‘It’s absolutely fantastic’ Harold Hill residents rejoice as controversial cemetery plan rejected
PUBLISHED: 10:56 22 June 2017
It was a case of David meets Goliath when a handful of residents attended a planning inquiry to oppose controversial cemetery plans.
With their fluorescent placards and passionate pleas, one by one they stood in Havering Council’s chamber and fought for their beloved greenbelt.
And on Wednesday, June 21, their voices were heard by planning inspector Anne Jordan, who dismissed SRR Developments Ltd appeal to build a multi-faith cemetery on land adjacent to Maylands Golf Course, Colchester Road, Harold Hill.
“I’m very pleased,” said Councillor Lawrence Webb (Ukip, Gooshays).
“There was clearly no local support for this cemetery and it was rejected by our own planning committee and the public didn’t want it.
“It was no secret this wasn’t for the benefit of Havering, This was to bury the dead from Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and other London boroughs.
“Thankfully the planning inspector dismissed the appeal.”
In documents seen by the Recorder, Ms Jordan explained the reasons behind her decision.
“The proposal would comprise inappropriate development in the green belt,” she said.
“It would also cause harm to the openness to the green belt, the purposes of the green belt and to the character of the green belt in that location.”
Ms Jordan added that the proposal would also fail to maintain or enhance the special character of Havering Ridge.
This is recognised by the former London Planning Advisory Committee because of its skyline character and panoramic views.
The inspector added: “Although it is clear from the evidence before me that there is a continuing need for burial space in London, there is no clear case that it is so pressing that it needs to be provided in this location.”
Community campaigner Lorraine Moss, from Romford, who took part in the peaceful protest on the day the inquiry opened on Tuesday, May 9, and who also spoke on behalf of residents and handed in a petition of 1,000 signatures welcomed the news.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“I took a day off work to [speak at the inquiry]. It shows hard work does pay off and it is worth taking a stand.”