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Housing homeless in Hainault parks: Government refuses to call-in controversial application

PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 March 2019

MP Wes Streeting wrote to housing secretary James Brokenshire in January asking him to use his power to

MP Wes Streeting wrote to housing secretary James Brokenshire in January asking him to use his power to "call in" a contraversial application to house the homeless in Hainault parks. Photo: Ken Mears / JDA Architects

Archant

The government has said it will not "call in" Redbridge Council's planning application to house homeless families in a Hainault park.

Mock-up plans for temporary accomodation for 60 families in Woodman Road, near Manford Way, Hainault. Photo: JDA ArchitectsMock-up plans for temporary accomodation for 60 families in Woodman Road, near Manford Way, Hainault. Photo: JDA Architects

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has responded to a letter from Ilford North MP Wes Streeting calling on him to determine the council’s plan to house the homeless in Brocket Way park and Woodman Road park – although the former application has now been scrapped.

This means that the decision will be taken by the local authority’s planning committee, as is the usual process.

“[Mr Brokenshire] is satisfied the decision should be determined at a local level,” reads the letter from Michelle Peart, planning officer at the ministry of housing communities and local government (MHCLG).

“The reason for this decision is that the application does not involve issues of more than local importance justifying his intervention,”

It adds: “I can assure you that all of the issues raised, including your constituent’s representations were fully taken into account in reaching the decision.”

In his Facebook post, Mr Streeting thanks the council for listening to campaigners referring to the decision to drop the scheme in Brocket Way.

The application to erect 60 units of prefabricated modular housing in Manford Way continues to press ahead.

As reported in January, Mr Streeting agreed to write to the housing secretary “on the basis of residents’ opposition”.

He said, at the time, that he was reluctant to oppose the council’s plans based on his high volume of casework to help residents suffering housing problems.

But added that campaigners against the scheme raise “valid concerns” about protecting green spaces for children and over-stretched infrastructure in the area.

He said: “I do think that if the council goes ahead, they need a better deal for Hainault.”

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