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A former care home which had previously been allotments and, temporarily, a childrens’ play area, will be turned into 36 new semi-detached and terraced houses.

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The new development will be built on the former Winifred Whittingham House, in Brookway, Rainham.

Ward councillor Jeff Tucker (Independent Residents’ Group) spoke against the plan.

He told the committee: “Residents have to put up with loss of the land in the area locally, and doctors, nurses and other facilities are at stretching point as it is.”

He added concerns about the loss of green space in Rainham.

Committee member Cllr David Durant (Independent Residents’ Group, Rainham and Wennington) said: “In effect it means the recreation ground has been lost to housing, and if this had been the initial proposal there would have been considerable opposition.

“This is why morally, many residents believe the land should revert to being recreation ground.”

Cllr Jeff Brace (Conservative, Elm Park) said: “It’s a good development, it is houses that people need.

“I’m surprised that the ward councillor doesn’t want people who have kids in Rainham to have somewhere to live in Rainham.

“Rainham also has one of the biggest green spaces in the borough – the marshes.”

Cllr Steven Kelly (Conservative, Emerson Park) said that the care home had been built “40 or 50 years ago” but was corrected by Cllr Linda Hawthorn (Residents Association, Upminster) that it had actually been built in 1990.

Planning permission was granted for the development by nine votes to one, with one abstention.

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