising their operation.
Preseve will be holding regular conferences over the coming months to expose and pushback against over-development
Their petition can sign here https://www.change.org/p/robert-jenrick-oppose-the-developers-charter