Redevelopment plans likely to be approved despite 144 objections

A number of residents have raised concerns over plans to build 103 new homes in Little Gearies, Bark

A number of residents have raised concerns over plans to build 103 new homes in Little Gearies, Barkingside, as the consultation deadline approaches on December 3. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

Plans to redevelop Barkingside's Little Gearies estate are likely to be given the go-ahead next week, despite almost 150 objections against the scheme.

The agenda report for next Wednesday's (January 20) meeting - published by Redbridge Council - states the planning committee has been recommended to give the prospective 103 new home development the green light.

This comes despite the revelation that a total of 144 objections, from 98 addresses, were made to the plans.

As part of the agenda report outlining the recommendation, it has been revealed Redbridge Council is set to become subject to something known as a 'Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development', as well as increased housing targets. 

This presumption has come about because the council is not meeting its current targets. 


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As part of the London Plan (2015) and the Local Plan (2018), the current target is to build 1,123 houses per year. As of the 2018/2019 financial year the council had built 789 homes.

As part of the government's National Planning Policy, a new measure called the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) has been introduced to make sure housing planning applications are given adequate weight.

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The HDT assesses a local authority's homebuilding performance over a three year period, while any falling below 95 per cent of set targets has to draw up an action plan.

Because Redbridge ranked at 56pc (for the three years up to 2019/2020), it is subject to this requirement. 

An interim target of 75 per cent has been set for the capital's sixth worst borough, which the report concedes is unlikely to be met when the next HDT figures are published.

Therefore, this will create a 'Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development' for housing schemes. 

This presumption will not only be a consequence of current housing targets not being met. It is also set to reflect the fact that Redbridge faces a 23 per cent increase in those targets - up from 1,123 to 1,409 homes per year.

This hike will come as part of the new London Plan, set for publication next month.

The effect of this, as stipulated by the agenda report, is that the council will be expected to grant planning permission for schemes unless the negatives "significantly and demonstrably" outweigh the benefits. 

This information has been provided in the same report where each objection to the Little Gearies development, taken across two separate consultation periods, has been assessed.

Among the issues - many of which were reported by the Recorder - are concerns over a lack of infrastructure, inadequate parking, increased traffic and loss of green space. 

It should be noted that the plans to redevelop Little Gearies are to be decided on this month, before the above presumption would be due to come into play. 

However, the fact that it has been addressed in such detail, coupled with the imminent increase in targets, indicates that it has been considered in respect of this development. 

The report notes this presumption will "in effect reduce the ability of the planning authority to negotiate and good design within schemes".

It adds: "The position at present is that the council has not met the targets and as such there is considerable weight afforded to housing delivery as a consideration in the decision making process."

The assertion that the presumption has been considered for this development is confirmed in the report's conclusions, which reaffirms Redbridge's status as the sixth-worst London borough in terms of meeting housing targets. 

This, alongside other factors in favour of development, led to the officer's recommendation.

If granted, the development would take place in two phases starting in March.

Phase one would see garages demolished and replaced with a new street block, behind which would be three new terraces of houses and flats near Cranbrook Road.

The second phase would see 73-83 Little Gearies demolished and replaced with a second street block, behind which would be another terrace close to Cranbrook Road.

The Teams link for next Wednesday's meeting - starting at 7.15pm - can be found on the council's planning portal, with the agenda report available on the same site.

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