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Bodgers Ilford: Network Rail has ‘major’ safety concerns about 42-storey tower including weight and electromagnetic force field

PUBLISHED: 15:22 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:06 30 January 2019

Network Rail and the police have provided feedback on the application. Picture: Polity

Network Rail and the police have provided feedback on the application. Picture: Polity

Archant

Network Rail has “major” safety concerns about the 42-storey tower planned for the former Bodgers site.

As well as worries about the weight of the proposed development on the train bridge in Station Road, Ilford, the company said the electromagnetic fields produced by its overhead electric line must be risk assessed to ensure residents are not adversely affected.

Network Rail also flagged up a whole host of other potential track operational issues if Bodgers is demolished and highlighted the risk of balconies being built above a live track in a statement sent to Redbridge Council’s planning department on Januray 16, 2019.

“Any lighting associated with the development (including vehicle lights) must not interfere with the sighting of signalling apparatus and/or train driver vision on approaching rains,” said a Network Rail, town planning technician.

“The location and colour of lights must not give rise to the potential for confusion with the signalling arrangements on the railway.”

The Met Police also gave feedback and said they could not support the plans without “further dialogue”.

However, Pc Ruari Robertson did provide a list of thinking points for the developers to consider.

“We recommend that the planting and street furniture installed around the site does not compromise the natural and informal surveillance that is available,” he said.

“Furthermore it should not be of a design that could promote anti-social behaviour or its use as a place of concealment for drugs or weapons.

“We recommend that the proposed brick relief is designed in such a way that it does not form a climbing/scaling aid to the face of the building”.

Pc Robertson also flagged up that the doors on the building present an “inherent security risk” and if the mechanism is not “re-engaged after use” it could mean the doors don’t lock properly.A spokesman from applicant Access Self Storage responded today (January 29) to Network Rail’s January 16 statement.

“The response from Network Rail is an initial comment made independently of the positive discussions with Network Rail that have been ongoing for some 18 months.

“The latest discussions between our technical team and Network Rail have been constructive and have indicated that they are satisfied their concerns have been addressed in the solutions that have been put forward.

“Network Rail have indicated to us that they will shortly write with an update to Ilford Council which reflects that.

“We have been working closely with the police to ensure that the new public realm is as attractive and welcoming as possible. “The latest meeting has addressed matters like lighting, landscaping and street furniture to ensure that we have taken on board the initial concerns expressed.”

A Network Rail spokesperson gave an updated comment after this story was first published to say that not all the problems have been addressed.

“Network Rail has a responsibility to ensure that any development next to the railway does not affect the safety or operational performance of services and everyone who uses the it,” he said,

“We continue to have discussions with the developer as a result of the comments we have outlined to the London Borough of Redbridge on the planned development.”

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