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Building work set to start on modular housing for homeless families in Hainault park

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 January 2020

Mock-up plans for temporary accomodation for 60 families in Woodman Road, near Manford Way, Hainault. Photo: JDA Architects

Mock-up plans for temporary accomodation for 60 families in Woodman Road, near Manford Way, Hainault. Photo: JDA Architects

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Building work starts this month to build temporary modular housing for homeless families in a Hainault park.

Protesters gathered outside Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road, in opposition to an application to house homeless families in Woodman Road park. Picture: Aaron WalawalkarProtesters gathered outside Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road, in opposition to an application to house homeless families in Woodman Road park. Picture: Aaron Walawalkar

Redbridge Council's planning committee gave the go-ahead in April last year to build 60 prefabricated units in Woodman Road park, near Manford Way, which will last for 10 years.

The council has now provided residents with a timeline for the works, which are expected to be completed in July, ready for the start of the summer holidays.

In late January and early February, hoarding will go up around the perimeter of the site, including Manford Way and Woodman Road.

The footpath from Manford Way that leads into Woodman Road will close when the works start.

The basketball court will be removed in late January, the council said, although it emphasised that this is a strictly temporary basis before a new court is installed in June.

The council said the playground will not be affected and will remain open throughout the works and accessible from Manford Way.

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In a letter to residents, the council said: "Redbridge - like many other London boroughs - is faced with a severe shortage of affordable housing.

"To ensure the availability of safe and secure accommodation for some of those local residents caught in the housing crisis, we are now moving ahead with plans to build family accommodation in Woodman Road."

Initial works will be carried out over the next few months to prepare the site for the two modular blocks in April.

In June, a new basketball court and multi-use games area will be installed and the works are due to be completed in July.

In response to the plans, a campaign group of residents was set up with the shared aim of saving green spaces in Hainault by overturning the planning decision to build housing on "valued park areas" and the group applied for a judicial review, which was dealt with by the High Court.

The campaigners accused the council of not taking local plan policies into consideration, "insufficient reasoning" on how it reached a decision and inadequate consultation with a nearby care home.

But the court ruled in favour of the council and campaigners have now lost the right to appeal the planning decision.

Council leader Councillor Jas Athwal said the court costs awarded to the council will be invested in play equipment for parks in Hainault.

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