Recorder letters: Planning, vaccinations, Covid safety and Hong Kong
PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 July 2020
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Developers must conform to Plan
John Tyne, Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party, writes:
I read with dismay the approval of the scheme in High Road, Seven Kings (Recorder).
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the decision was that the report to the committee stated that the scheme cannot provide any more affordable homes and remain viable.
In planning terms the viability of any scheme IS NOT a planning issue. It is down to developers to bring forward plans that conform not only to local plans but also both the current and emerging London Plan which states 35 per cent of rooms should be affordable.
It is then the responsibility of the committee to ensure the conformation of the scheme to all relevant policies.
The job of the committee therefore should be simple – if it conforms to policy it should be approved, if it doesn’t conform it should be rejected.
A number of years ago I had the honour of chairing the planning committee for a year.
During that time I always tried to remind members of the need to ensure all developments met policy, even to the extent they may find themselves having to approve schemes they did not like and conversely voting against proposals they personally liked.
I can only sympathise with those members who voted against the proposal, and would ask why a number of councillors voted for a development with such a shortfall in affordable homes.
I would particularly like to know why the chairman, Cllr Islam – whose priory must be to ensure that planning policies both local and London are adhered to – saw fit to approve a scheme which had such a severe shortfall in affordable
GLA should refuse planning decisions
Paul Scott, Arundel Gardens, Ilford, writes:
There are numerous social, economic, environmental as well as health and safety reasons why the planning committee decisions at Ilford and Seven Kings developments should both be refused by the Greater London Authority for certain valid reasons.
They are as follows:
1. Seven Kings and Goodmayes as well as Ilford town centre are already overcrowded enough without having further greater density buildings added to them as well.
2. Suburban and town centres like these should be based more
on commercial and leisure units rather than residential use for
the social benefit of their communities.
3. These housing schemes are rarely affordable for local residents in terms of either renting or outright ownership as they are run by private profit making property development companies who do not offer either adequately locally affordable or social rented properties.
4. There are also health and public safety risks such as bronchial diseases like asthma associated with people living next to already polluted and congested roads.
5. Also with more people living within this neighbourhood there will be a potentially greater need for local police officers who are overstretched to say the least with our current crime rate.
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6. There would be more pressure on local transport services that
not even the delayed crossrail service could cope with as well as there being more of a demand on health facilities within our area
7. Our current coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted the public health and environmental dangers associated with higher density living too.
Children must still be vaccinated
Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director, NHS in London, writes:
GPs have innovated rapidly in London to provide vaccinations in ways that are designed to protect children and their families during this pandemic. NHS teams are here to help – I’m urging parents to continue to attend appointments.
Young babies are vulnerable and need protection from a range of diseases. Social distancing will not protect young children from the risks of diseases such as meningitis.
London already has lower vaccination rates compared to elsewhere in the UK, meaning we cannot afford to go backwards.
The good news is that if we act now, it’s not too late for us to catch up with the effects of the pandemic and protect children.
Share information for Covid safety
Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly member, writes:
Despite lockdown easing, we are still in the midst of a pandemic and many people are rightly worried about pockets of the country – and London – that are still seeing increases in coronavirus cases.
This virus has changed the way we live, work and organise our communities. We must be gathering and sharing as much information as possible to learn how to safely manage our lives and workplaces during a potential second wave.
Abolish NRPF for those in need
Dr Alison Moore, Londonwide Assembly member, writes:
The government cannot afford to ignore the growing chorus of calls from politicians and charities to abolish No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF).
Blocking access to welfare support for those with the wrong immigration status has plunged families into an underclass of our society. NRPF has tied the hands of local authorities and mutual aid groups seeking to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Stop interfering in Hong Kong
Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:
The British government is acting like the EU in its attempt to exert control over Hong Kong .
The EU keeps insisting that any of its ‘citizens’ living in Britain should be subject to its oversight and the rulings of its European Court of Justice. Boris Johnson’s government upholds the view that an independent country cannot be subject to the rulings of a foreign court.
But when it comes to Hong Kong, it’s as though Johnson has morphed into EU negotiator Michel Barnier. Despite the fact that Britain’s lease on its colony expired in 1997, when Hong Kong was returned to China, Johnson is saying that Britain should be responsible for what happens there.
Worse, Johnson has offered UK citizenship to more than three million Hong Kong residents – and this despite repeated pledges to reduce immigration. We have no duty to offer citizenship to Hong Kong residents, nor the right to induce millions of Chinese citizens to leave their country.
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