Planners defend not ordering environment assessment for homes application

Ilford development under scrutiny

Redbridge Council has responded to criticism over the decision made not to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment on the prospective Mill Road development. - Credit: Telford Homes

Redbridge's planning head has defended the council's decision to not require an environmental assessment for an application to build 240 flats. 

Paul Scott of Reclaim Redbridge reached out to the Recorder after it was decided that the proposal to build 240 flats on a car park site in Ilford did not require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Labelling this decision "incorrect", Paul queried its validity and the fact it did not go to the council's planning committee.

Under planning regulations, an EIA is required on prospective developments which are deemed to likely have significant environmental effects.

EIAs look at a proposal's potential impact on the environment, with any findings intended to guide the decision-making process.

The council determined that the Mill Road development - a 0.3Ha site east of the River Roding - did not warrant an EIA, outlining the following in its decision letter: "It is the LPA’s (local planning authority) view that the proposals would not give rise to any significant environmental effects when considered against the selection criteria for screening."

The size of the development is considered, as is the environmental sensitivity of nearby geographical areas likely to be affected by its construction.

Paul said: "There ought to always be an absolute duty of care shown to local residents by having an EIA."

Most Read

When asked to explain its decision, the council's head of planning Brett Leahy said: “The proposed development is in an urban area and whether it is in a built-up or an area of natural beauty, the council cares passionately about its environment and will do everything it can to protect any sensitive areas.

"In this particular case, the location has not been identified as sensitive."

Mr Leahy also confirmed that public consultation is not required when considering whether an EIA is needed.

Reiterating that “we always listen to residents’ views on any live planning applications", he concluded: "The Mill Road project will deliver much-needed transformation to the site, providing vital new homes, some of which will be available for residents in need of affordable housing."