Cross-party group demands mayor reject Tesco Goodmayes development
- Credit: Daniel Gayne
Opponents of a proposed 1,280-home development in Goodmayes took their campaign to the London mayor.
A small, cross-party group gathered outside City Hall on Thursday morning to demand Sadiq Khan call in the development at Tesco Goodmayes, which would feature 14 residential tower blocks between 10 and 22 storeys.
The project was approved by Redbridge Council’s planning committee in May, despite opposition including a petition signed by more than 3,000 people.
A spokesperson for Weston Homes, the site’s developer, said it had conducted extensive consultation on the project.
The decision now lies with the London mayor, who has the power to reject major developments.
A number of politicians have called on Mr Khan to reject the proposals, including Ilford South MP Sam Tarry, former Green Party co-leader Sian Berry and Keith Prince, assembly member for Havering and Redbridge.
Prince was among the group protesting outside City Hall.
He was joined by Andy Walker, who runs the Stop Tesco Toxic Towers campaign; Ashburn Holder, Liberal Democrat candidate for Churchfields ward in the 2022 local elections; and RoseMary Warrington, Green Party candidate for Ilford South in the past three general elections.
The group are concerned about the development’s appropriateness to the area, as well as its impact on traffic and congestion, crime and antisocial behaviour, and on stretched local health services.
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Campaigner Andy Walker also raised concerns about air quality.
He said there was a “duty of care” to make reasonable enquiries into the existing level of air pollution in the area and the potential polluting effects of a new development.
He said if air quality is poor then “it is the wrong place to put a school, the wrong place to place families, and it's also wrong for the existing residents”.
The development, also known as Lorimer Village, would include a primary school and a new Tesco store in High Road.
Andy Walker made note of a report submitted to a Redbridge Council cabinet meeting in September which stated that, since 2018, demand for pupil places had declined and between the end of 2017 and 2020/21 academic year there had been an average of seven per cent of surplus places.
The report further stated that new housing developments would not replace lost demand and said new school projects would exacerbate the impact of falling demand in the borough.
Mr Walker said this undermined the case for a development with a nursery included.
Redbridge Council did not respond to a request for comment.
At the protest, Mr Prince said he objected to the scheme primarily because of its potential effect on traffic and congestion at the nearby junction.
He claimed that accommodating an influx of new residents, and therefore drivers, would require major changes to the surrounding road network.
He said: “You could talk to TfL [Transport for London] about the light sequencing but obviously that would be to the detriment of the other junctions.
“So, you would have to do something fairly expensive and fairly major which would really not be in keeping with the road type.
“You’d have to increase the number of lanes, which wouldn’t be that easy to do, you’d have to probably do prioritised vehicle maneuvering. It would look more like a dual carriageway, and it isn’t.
“But none of that has been put forward so it's not something one can consider.”
Of the 1,280 homes proposed for the development, 154 are designated as London Affordable Rent, a reduction from 171 homes in a previous version of the plans.
Weston Homes' spokesperson said pre-application feedback and Mr Khan's stage one response had "shaped the affordable housing offer" for the site.
In Mr Khan's stage one response, he told the applicant to increase cycle parking and "significantly reduce" car parking from the 742 spaces originally put forward.
The developer added: “Weston Homes can confirm that it has engaged extensively with both Redbridge Council and the Greater London Authority, alongside other local stakeholders, regarding the overall design and elements of Lorimer Village.
"This included extensive consultation to achieve an affordable housing mix that fully complies with the relevant London Plan policies and meets local needs."