July 23 2014 Latest news:
Laura Burnip, Senior reporter
Monday, July 7, 2014
Outraged residents have made an eleventh hour plea to the council not to build bungalows in the car park of their sheltered housing.
Havering Council contractors Quadrillion Construction are set to begin work on three bungalows in the car park of Ravenscourt Grove in Hornchurch this week.
But the site’s elderly and disabled residents have urged the council to stop the proposals – saying they depend on the car park.
Bill Scanlan, 75, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous.
“There’s nowhere for the emergency vehicles to come.
“Someone in this complex is going to die over this.
“They’ve got to stop the building.
“We want the building stopped and the car park back.
“Everyone’s happy, everyone knows everyone.
“We’ve had no problems at all and all of a sudden this has started.”
Ivan Dobson, who has lived in his flat for 10 years, said the tight-knit community was being torn apart, with some residents having asked to transfer somewhere else.
“There’s been no consideration of the residents,” he said.
“We’ve all known each other for a long time and we are all friendly with each other.
“Now we are all shouting and bawling.”
Residents of the 14 homes said they had been told to park on neighbouring residential streets.
But they said many of them needed regular visits from carers, relatives and ambulances.
Mr Dobson said: “We get meals on wheels, ambulances, nurses here. How are they going to get the funeral cars here?” Ron Fletcher, 82, who has lived there for 13 years, said he was concerned about parking for visiting relatives.
He said: “My daughters have to come up to me, they are my carers.
“It concerns me.” Donna Wilkes, who moved in just two weeks ago, said she had mobility problems but had been told the property had parking.
The 53-year-old, who has a disability, said: “They said there would be parking, but I had to carry all my shopping from down the road.”
Another elderly resident said: “People have got to live their lives.
“We’re old pensioners, we don’t need all this aggro.”
The car park was fenced off on Thursday, with building works expected to last around nine months.
Cllr Damian White, deputy leader of Havering Council and cabinet member for housing, said: “We completely understand the concerns about the closure of the car park, which is why we are making sure that an ambulance can get in or out by putting double yellow lines on the access road.
“Also, there is alternative car parking nearby, which Ravenscourt tenants can use.”