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People power: Residents tackle Sainsbury’s over proposal for 700 flats in Ilford

PUBLISHED: 11:43 12 October 2017

Meenakshi Sharma, second from left, with protesters petitioning against the planned development of Sainsbury's in April 2016. Picture: Ken Mears

Meenakshi Sharma, second from left, with protesters petitioning against the planned development of Sainsbury's in April 2016. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Residents are banding together to take on supermarket chain Sainsbury’s over a planning application for 700 
new homes.

Redbridge Council denied planning permission for a development at Sainsbury’s, Roden Street, Ilford, in summer 2016.

But the retailer has now hired legal representation to appeal the decision.

Campaigners applied for “group” status allowing them to cross examine and call witnesses of their own at the eight-day hearing which starts on Tuesday, October 17.

And they are hoping other residents will attend.

Meenakshi Sharma, of Noise (Neighbourhoods of Ilford South Engage), said: “We are just seven local people, who work in housing, heritage, and business, who will be trying to show why this development is inappropriate for the location.

“The good thing about this is that you don’t incur costs, but we will be up against barristers.

“But what else can you do? You either let them win because they have the money and the power or you try your best.”

A council planning committee previously refused permission for the development by five to four votes, stating that the 4per cent affordable housing quota was 
too low.

Ms Sharma said as well as highlighting this issue, Noise will be showing how the plans will impact on transport, parking and density problems.

“As far as we can see it is just about profits and not about people – it is unnecessary,” she added.

“It has gone on for so long that people are tired of it and there should be a line in the sand.

“It messes people’s lives up and it is driven by greed.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman told the Recorder that the proposals will be a positive development for the borough.

“We have been serving customers in Ilford for over 100 years and want to continue investing in the area,” he said.

“Our plans will help kickstart Ilford’s future regeneration by driving growth and job creation, as well as provide a broad mix of housing for local people.

“We look forward to the outcome of the appeal.”

The appeal will be heard between October 17 and 24 at 10am at City Gates Church, Clements Road, Ilford, and the public can attend.

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