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Plans for South Woodford neighbourhood forum set to be approved to give residents more say over housing developments

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 February 2020

South Woodford is set to get its own neighbourhood forum. Picture: Ken Mears

South Woodford is set to get its own neighbourhood forum. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

South Woodford residents and businesses could soon have the opportunity to shape where new housing developments go in their area, thanks to the creation of a neighbourhood forum.

A neighbourhood forum is a body which organises the creation of a neighbourhood plan, which puts the planning of new developments in the hands of the community.

The proposal to create one in South Woodford was submitted to Redbridge Council by the South Woodford Society in October.

The South Woodford Neighbourhood Forum Area would cover all residents living in the E18 postcode.

In its application, the South Woodford Society said: "It is a diverse area but it is quite simply and clearly defined by the postcode.

"Although there are some physical boundaries that would have helped define the area, following discussions, we decided to extend beyond those boundaries and now include the Woodford Trading Estate and the Tesco site on the Southend Road."

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But a consultation on the application, held between November 25 and January 6, prompted 16 comments from the public, and the council said there were concerns over the proposed neighbourhood plan area boundary.

The Maybank Community Association (MCA) expressed concerns about the size of the area covered by the plan, where it included the Maybank community area north of the A406.

"They contend that the area had not previously been the focus of the South Woodford Society, and is already represented by the MCA, a recognised and long-established community organisation since 1977," the council report says.

"They also state that the Maybank area is represented by a different MP to the area of South Woodford west of the Central Line, and although the Maybank area has no official designation, it has colloquially come to be known as the Maybank area, and this is upheld by the divergence in its character to the rest of the locality over the last 40 years."

The association said it already represents the needs of people in the area and it intends to work on its own neighbourhood plan application this year.

The council has recommended that the proposed boundary be modified to remove the Woodford Trading Estate and Southend Road Business Park and the area north of the A406 that includes the Maybank area and add in Empress Avenue.

A decision will be made at Redbridge Council's cabinet meeting on Tuesday, February 11.

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