Ilford’s Sainsbury’s development rejected by council’s Regulatory Committee
PUBLISHED: 10:59 28 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:59 28 July 2016
A contentious plan to build 683 new homes in the centre of Ilford was refused planning permission by Redbridge councillors last night.
The proposed Sainsbury’s development on Roden Street had been in the pipeline for two years, but at last night’s Regulatory Committee meeting was widely criticised for only offering four per cent affordable housing, well beneath the council’s guidelines of 50pc.
Cllr Lloyd Duddridge argued that approving the development would send the wrong message to developers in the future.
“Are we always going to be willing to be held hostage by big organisations who know we’re in desperate need?” he asked his fellow councillors while trying to persuade them to reject the proposal.
In the end, the vote was split five to refuse permission and five to grant it, and so the committee chairman, Cllr Bert Jones, decided the 4pc offer was too low, and refused the developer planning permission.
Speaking at last night’s meeting, Jonathan Rawnsley, development partner at Sainsbury’s, expressed confusion at the “sudden change of attitude” within Redbridge Council since March, when all previous discussions had been largely productive.
“We are extremely disappointed by the decision,” he said after the meeting.
“We have been trading in Ilford for 100 years and want to invest significantly in its future.
“We believe this is a missed opportunity to regenerate the heart of Ilford. We will consider our next steps and update the community once we are in a position to do so.”
Members of the public also made their presence known on the evening, with a packed public gallery often reaction with sneers and outbursts when councillors voiced support for the scheme.
Paul Scott, 40, of Seven Kings, is a member of Neighbours of Ilford South Engaged (NOISE), who opposed the plans, and even unveiled a banner condemning overdevelopment in Ilford during last night’s meeting.
He said: “The concern was the blocking of day light and sunlight for other properties and the fact the tower blocks would have been near building of historical interests such as the Ilford hospital chapel.
“We campaigned to stop too many tower blocks being built in the Ilford South area – most of these developments are not affordable anyway.
“It’s better having lower rise developments, with lower density spread out across the borough.”
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