Search

Redbridge’s environmental campaigners fight to save ‘irreplaceable’ green belt at Local Plan meeting

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 June 2017

Aldborough Hatch Defence Association's Enough is Enough campaign is opposed to building on green belt land

Aldborough Hatch Defence Association's Enough is Enough campaign is opposed to building on green belt land

Archant

Redbridge Council was accused of picking and choosing what it decided was green belt at a meeting on the borough’s long term housing plans yesterday.

Under proposals laid out in the borough’s Local Plan, a package of land at Billet Road, in Aldborough Hatch, will be developed into 1,100 new homes, but campaigners insist the land still meets national criteria to qualify as green belt and should be protected from developers.

Those plans were analysed by planning inspector David Smith yesterday, at a meeting where he took representations from a number of interested parties.

Chris Gannaway, of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, argued that the small road separating the land from the rest of Fairlop Plain did not mean the two were not connected, and insisted that claims the surrounding areas had been developed already were misleading.

Passing round a pack of photographic evidence he had brought to the meeting, he pointed out three separate zones where the land set aside for development connected to the rest of the green belt.

Mr Gannaway concluded his representation: “We have looked at sites in the borough that have even smaller levels of connectivity, but that the council says is still green belt.

“To us, this indicates what we have long suspected, and we believe this site is now being sought after for development against green belt purposes.”

But Jesse Honey, of multinational engineering firm Aecom, who are working alongside the council to potentially develop the site, argued the site could no longer be considered green belt,

He claimed that development in the surrounding areas had surged ahead, and a number of high hedges served to completely isolate the Billet Road land from the rest of the Fairlop green belt.

He told the planning inspector: “We argue that not only does the Billet Road site not meet one or two of the criteria for green belt designation, but that in fact it meets none of them.”

Kevin Page, speaking on behalf of the London Green Belt Council, also raised concerns that Redbridge Council’s plans for development at Goodmayes Hospital did not seem to take into account the land’s status as a site of important nature conservation, nor the fact that there were currently 150 tree preservation orders in place there.

He described the council’s approach as “lumbering chalk and cheese together”.

The Council currently expects around 500 homes to be built on the grounds of Goodmayes and King George Hospitals.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Page told the Recorder he feared the entire process was going to end in the loss of some of Redbridge’s “irreplaceable” green belt.

“I fear what may happen is that we might lose the battle in Redbridge, but hopefully we will not lose the war,” he said.

“I do worry that we will lose some of the borough’s green belt, and it might just be a case of waiting to see where exactly the axe will fall.”

Related articles

Latest Ilford Stories

44 minutes ago

South East Counties Under 16s Championship: London 3 Essex 4

The owners of an Ilford kebab house and European food shop will have to fork out a combined total £5,863 after being caught fly-tipping.

Yesterday, 18:00

With a month to go until the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup returns to the Lee Valley Velopark in Stratford, the Great Britain squad for the next round in Berlin has been announced.

Yesterday, 17:23

Christmas is just around the corner, and that means that Redbridge residents brave enough to run the London Marathon will be throwing themselves into training.

Yesterday, 17:00

The New Wilderness club will look to make it back-to-back wins in the London One North this weekend

Yesterday, 16:40

Lakeside Hammers will not be running in the 2019 speedway season after the BSPA revealed plans for next season after hosting their annual AGM.

Yesterday, 16:00

The head coach at Crow Lane praised the work of opposite number Tom Redfern ahead of this weekend’s big clash

Yesterday, 15:00

Heart of Oak Judo Club had a squad of 13 athletes in action at the British Schools’ London Regional Championships at UEL.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you an unpaid carer aged 25 or over? Are you interested in working towards getting into or back into work? Do you need practical help and support to get ready for this big step? If your answer is yes to at least two of these questions read on.

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now