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Campaign group hopes petition will stop overdevelopment in Havering

PUBLISHED: 15:10 20 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:45 22 June 2017

From left, Romford resident Lorraine Moss, Independent Residents Group (IRG) Cllr Keith Roberts, IRG leader Cllr Jeffrey Tucker, Harold Hill resident Jan Sargent, and IRG Cllr Graham Williamson. Picture: Lorraine Moss

From left, Romford resident Lorraine Moss, Independent Residents Group (IRG) Cllr Keith Roberts, IRG leader Cllr Jeffrey Tucker, Harold Hill resident Jan Sargent, and IRG Cllr Graham Williamson. Picture: Lorraine Moss

Lorraine Moss

Residents and ward councillors have come together in an attempt to stop over development in the borough.

With fears that Havering Council’s ambitious scheme to build 30,000 homes by 2035 would result in a severe strain on services, a petition has been created on Change.org.

Lead by the Independent Residents’ Group (IRG) councillors and activists Lorraine Moss, from Romford, and Jan Sargent, Harold Hill, the campaigners hope to persuade the council to change its mind.

Councillor Graham Williamson (IRG, South Hornchurch), said: “The council has not produced a rationale or produced information about why they came to that figure.

“The mayor [of London] and the Greater London Authority are predicting the population of London will rise by 1.5million in 10 years.

“They are trying to say all these extra people want to come to east London, so are building in the east and nowhere else.

“Then these people will have no option but to go but east.”

According to the group, the build would create an increase of 30pc in housing stock.

Ms Moss added: “This will have a detrimental affect on Havering and result in erratic planning decisions with cramped developments and the loss of many of our much loved green spaces.

“Additionally, the much needed infrastructure to accommodate these extra properties will not be provided.

“This will result in Havering changing beyond recognition and becoming an overcrowded concrete jungle.”

Speaking at a regulatory services committee on Thursday June 1, Councillor Damian White said: “There’s a real need for housing in Havering. There’s still an unmet demand.

“Over one thousand expressions of interest were made for just nine shared ownership properties.”

But Cllr Williamson remained critical and questioned whether the new homes would go to people on the council’s housing waiting list.

“People don’t want their quality of life reduced in Havering for housing that’s going to go to people outside the borough,” he continued.

“Around 11,000 properties will be built within the next 10 years. We have already committed ourselves to that.

“That is sufficient if another 20,000 is built, where are they going to go?”

The councillor hopes to attract 10,000 signatures opposing the council’s ambitious scheme.

A motion against the plans will be made by the IRG at the next full council meeting on Wednesday, July 12.

Steve Moore, Havering Council’s director of neighbourhoods said: “Havering Council is committed to building more homes to cater for a growing population and to give the children of Havering residents the chance to live in a home they can afford in our borough.

“New homes are also required to replace 3,500 home across 12 of our housing developments where better homes, fit for the 21st century, are required for the residents of those estates.”

To sign the petition which has so far attracted 396 signatures, click here.

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