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Petition calls for Redbridge Council to block plans to build 700 homes at Ilford Sainsbury’s site

PUBLISHED: 18:04 15 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:26 18 April 2016

Meenakshi Sharma, 2nd from left with protestors over tghe planned development of Sainsbury's in Ilford Town Centre

Meenakshi Sharma, 2nd from left with protestors over tghe planned development of Sainsbury's in Ilford Town Centre

Archant

Residents have launched a petition against a 700-home development on the site of an Ilford supermarket after plans were submitted to Redbridge Council.

An extraordinary regulatory committee has been scheduled for Tuesday April 26 to hear Sainsbury’s proposal to redevelop its Roden Street store.

Organiser Meemakshi Sharma, 52, of Valentines Road, Ilford, believes the homes will prove unaffordable for the vast majority of local people, and said there was a lack of infrastructure to support it.

Speaking at a Redbridge Equalities and Community Council (RECC) meeting, she said: “Most people have not heard about the consultation, the council are not using the right channels to let people know and we as residents need information and space to consider how it will affect us.”

The petition was due to be presented to the council today urging members to block the Sainsbury’s development.

The company wants to redesign the existing shop and build 700 homes above it.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said: “Sainsbury’s has been doing business in Ilford for over 100 years and public consultation has been at the heart of the development of our proposal for the Roden Street site over the past year.

“We have written to thousands of neighbours and have held a number public information events and focus groups both in store and in Ilford Town Centre, where we have found 75% support for our plans. Indeed, we have made changes to our design on the basis of specific concerns of immediate neighbours.

“Should our plans receive approval, Sainsbury’s will be making a significant contribution via the Community Infrastructure Levy which Redbridge Council can use at its discretion to support the needs of the local community.”

The plans form a large part of the Ilford Housing Zone, announced last June, where the council pledged 2,189 homes would be built by 2021.

Of these, 553 have been designated affordable, but campaigners are concerned not enough will be available for Ilford’s residents.

Sainsbury’s is one of a number of proposed developments earmarked for the town centre, including plans to provide around 450 homes at the Harrison Gibson site, High Road, Ilford; 354 homes at the Britannia Music Site, Roden Street; and 200 flats on top of the Exchange Shopping Centre car park.

John Clifton, of Ilford’s Salvation Army, described the developments as “state-sponsored gentrification”.

He added: “We are concerned that developments such as the Exchange site are unlikely to have affordable housing – it is unacceptable and we will be taking action.”

It is unknown whether The Exchange Shopping Centre development or the Harrison Gibson development, both in High Road, will include affordable housing as neither has handed in plans yet.

Lumina Real Estate Capital, owners of the Harrison Gibson building, has already held one public consultation, and is planning another in late May with a view to submitting its proposal in the summer.


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