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Barkingside could turn into Ilford town centre under development plans, say councillors

PUBLISHED: 13:56 25 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:56 25 January 2013

Worries over congestion and Fairlop turning “into another Ilford town centre”, if a Barkingside green-belt site is opened up for development, were expressed by councillors.

Oakfield Playing Fields, between Fencepiece Road and the Underground line, was discussed at a meeting of area committee three at Redbridge Sport and Leisure, Forest Road, Barkingside on Wednesday.

Cllr Brian Lambert said: “A lot of work has taken place around this area, and the infrastructure has been left behind.

“The roads will not be able to take extra vehicles when it already struggles now.”

Redbridge Council is outlining its development and investment policies for the next 15 years, which could include building a school and housing on the site.

Cllr Joyce Ryan said: “The council are trying to making Fairlop into another Ilford town centre. I find what is being proposed very scary.

“I look at where people would come out of the development and it just frightens me. People live in this area because it is a pleasant place to be.”

Cllr Alex Phillips added: “I haven’t heard anything mentioned about brown-field sites, and under used areas such as the Craven Gardens car park. Surely we could use our existing assets more effectively, before looking at Oakfield.

“There are so many sites in Redbridge that have planning permission but nothing is being built on them.”

King Solomon High School, Forest Road, Barkingside will add Ilford Jewish Primary School to its campus from September, while intakes at Avanti Court Primary School in Carlton Drive and Mossford Green Primary School in Fairlop Road are also set to go up.

Cllr Nick Hayes said: “The population is growing whether we like it or not and we need to deal with it the best we can otherwise there will be problems.

“There is a need for family housing and that all takes space but we often forget basic infrastructure, such as roads.

“It is not fair to say that if something is released from green-belt that it will become a block of flats.”

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