Redbridge set to gain 17,250 new homes by 2030 as councillors agree Local Plan
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A minimum of 17,250 new homes are set to be built in Redbridge by 2030, it has been revealed.
After an hour of debate, councillors agreed a 221-page Local Plan during a four-and-a-half hour full council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road last night (March 15).
The plan sets out the council’s policies for building new homes, shops, leisure facilities and infrastructure across the borough over the next 12 years.
“This plan puts Redbridge in the strongest possible position,” said Cllr Helen Coombes, cabinet member for regeneration property and planning.
“It gives us a robust planning policy framework for providing determinations on development proposals.”
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After 11 months of examination, planning inspector David Smith deemed Redbridge Council’s Local Plan “sound” on January 24.
This rating was conditional on the adoption of 77 “main modifications,” detailed in a 93-page report, into the final draft.
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Among the modifications was a recommended increase in the council’s affordable housing from 30 percent to 35pc, and for Oakfields and Ford playing fields to be removed from the plan’s strategic housing allocation.
Cllr Gwyneth Deakins criticised the level of engagement of the public and opposition councillors in the process of developing and scrutinising the Local Plan.
She said: “All I can remember is one service committee where we were presented with a sheaf of papers that had been tabled at the last minute.
“There were pages of amendments which we had to crawl through, which of course was not satisfactory.
“That was really the only time that we, as representatives of the borough, were able to do our job and scrutinise it.”
Public consultations on the Local Plan were carried out in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016 with 13,000 comments recieved from individuals, according to council figures.
Before councillor’s agreed the final plan, two six-strong residents’ groups - including members of Neighbourhoods of Ilford South Engage (Noise) - were given the opportunity to present objections to the plan and respond to questions from councillors.
Noise’s Meenakshi Sharma said: “We urge residents to all councillors to vote against against this plan.
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting responded by critising Ilford Noise’s stance towards rough sleeping projects in the borough.
“The representatives talk about deprivation in the borough,” he said.
“But I think it’s a bit rich when Ilford Noise put in objections to Project Malachi.”
Project Malachi, currently awaiting planning permission, is a pioneering project which hopes to house 42 rough sleepers in Ilford town centre on the crumbling site of a former funeral directors.
Cllr Emma Best accussed the administration of “bullying,” by having residents groups sit in chairs at the centre of the room to give their objections.
The final version of the local plan will be available here: https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-policy/redbridge-local-plan-2015-2030/