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Resident battles to save Bodgers from housing redevelopment

PUBLISHED: 10:24 27 December 2018

A footway could be restricted for three years. Picture: Polity

A footway could be restricted for three years. Picture: Polity

Archant

The battle to save Bodgers is not over after a resident applied to give the shop's former building a special status to help protect it from redevelopment.

Bodgers when it was operating as a shop. Picture: Ken MearsBodgers when it was operating as a shop. Picture: Ken Mears

Paul Scott of Sandhurst Drive, Goodmayes, applied to Historic England to give the store in Station Road, Ilford, a listing.

Under the 2011 Localism Act, this title would mean that the building would have to be used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.

“This historic former department store that is a classic example of 1920s’ architecture is under threat of demolition and being turned in to a 42-storey residential tower block,” he said.

“This area has already suffered from enough high rise buildings which add to the overall congestion as well as various associated social and environmental problems too.

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

“The structure has been a well known and respected landmark in the town centre for 90 years and many local residents including a campaign group called Neighbourhoods Of Ilford South Engage (NOISE) are against this destruction of heritage by Access Self Storage developers who are mainly building their tower block for profit rather than protecting the local architectural, social and cultural heritage that has been under threat in recent years.”

Mr Scott went on to say that many Ilford residents have relied on Bodgers for retail and social reasons which has meant any potential plans to “destroy it” would prove to be a great loss to the town itself.

Speaking to the Recorder previously, Jonathan Stevenson, head of development at Access Self Storage, said the Bodgers project is a long-term investment and not about making money.

“I hope it can really help Ilford,” he said.

“I say that hand on heart - we are not looking to develop it quickly and turn it around for profit, we will be here for a long time.

“We know there is a real need for housing in Ilford and we are really excited about the development.”

Historic England said the former Bodgers store will be considered for listing and they will provide details about the progress of the application in “due course”.

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