'Disappointment' after part of Ilford High Road will not be regenerated
PUBLISHED: 15:32 13 September 2019
Two years ago residents were given a sneak peek at designs for the transformation of Ilford town centre.
Among artistic impressions of water fountains, vertical plant walls and jazzed-up street paving was a memorable neon pink sign pinned up on the bridge towards the police station.
Like something out of an 80s movie, which wouldn't be out of place at a cocktail bar in central London, was the word "high road", happily scrawled in loopy glowing tubes.
Whether you thought the concept was a complete dream or the stuff of nightmares won't really matter anymore, for Redbridge Council confirmed the designs will not become a part of reality.
After switching to a new design team, the section of the high road from the General Havelock pub past Lynton House will not be revamped.
Reacting to the news, at an overview committee, Councillor Khayer Chowdhury said that segment of the town centre was in much need of some love.
"We were sold a different vision," he said. "I am very disappointed.
"Are there not any interim measures that can be made to make the area better, with brighter lighting or other things?"
A council officer confirmed the segment by the bridge would not be included in the scheme but said a condition may be able to be made to ensure the area was done up in the future.
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"Future [housing] developers could give money towards doing it up," he said.
"That area will not be included for several reasons - we want people to know they are in Ilford so it should be saved for the town centre.
"We are focusing the budget on the main central shopping areas and given the development we expect at the other end of the town centre we will work with the developer to improve that aspect as the builds come forward.
On a brighter note, however, the officer confirmed the new market would not have a bright pink and yellow colour theme.
Some residents were concerned about the shades used in the CGI impression.
The officers confirmed the image was only an example and the council had not condemned residents to these two particular shades.
Chairwoman Councillor Linda Huggett said it would be a good idea if officers made a physical mock-up of the new town centre so councillors and residents could really visualise the plans.
Councillor Bola also said it would be good if a brochure of the latest plans could be made public,
The officer said he would take the views back to his team.