Plans for new driving test centre for 1,200 learners, could see more ‘rookies on the road’ in Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 12:30 25 September 2018

The centre hopes to meet high demand in the area. Picture: David Jones/PA

The centre hopes to meet high demand in the area. Picture: David Jones/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

You may see more learner drivers on the streets of Redbridge after the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has submitted a planning application to open a test centre in Chadwell Heath.

A former industrial bakery site on Chadwell Heath Lane, could be converted into a driving centre which will see an estimated 1,200 L plate holders, pass through its doors every year.

The proposals, submitted by real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield to Redbridge Council, said the test facility would provide “testing services to meet the high demand in the local area”.

“Car practical driving testing will take between the hours of 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday,” it wrote.

“Testing on weekday evenings and Saturdays is proposed occasionally during peak testing periods, i.e. summer months.”

There are over 400 practical driving and multi-purpose test centres and theory test centres run by the DVSA nationally.

Each examiner based at the Chadwell Heath centre is expected to hold a maximum of seven tests a day with each examination lasting 40 minutes.

Comments on the application can be made on the Redbridge Council planning portal and one resident who did not want to be named said the last thing we need is more learner drivers in the area.

“The driving standard is abysmal anyway and the last thing we need is more rookies on the road,” he said.

“I know everyone has to learn and I sound harsh, but they are so slow and lots of them will create so many delays.”

Driving school, Carcaptain, which serves Chadwell Heath and surrounding areas said it welcomes the plans.

“I think it is brilliant,” said Susan Rossouw of Carcaptain.

“Currently we have to book at Barking or Hornchurch test centres and learner drivers have to travel further to sit their exams.”

The application site comprises a single storey detached light industrial/warehouse, with a secure self-contained yard accessed directly via a gated entrance.

The building is not listed or located within a conservation area, and Cushman & Wakefield said it does not have any cultural importance.

In addition, the site has no specific allocations as the adopted 2018 Redbridge Local Plan (2015-2030).

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