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A garage can’t be turned into a house, after it was narrowly refused planning permission.

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Havering Council’s regulatory services committee heard on Thursday of last week that 118 Gidea Park residents had signed a petition against the plans.

The new home was planned in an area behind the A127 Southend Arterial Road, roughly opposite the Renault Garage.

Resident Judith Holt, told the committee: “There’s no room for visitor parking, most of the parking places are private to residents of Ferguson Court.”

She said that there had been traffic problems and “several near misses” of children from cars in the area already.

A spokesman for the applicant said that cars drive into the garage at the moment so there would not be an increase in traffic issues.

Squirrels Heath ward councillor Lynden Thorpe also spoke against the plan, outlining a number of concerns including that emergency services wouldn’t be able to access the area in the event of a fire.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt (Conservative, Brooklands) pointed out that the committee had previously approved similar applications based as long as adequate sprinkler systems were installed.

Meanwhile, Cllr Steven Kelly (Conservative, Emerson Park), sitting as a substitute member on the committee, said that he thought the plan met all the necessary requirements.

The committee rejected the proposal by six votes to five, on the basis that the site was an overbearing development and there was limited access for the emergency services.

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