Anger after trucks will travel on new road though part of Fairlop Waters Country Park
PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:00 03 June 2019
A road will be built through part of Fairlop Waters Country Park to allow trucks to travel to a quarry site, much to the anger of campaigners.
Resident group, Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA), claim Redbridge Council has gone back on its word after it previously promised not to erect the path on green belt land.
"It is definite that part of the haul road is still panned to go through Fairlop Waters Country Park," AHDA chairwoman Jenny Chalmers, said.
"This is despite the promises at a full council meeting that this would not be allowed to happen.
"It will go through an area that runs very close to a public footpath and golf course and will involve the destruction of trees and other vegetation.
"Is this a council that cannot keep its word?"
Ms Chalmers said the most recent route plan was only discovered by and "eagle-eyed" AHDA member and the local authority could have been open and told the group "in advance".
"That would have meant having to show a bit of transparency rather than hoping we wouldn't notice," she added.
"Please can our local councillors and MP do something about this.
"This is another example of their disregard for green belt land and the environment and it cannot be allowed to happen."
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The haul road saga began in June 2017, when a gravel extraction application was approved by planning committee councillors.
A year later residents discovered "the threat to Fairlop Waters" as more in-depth diagrams were released about the location of the path.
AHDA campaigned to have the road re-routed to adjacent grazing ground where they claimed there would be "less environmental and pollution impact".
They launched a petition - backed by more than 2,500 people - and lobbied the local authority.
After leader of the council, Cllr Jas Athwal, spent hours renegotiating the route with construction firm Brett Tarmac, AHDA finally thought they had won in early 2019, but just a few short months later they found out this was not the case.
A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said: "The impact of the haul road on the area was considered in detail during the planning process to identify the sensitive areas of the site and set out a range of mitigation and remediation measures to be undertaken during and at the end of the works.
"These have been secured by a series of planning conditions and we will ensure that they are adhered to throughout the operation.
"The council have subsequently managed to secure agreement to relocate the majority of the road onto the paddocks. However, we have not been able to bring the whole route out and so a small section remains in what is described as the country park."
The spokeswoman explained that this stretch of the haul road has already gained planning consent and so is considered acceptable in planning terms.
"We appreciate that the AHDA do not support this outcome but the proposals made by the applicant have been accepted by the relevant statutory bodies as appropriate," she added.
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