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Temporary housing for more than 100 homeless residents proposed in South Woodford

PUBLISHED: 15:45 11 July 2018

Planning application 1506/18 aims to demolish a car garage in Chigwell road to erect 30 units of prefabricated modular housing as temporary accommodation for the borough's homeless. Photo: Google

Planning application 1506/18 aims to demolish a car garage in Chigwell road to erect 30 units of prefabricated modular housing as temporary accommodation for the borough's homeless. Photo: Google

Archant

More than 100 homeless people may find respite in South Woodford if an application to create a temporary three-storey block gets the green light.

Redbridge Council and manufacturing company Elliot UK have jointly applied for permission to erect a “prefabricated modular building” consisting of 30 units of temporary accommodation in Chigwell Road for 10 years.

The council owns the proposed brownfield site and the existing single-storey garage would be “removed and relocated elsewhere,” according to planning documents.

The project aims to provide immediate accommodation to homeless households who would otherwise be in hostels or bed and breakfasts, “until they can access alternative temporary accommodation or a permanent home”.

The design is made up of 24 two-bed suites, accommodating up to four people each, and and six one-bed bedroom suites accommodating up to two people.

It also includes five car parking spaces, a playground and storage for 32 bikes.

Multi-coloured metal cladding on the outside of the building is intended to “assist in improving the overall street scene along Chigwell Road”.

Twenty seven objections to the application have been submitted at the time of writing.

Some argue that traffic and pollution from nearby major roads, such as Charlie Brown’s roundabout, will pose hazards to the residents.

Others express concern about whether surrounding infrastructure can absorb the new residents, such as Oakdale Junior School, in Oakdale Road, and GPs.

One person questioned the ability of the council to make a neutral decision on its own application.

A council spokeswoman said the application is due to be determined at a planning committee meeting on July 19 and, as the local planning authority, the council has the power to determine the application.

She added: “The agenda and planning officer’s report will be published five working days before the meeting and will consider the proposal in the context of the planning policies contained within the council’s new Local Plan adopted in March, including housing need, its impact on the surrounding area, car parking and other highway considerations, as well as any other material considerations.”

Cabinet member for housing cllr Farah Hussain said: “This scheme is really important - it provides high quality, self-contained accommodation for homeless families that would otherwise be living in bed and breakfasts or be moved out of the borough.”

She added: “The site that we are proposing is right next to the site of the new scheme of flats and it is also right next to a primary school.

“It is an area where lots of people spend a lot of time already.”

She said that the proposed site was also visited by a group of tenants presently living in temporary accommodation who gave it the green light.

South Woodford conservative cllr Suzanne Nolan and Michael Duffell have released a statement objecting application, citing a lack of play space for families and pollution levels from nearby Charlie Brown’s roundabout.

They said: “We do not understand how this council can justify housing for the most vulnerable in an area where the pollution is four times the legal limit, residents will not be able to open their windows due to the constant noise of the traffic and exhaust fumes.”

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