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‘All talk and no action’: Redbridge’s London Assembly member slams Sadiq Khan over Fairlop Quarry decision

PUBLISHED: 10:06 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 19 July 2017

Members of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association outside Redbridge Town Hall. Ron Jeffries is seventh from the left. The Revd Lovesey who was barred from speaking is in the centre. Jean Smith, who spoke on behalf of the Busy Bodies Pre-School Day Nursery is on the far right. Photo: Matt Clemenson

Members of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association outside Redbridge Town Hall. Ron Jeffries is seventh from the left. The Revd Lovesey who was barred from speaking is in the centre. Jean Smith, who spoke on behalf of the Busy Bodies Pre-School Day Nursery is on the far right. Photo: Matt Clemenson

Archant

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has refused to speak out against controversial plans to expand gravel extraction works in Fairlop, despite desperate pleas from residents.

Redbridge Council’s planning committee granted permission for an extension of gravel works in Aldborough Hatch Farm for a further nine years last month.

Afraid such an expansion of works could have a large number of health and environmental consequences, campaigners had hoped Mr Khan’s office would file an official complaint or even take over management of the planning application entirely.

But in a letter seen by the Recorder, the Mayor of London says: “Having now considered a report on this case I am content to allow Redbridge Council to determine the case itself, subject to any action that the secretary of state may take, and do not therefore wish to direct refusal or to take over the application for my own determination.”

Keith Prince, Havering and Redbridge assembly member, condemned the decision.

He said: “This is a devastating decision for the local community. They were counting on the mayor to live up to his promises to defend green belt land but he has failed to do so.

“This is a development that will threaten local heritage, harm local air quality and damage green belt land. Redbridge Council should never have approved this application in the first place, but the Mayor should certainly have turned it down.

“Once again local people have been let down by a mayor that is all talk and no action.”

Residents have now announced their intention to fight the expansion plans to the very end.

Longtime campaigner, Ron Jeffries, chairman of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, told the Recorder that residents were “totally devastated” by the mayor’s refusal to intervene.

He said: “We may have lost the battle but the war is ongoing.”


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