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Decision on Dovers Farm Estate green deferred after councillors voice planning application disapproval

PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 June 2017

Dovers Farm Estate residents protesting outside Havering Town Hall with election candidates Jon Cruddas (Lab), Peter Harris (Ukip), Denis Breading (Green), Johnathan Fryer (Lib Dem) centre and Councillor David Durant, far left. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah

Dovers Farm Estate residents protesting outside Havering Town Hall with election candidates Jon Cruddas (Lab), Peter Harris (Ukip), Denis Breading (Green), Johnathan Fryer (Lib Dem) centre and Councillor David Durant, far left. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah

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Havering Council was given a window of opportunity to do the “right thing” after councillors voted to defer a planning proposal for homes on a much-loved open space.

Dovers Farm Estate residents protesting outside Havering Town Hall in the hopes of protecting their beloved green space. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah Dovers Farm Estate residents protesting outside Havering Town Hall in the hopes of protecting their beloved green space. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah

One after another, councillors voiced their disapproval at a regulatory services committee meeting at Havering Town Hall, that Woolbro Homes’ plan was being considered despite a decision outstanding on Dovers Farm Estate committee’s village green status application submitted last year.

During the meeting, on Thursday, June 1, Councillor Graham Williamson (Independent Residents Group, South Hornchurch) accused the council of “bullying” tactics.

“Every opportunity has been taken to try to bully the committee to go one way with the decision,” he said.

“I cannot accept the advice that’s been given, it should be higher advice.”

Cllr Reg Whitney (Residents’ Group, Saint Andrews) was met with applause when he said representatives from Woolbro Homes were mistaken about the “short” distances from the green to other parks.

“I invite you, if any of you have children, to think that young children are going to walk out of your sight,” he said.

“You must be a lunatic. I wouldn’t do that to my child. In that area [the green] is the only open space.”

He added that there are enough brownfield sites for the council to build homes on.

“It’s unnecessary for this particular site,” he continued.

Cllr David Durant added that the official status of the site is an “adopted green verge” and before planning proposals are considered cabinet needed to agree it could be released for housing.

He said it was a failure of process that this had not yet taken place.

Councillors voted 7-4 to defer the application.

Dovers Farm Estate committee secretary Matt Stanton said: “Havering Council have [been given] a bit of a reprieve.

“I think they know they are on the losing side. This gives them a window of opportunity to give us village green status and look like the good guys, if they are clever enough to see that.”

Around 30 residents gathered outside the town hall with banners and signs to make clear the passion they held for their green.

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