July 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Shocked residents have been told that a developer wants to demolish their homes to make way for a block of flats using a little-known planning rule.
People living in two houses in Bedford Road, South Woodford, next door to former nursing home Bedford House have been battling against successive planning applications to turn the nursing home into flats for five years.
The planning application was made by L J Construction.
Anyone can apply for planning permission for any site in principle.
Stewart Brown, 52, who lives in one of the threatened houses, said: “It is disgusting that they have put in this application.
“To them it’s business, but to us these are not just buildings, they are our homes.”
Anne Chin, who lives in the other home, said: “It is really upsetting.
“We cannot build more flats as how will we support the influx of people that come to the area, wanting to use our already stressed resources?”
After years of submitting planning applications to demolish and rebuild Bedford House, the company was successful last year and has been given permission to build two one-bedroom and five two-bedroom flats.
But now it wishes to demolish the neighbouring houses and build a four-storey building made up of seven apartments.
Mr Brown said: “He [Lee Jose, director of LJ Construction] can’t build on our homes unless we agree to it and we’re never going to.”
About 40 letters of complaint to Redbridge Council have been submitted, protesting against the application going any further.
Mr Brown said residents were not against any building, but opposed the company “trying to overdevelop and ruin our community”.
Cllr Hugh Cleaver, (Liberal Democrat, Church End) who has been backing residents, said it was “one of the most controversial sites in South Woodford”.
He said: “I think it is unfair that they have to devote time and effort to object to a planning application for the houses in which they live and which they don’t wish to sell. In addition the application lacks detail about how it could be achieved and such a development would destroy the character of this part of South Woodford.”
The consultation period is now over and residents are waiting for a decision to be made.
LJ Construction did not reply to our request for a comment.