Editor’s comment: Something went wrong with Local Plan consultation

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 January 2018

CGI of the proposed Beam Park development

CGI of the proposed Beam Park development


Whenever a planning application is made to build homes somewhere in the borough, there will be neighbours objecting.

And yet just 129 people responded to the council’s public consultation on its housing plans for the next 13 years.

Was that because of apathy, or because the consultation process was too complicated?

Comments on our Facebook page suggest the latter.

One reader said: “It was hard to access complex lengthy documents, maps were dreadful quality (online and at libraries), details of exact proposed locations were buried in appendices, the total number of homes required by Sadiq Khan aren’t even listed, etc”.

Another said: “Did they make the consultation accessible? Did they do everything they could to engage people in different ways via public meetings, focus groups & face to face. I would suspect not. Not everyone is able to read complex documents or use the internet.”

The Recorder announced the public consultation in August and our web story included a link to the Local Plan and consultation.

And the council held drop-in sessions at libraries throughout Havering in September for those who wanted to ask questions.

But just 129 responses suggests something went wrong.

The council must have expected a much larger response – we all know that proposals for development generate a lot of opposition. And plans to build on green belt land always attract strong debate.

A consultation period of less than two months during the summer – when lots of people will have been away on holiday – was no doubt part of the problem.

If the council really wanted to give people a chance to have their say it probably should have organised a series of public meetings, both evenings and daytime outside the popular holiday season.

The Local Plan is shaping housing provision for the next 13 years and people need to feel they have been listened to.

Latest Romford Stories

Yesterday, 16:00

Barking will be looking to bounce back after a miserable start to 2018 in the Bostik North as they face Hornchurch.

Yesterday, 17:00

A number one bestselling author from Romford has released her thirteenth crime novel, which promises her readers a gripping ride throughout and a big twist at the end.

Yesterday, 15:00

Hornchurch residents expressed their frustration as a large pothole outside their home grew in size, and became more hazardous.

Yesterday, 13:00

An original musical telling the story of how an American hero saved hundreds of school children during the Second World War will once again be performed in Romford.

Yesterday, 12:20

Hundreds of Santas are set to hit the streets for charity - just a week before Easter.

Yesterday, 11:00

The Dagenham and Rainham MP has praised the Mayor of London for confirming an investment of £49m will go into policing in the capital.

Yesterday, 10:00

Dagenham & Redbridge captain Scott Doe was left disappointed with his side’s 2-1 defeat to Sutton United.

Yesterday, 09:21

The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) is recruiting volunteers across Romford for its befriending service, which pairs volunteers with members of the RAF community who are feeling lonely.


Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now