‘Slums of the future’ putting strain on services in Ilford

Poor infrastructure planning is creating the “slums of the future” with too much strain being placed on hospitals, schools and drainage systems, according to a councillor.

The comments came following confirmation that the former police station and car park, Ilford Hill, Ilford has been bought by a developer.

Speaking at the area committee six meeting held last week, Labour Cllr Jas Athwal said: “There is already too much pressure on schools.

“Where are the youth clubs and hospitals? What we are doing is building the slums of the future.”

In the last 10 years a number of high rise buildings have been granted planning permission, putting a “strain” on nearby infrastructure.

These include in 2004 the 294 apartments in Pioneer Point, Winston Way, Ilford one tower of which is 35 storeys high and the other 26, and in 2005 the Icon building, Ilford Hill with 252 dwellings which will soon be completed.

Cllr Athwal said: “We brought all the high rise buildings down from the 60s. We say each high rise is the last one but we will get another one and another one and they will go through and we are struggling.”

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Two years ago planning permission was granted to change the Britannia Music site, Roden Street, Ilford into a 23 storey tower complex with 332 apartments with office space.

The former police station falls within an archaeological priority zone as High Road, Ilford formed part of the Roman Road, connecting London with Colchester.

There are also discussions about the Ilford Conservative Club, Ilford Hill or its car park, being incorporated into the development of the site.

Labour Cllr Filly Maravala said: “First of all there are no decent leisure facilities whatsoever. Hundreds of my residents’ children travel six or seven miles to study because there are no school places.

“The Loxford Polyclinic will reach its capacity of 25,000 people over the coming year and a half.”

He added: “Councillors keep giving planning permission and it’s becoming grid locked.

“All these developments take place in the south of the borough although if there’s a choice between a car park and affordable housing I would choose housing because there is such a need for it.”