December 5 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Shouts of “you should be ashamed of yourself” rang out in the council chamber on Thursday night.
They issued from a small crowd that had turned up to oppose a pair of semi-detached houses planned for land off Brookdale Avenue, Upminster.
But there was no safety in numbers for the dissenters, who were dismayed to see the unpopular plan passed by the committee by seven votes to three despite their vocal objections.
The group’s concerns included the noise and nuisance the works would cause them, the perceived danger for pedestrians and cyclists of using the narrow service road for construction vehicles, and the proposal being “out of character” with its surroundings.
Supporting the plot’s neighbours, Cllr Clarence Barrett called the proposal “a case of trying to cram in an out-of-place development on a tiny piece of land”.
One Brookdale Avenue householder told the chamber: “In the construction period, it will be totally unbearable for the surrounding properties.”
Graeme Luxton, speaking for the applicant, said the fact house numbers in Brookdale Avenue contained a gap between 51 and 57 proved an extra two houses were intended to be built on the land.
But Cllr Barrett countered this. “The land was ‘left over’ because it was too small for another house,” he said.
There was applause after the residents and Cllr Barrett finished speaking, which contrasted with the angry muttering that greeted Cllr Steven Kelly’s words.
Cllr Kelly said the proposal was considerably sparser than the council’s recommended maximum housing density.
“The planning requirement would allow 12 houses on this site,” he said, although this figure was subsequently slashed by planning officers because Cllr Kelly had confused hectares and acres.
Both houses would have gardens, and would sit at an angle to the backs of the houses in Brookdale Avenue. Cars will have to drive up the service road between numbers 51 and 57 to get to them.
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.