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Local Plan for new homes in Redbridge debated

PUBLISHED: 11:49 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 13:18 27 May 2016

Ilford town centre, which Redbridge Council estimates will have £1billion worth of investment over the next six years.

Ilford town centre, which Redbridge Council estimates will have £1billion worth of investment over the next six years.

Archant

It was a war of words at the neighbourhoods service committee last night, where councillors discussed a draft version of the Local Plan for housing.

It was debated against the backdrop of a growing demand for housing in the borough.

The draft Redbridge Local Plan runs to 146 pages and outlines plans for 18,474 new homes in Redbridge, which is in line with the new mayoral targets.

The report forecasts how the borough will be developed up until 2030 and has been the subject of intense debate.

It acknowledges that a minimum of 32,000 new homes is needed to meet the borough’s objectively assessed targets.

Cllr Gwyneth Deakins (Liberal Democrat, Roding) started the meeting by pointing out spelling and grammatical errors in the minutes of the committee’s last meeting.

Several members of the public turned out in protest of potential plans to build 800 homes on the Oakfields Playing Fields, Forest Road, Barkingside.

One protestor described it as “a plan more divisive than Donald Trump” and councillors were split over how to proceed.

Around 10.30pm, Cllr Nick Hayes (Conservative, Fullwell) proposed an amendment recommending that the much-debated potential estate be designated as local open space in the report, before it goes before the council.

This was seconded by fellow Tory Cllr Michelle Dunn (Wanstead).

This was defeated by seven councillors to four, with Cllr Varinder Singh Bola (Labour, Cranbrook) saying he didn’t “believe in closing a door.”

He said: “It is a long lengthy process.

“The reason I cannot support this amendment is that I don’t believe in closing a door on the option.

“We are discussing the housing plans for this borough for the next 15 years.”

The draft Local Plan will now be discussed by cabinet on June 7 and full council on July 21.

If approved, the plan will be consulted on in July and September before being submitted to the Secretary of State in the autumn.

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