MP signs pledge to defend Redbridge green belt from development
PUBLISHED: 11:41 18 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:41 18 May 2019
The newly formed Protect Fairlop Plain group had an on-site meeting with Ilford North MP Wes Streeting on Friday, May 17 where he signed a pledge to "defend the Redbridge green belt".
Starting at Willows Farm they discussed Redbridge's failed bid to locate Billingsgate, Smithfields adn New Spitalfields markets on green belt land between Hainault Road and Billet Road and how to protect Fairlop Plain for the future.
Mr Streeting was originally was one of the backers of this bid along with Jas Athwal, leader of Redbridge Council and Keith Prince, GLA member for Havering and Redbridge.
Mr Prince decided to withdraw his backing and oppose the bid after visiting the site with residents early on in their campaign against it.
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On Friday Mr Streeting heard from the residents about how frustrated they had been regarding the lack of consultation and their anger at the bid to sell off green belt land.
Jenny Chalmers, of Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, said: "He admitted that when saw the strength of feeling against the bid and the speed with which local groups joined together to oppose it, he realised it would fail. His view was that the two main reasons for this had been the fact it involved green belt land and the quickly organised campaign to protect Fairlop Plain."
The Labour MP went on to sign a pledge to "defend the Redbridge green belt for current and future generations and to oppose any plans to build on it".
The discussion resulted in an agreement that the there is a great need for Redbridge to set up a working group to produce a new nature conservation strategy for the whole of Fairlop Plain to prevent any future schemes for building on it and to preserve the unique biodiversity it contains.
The Protect Fairlop Plain (PFP) group included representatives from The Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, the Seven Kings and Newbury Park Residents Association, Barkingside 21, Hainault Forest wardens, local farmers, SOS, as well as others.