Former Homebase development plans approved

Homebase site development in Goodmayes at night

Councillors approved plans for a development on the site of the former Homebase store in High Road, Goodmayes. - Credit: Hadley Property Group and Clarion Housing Group

Plans for more than 560 new homes on the site of the former Homebase store in Goodmayes have been approved.

Redbridge Council's planning committee gave the green light to the proposal, in High Road, which features seven blocks containing 568 flats and ranging from three to 20 storeys high.

Of these, 164 flats will be designated as 'affordable' homes.

It is the first site being developed through a new joint venture between developer Hadley Group and Clarion Housing, the UK’s largest housing association.

Speaking to the planning committee meeting, Hadley Group project director Danielle Torpey said they are “committed to seeing this space occupied” and “to swift delivery”.

She added that, if granted permission, they planned to start building as soon as possible and estimated the project would take around two and a half years.

The proposed site is near two other major planned developments: the Tesco Extra development, set to deliver more than 1,200 new homes and a council-led development to build 236 homes on a public car park.

However, environmental campaigner Andy Walker argued the “dust and construction lorries” involved in building three major developments on High Road would have a serious impact on residents’ health.

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He pointed out that existing pollution on the road is so concentrated that some ground and first floor flats in the new development will require air filters and sealed windows.

He said: “This site is not suitable for human habitation, it’s going to become punishment blocks for the poor. While some mitigation is being done, it is not enough.”

Committee vice-chair Paul Merry, however, argued “a car-free development replacing a large metal shed with several thousands of square metres of tarmac” would be “a net improvement” for air pollution.

He said: “I think this is the best scheme in the Crossrail corridor that has come before the committee so far. I’m very happy to see a developer come to us with a long-established social housing landlord."

One of the committee’s two Conservative members, Paul Canal, told the meeting on July 22 that despite “longstanding concerns about the scale of developments” in the borough, he would support the scheme.

He said: “I think most developments are superb but many are five to ten storeys too high.

“Notwithstanding that, I think this is a developer taking the shared ownership and social housing element seriously rather than just bolting it on.”