Bullet dodged as Havering Council scrapes through planning powers battle by a single application

PUBLISHED: 15:57 20 April 2018

Havering street scenes. Havering Town Hall

Havering street scenes. Havering Town Hall


Havering Council was just one successful appeal away from losing its ability to reject major planning applications, a shocking new report has revealed.

Guidelines laid out by the secretary of state for local government say that if more than 10pc of a council’s decisions on major planning applications are reversed on appeal during a two-year period, that council can be placed under a special designation.

That would essentially mean developers could claim Havering Council’s judgement when it comes to planning decisions is flawed, and could instead go straight to the planning inspectorate to have it rule on their application.

If that happened, Havering Council would not be entitled to any planning fees or a New Homes Bonus.

A report written by council officers, to be discussed at a meeting of the borough’s regulatory committee on Thursday (April 26), confirms that although the council avoided such a designation, its figures “ran very close” to the 10pc threshold.

In fact, if one more appeal had gone against Havering they would have exceeded the 10pc limit and could have been made to surrender their planning powers.

A further breakdown of Havering Council data shows that of the 65 major applications – developments of 10 or more homes – decided between April 1 2015 and March 31 last year, six appeals were successful – a reversal rate of 9.2pc.

It also points out that of the six successful appeals, five involved cases where councillors sitting on the borough’s planning committee had rejected the application despite officers recommending it be accepted.

When it came to county matters – commercial applications for non-residential development such as for permission to carry out gravel extractions – 21 applications were decided and two appeals were successful, a slightly higher success rate of 9.5pc but still just under the 10pc allowance.

Again, both the successful appeals came in cases where councillors had ignored the advice of council officers when rejecting a proposed development.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

A knife-wielding thug who carried out a string of violent robberies in Havering and a burglary in Ilford is due to be sentenced today (August 17).


A community that has been left “disappointed” after the decision to build on a contentious open space by their homes was given the green light.


Police are trying to find Rachael Joseph who has been missing since yesterday afternoon.

16 minutes ago

A popular tea shop organised a special celebration for their first anniversary in Hornchurch.


Two beloved historical societies in Havering that have been around for more than 50 years folded due to declining membership.

Yesterday, 17:00

Curiosity Killed the Cat are just one of the highlights of the 40th Anniversary Havering Show this August Bank Holiday weekend.

Yesterday, 14:17

Students at a school have been celebrating their “amazing” A-level results today.

Yesterday, 12:30

The students at a Harold Hill school have been celebrating receiving their A-level results with many being able to go to their first choice university.


“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now