Residents protest against plumbing company's redevelopment plans

'Save our Street' banners were held aloft by demonstrators outside City Plumbing Ltd

'Save our Street' banners were held aloft by demonstrators outside City Plumbing Ltd - Credit: Sue Rosner

Residents held a protest outside a South Woodford plumbing company over its plans to redevelop the site.

City Plumbing Ltd submitted a planning application to Redbridge Council last year for a development in Raven Road and fronting Crescent Road.

The proposal includes the demolition of a warehouse and building a four storey building with commercial units on the ground floor and 18 flats above.

A new warehouse is also proposed as well as car parking and cycle storage.

But the scheme has attracted significant opposition, with a petition reaching more than 1,000 signatures.

Around 40 people demonstrated against the plans in a protest organised by Crescent Road resident Jeff Cramer.

The musician said the area is "biodiverse", with neighbours seeing wildlife such as bats.

Terry Rumak was among the protestors

Terry Rumak was among the protestors - Credit: Sue Rosner

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He told the Recorder he was unhappy about plans to fell some trees as part of the application.

Jeff said: "These trees provide some manner of protection (against pollution) and it is an absolute travesty they are going to be cut away."

Ward councillors for Churchfields, Rosa Gomez and Stephen Adams, said they are supporting the residents opposing the application.

Cllr Gomez said she had concerns the homes were only for those who could afford "luxury flats".

She added: "I believe that this kind of development is not appropriate as it would damage the green corridor and destroy much of the habitat for wildlife."

Cllr Adams also felt the plans would "destroy" the green corridor and "tear the current fabric" of Crescent Road.

Nick Dhillon, director of City Plumbing, said five trees would be removed but these would be replaced by eight trees.

A survey conducted on behalf of the company found no bats emerging from or entering the current building and he added new planting and green roofs would support plants, birds and other animals.

Mr Dhillon said: "Our plans will result in more trees being planted than removed, more green areas for increased biodiversity as well as the creation of new homes for families and new high-tech office spaces to bring new and better jobs and opportunities to the area."

Both councillors said they had requested the application is heard by the council's planning committee.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “The planning application is still under assessment.

"If the recommendation is to grant permission, the planning application will be considered by the planning committee. If the application is to be refused, the decision would be made under the council's delegated powers.”