Havering’s anti-overdevelopment pressure group, PRESERVE, say that the Government’s new Planning laws are a threat to the quality of life to city residents. The Government, under pressure from its’ own MP’s, dropped plans to increase housing targets in the Shires. Instead it will focus upon twenty cities, including London. Due to Havering’s suburban nature, PRESERVE believes that Havering’s land is particularly being eyed up for overdevelopment.
PRESERVE Co-Chair, Councillor Graham Williamson (South Hornchurch), believes the Planning law changes are designed to make it easier for developers to put house-building on steroids by removing traditional protections against poor builds. He said: “The result will see Havering lose its suburban character whilst absorbing a large influx of residents without the necessary services.”
A further stripping away of protections will follow the introduction of Planning Zones e.g., Protection, Regeneration and Growth Zones. Any area in the latter zone would allow automatic planning approvals, regardless of what a Council or residents think. Councillor Ray Morgan (Hacton) said: “If the Government proposals proceed, developers building in “Growth” areas will have Carte Blanche to do what they want and built inappropriate developments with no democratic input or engagement from local residents, as no planning application would be required. Local plans would become superfluous.” He added: “This would undoubtedly have a negative impact on residents quality of life and our environment. It should be resisted at all costs”
Business Director Julia Herold and PRESERVE Advisory Board Chair, echo’s this concern: ”To facilitate the Zoning System I am very concerned that the use of the Compulsory Purchase Tool within it, that draconian principles will be welded on more home and land owners in Britain, with dire consequences to those whom have spent all their working lives to establish and own their own homes, offices, factories and shops.”
PRESERVE, who oppose the overdevelopment of Havering, say they will soon be holding a conference to discuss the Government proposals and present alternative proposals.