Garage homes plan for Ley Street thrown out over lack of affordable housing

The site in Ley Street, Newbury Park. Picture: Google

The site in Ley Street, Newbury Park. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

Councillors have refused plans to build 70 homes at a former car showroom following concerns over affordable housing, car parking and the scale of the development.

Residents also voiced their fears at the Regulatory Committee meeting yesterday at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, over Ley Properties’ proposals for the site at 480-482 Ley Street, Newbury Park.

The plan, which had no provision for affordable housing, was to demolish the showroom and MOT workshops and replace them with flats, houses and a residents’ gym.

It included 27 one-bed and 38 two-bed flats in a three, four and six-storey block, three three-bed and two four-bed houses, and underground parking with 40 spaces.

Addressing the chamber, resident Meenakshi Sharma said: “The surrounding development is mainly two-storey terraced buildings.

“For the report to say it would add hidden interest [to the area] is dismissive of residents’ concerns.”

Another resident said: “30 homes will not have a parking space – they [new residents] may be forced to encroach on parking spots used by [current] residents.”

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He added: “The six-storey block is just too high – it’s twice as high as adjoining buildings.”

Also speaking at the meeting was Richard Washington, from the developers’ agents Washington Young, who said the requirement to add underground parking meant they could not account for affordable housing, but did offer to compensate the borough £466,000.

“You have got to take into account the development cost – we found out that we would have to provide parking at basement level and there’s a cost for that,” he added.

Councillors on both sides of the chamber backed the planning officer’s recommendation to reject the proposal.

Cllr Chris Cummins (Can, Snaresbrook) said: “I think there’s over development of this site, I’m concerned about a six storey block.”

Cllr Karen Packer (Con, Barkingside) said: “It’s detrimental to the residents.”

Cllr Lloyd Duddridge (Lab, Roding) added: “30 per cent [affordable housing] is not too hard to meet – we do not exploit residents throughout this borough.

“I will not be supporting it either.”

Speaking to the Recorder last week, when planning officers recommended the proposals for refusal, Mr Washington said a public consultation with 1,700 residents found housing was the favoured option.