Homeless to move into Hainault modular homes ‘very soon’

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 October 2020

Protesters tried to stop the units being built in Woodman Road park. Picture: Aaron Walawalkar

Protesters tried to stop the units being built in Woodman Road park. Picture: Aaron Walawalkar


People will move into temporary housing in a park “very soon” despite the council being unable to confirm if a full-time fire warden is needed.

A total of 60 prefabricated units were completed in Woodman Road park, near Manford Way, Hainault, earlier this year and will provide housing for the homeless for the next 10 years.

This is Redbridge Council’s second development of its kind, following the construction of 30 units in Chigwell Road, South Woodford.

The council has a further 30 units in storage, for which it has not yet chosen a site.

READ MORE: Campaigners lose legal battle to stop container homes being built on Hainault park

The South Woodford development went over budget because the council had to hire a full-time fire warden to comply with fire safety regulations.

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However, asked at a place scrutiny committee on Tuesday, October 20, a senior council officer was unable to give “a definitive answer” on whether one would be needed in the Hainault development.

Responding to a question from Cllr Michael Duffell (Con, South Woodford), operational director of housing Jackie Odunoye said the council is “still finalising its position on the Hainault site”.

Cllr Duffell also asked if the council would check whether pollution levels were safe at the South Woodford units, after sealed windows were opened up during the summer.

All the development’s windows were originally sealed to keep out pollution from the Charlie Brown roundabout but some were opened after temperatures inside reached dangerous levels.

Young mum Deniqua Willis-Jackson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service in August that temperatures as high as 36C in her unit had started to affect her son’s health.

READ MORE: Families unable to open windows at South Woodford temporary housing scheme as temperatures soar

Ms Odunoye said: “In terms of windows, we are doing an assessment at the moment.

“The filtration system was put in and was in operation (during summer) but it’s not a chiller so we are looking again at Chigwell Road because we may have more hot summers.”

Cllr Duffell also asked whether the Chigwell Road development was now fully occupied but the answer was cut off by a technical problem with the livestream of the meeting.

Redbridge Council was contacted to provide the answer but has not yet responded.

The Hainault temporary accommodation was strongly resisted by a group of residents in the area, who sought a judicial review last year to overturn planning permission.

The High Court ruled in favour of the council and work began in January this year.

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