New schools will be built with South Woodford housing developments, promises Redbridge Council leader

Cllr Jas Athwal said schools would accompany housing developments in South Woodford.

Cllr Jas Athwal said schools would accompany housing developments in South Woodford. - Credit: Archant

New schools and other infrastructure projects will accompany homes built under the Local Plan, Redbridge Council’s leader has revealed.

Cllr Jas Athwal was responding to criticism from residents and councillors in South Woodford, who have argued the west of the borough will not be able to cope with more houses.

Cllr Gwyneth Deakins (Lib Dem, Roding) had written to the council leader, asking for him to hold a meeting in South Woodford to discuss the Local Plan – the council’s proposals for housing developments up to 2030.

She said at an information session planning officers had been “unprepared for the grilling they received”.

Cllr Deakins told the Recorder: “The main issue is the Local Plan and the amount of new plans they have suggested building and the lack of infrastructure.

“This is not unique to South Woodford, but local people have not had much of a chance to have an opinion in public meetings.”

She added that residents were getting confused between proposals to house homeless families in temporary accommodation near Charlie Brown’s Roundabout and the Local Plan’s developments.

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Cllr Athwal confirmed he would have a meeting with Roding residents, but accused his Lib Dem rival of “playing politics”.

“We have had the forums for the Local Plan, we have had local development framework meetings, the service committees, we have done everything we could,” he said.

“Every housing development planning application in the Local Plan will still have to go through the normal process, where residents can object.”

When asked whether new schools would be built to accompany the homes, the Labour chief responded emphatically “yes”.

He continued: “We are looking at the Central line situation in South Woodford, we are looking at where the developments will take place for more infrastructure.

“This plan is eight years in the making and we have to build houses. I have residents that have nowhere to sleep and no food to eat.”

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