Sam Tarry MP urges Sadiq Khan to block Goodmayes Tesco development
- Credit: Sam Tarry
Sam Tarry MP has called on London mayor Sadiq Khan to reject plans for 1,280 homes on the site of a Tesco superstore in Goodmayes.
In a letter sent today, Mr Tarry urged him to invoke his local planning authority to stop the development, which lies within the MP’s South Ilford constituency.
Redbridge Council’s planning committee approved the major development in May, despite substantial opposition including a petition signed by more than 3,000.
The proposals, submitted by Weston Homes, would include a primary school as well as a new Tesco store in High Road.
Having received the green light from councillors, the decision over the development’s future now lies with the London mayor, who retains the power to reject major developments.
Mr Tarry joins Green Party co-leader Sian Berry and Keith Prince, assembly member for Havering and Redbridge, in asking the mayor to reject the development.
In his letter to Mr Khan, Mr Tarry cited the potential impact on already stretched local services and infrastructure; decline in air quality; the lack of social rent and genuinely affordable housing; as well as issues around height, light, and privacy.
The development, which will be known as Lorimer Village, is set to feature 14 residential tower blocks, between 10 and 22 storeys, as well as a village hall, community hub and landscaped gardens.
Mr Tarry said that after canvassing constituents last year he received more than 500 responses which were “overwhelmingly hostile” to the plan.
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He noted the roughly 1:2,600 doctor-to-patient ratio in his constituency, and claimed that the potential influx of up to 3,000 new residents would stretch resources thin.
He also raised concerns around increased traffic and congestion, and added that the increased local population could overwhelm the nearby Goodmayes railway station, despite the developers’ promise to build a new entrance.
The letter additionally referenced an air quality review written by Professor Stephen Peckham and Dr Ashley Mills from the Centre for Health Service Studies, commissioned by the Stop the Tesco Toxic Towers campaign group.
Referencing the plan to build a new three-form primary school at the site, the report stated: “Not only will the development negatively impact the health of local children further, but will introduce a fresh cohort of children to damaging levels of air pollution.”
Of the 1,280 homes proposed for the development, 154 are designated as London Affordable Rent, a reduction from 171 homes in a previous version of the plans.
In Mr Khan's stage one response, he told the applicant to increase cycle parking and "significantly reduce" car parking from the 742 spaces originally put forward.
A Weston Homes spokesperson said pre-application feedback and Mr Khan's stage one response had "shaped the affordable housing offer" for the site.
They added: “Weston Homes can confirm that it has engaged extensively with both Redbridge Council and the Greater London Authority, alongside other local stakeholders, regarding the overall design and elements of Lorimer Village.
"This included extensive consultation to achieve an affordable housing mix that fully complies with the relevant London Plan policies and meets local needs."
Mr Tarry said that while the developer had met its statutory targets for affordable housing, it nonetheless “fails to address the tremendous need for affordable and social housing in my constituency.”
A spokesperson for Redbridge Council said: “London is facing a worsening housing crisis and in Redbridge local families are struggling to find good quality homes.
“The Tesco development will deliver 415 new affordable homes for local residents alongside a range of new community facilities including public parks, a brand new school, a community centre and better accessibility to transport links.
“The new homes will also improve the biodiversity and urban greening of the area with brown roofs and landscaping.
“The 100% electric powered development will fund improvements to Barley Lane Recreation Ground and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists, making our borough a cleaner, greener place that people are proud to live in, work and visit.”
“As the MP will be aware the scheme adhered to the national planning policy, designed and agreed in Parliament. He is very welcome to challenge the planning policy in Parliament.”
The Mayor’s Office are unable to comment on live applications before a ruling has been made.
Construction is due to begin in early 2022.