August 20 2014 Latest news:
by Sam Gelder
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Work has started on a controversial two-year project that will extend an existing waste site – although Havering Council says it is “not a landfill scheme”.
Planned works will increase the size of Ingrebourne Hill, a large community woodland, creating a link with Hornchurch Country Park in the process.
Contractors Ingrebourne Valley Ltd bought the land off the council in November 2011, a decision that caused controversy as residents and politicians opposed plans to increase landfill at one of the borough’s few large green spaces.
Dagenham and Rainham Labour MP Jon Cruddas, who has been against the plans since they were proposed, said he will be raising concerns with both the council and the owners of the land.
He said: “I have been contacted by many residents now that work has started. I can’t say I’m surprised that it [the work] is being pushed through just after the local elections.
“Despite the protest against the plans in 2012, it seems that the residents have been overlooked again by Havering Council.
“All we can do is ensure the site meets all guidelines and does not impact upon the rest of the park or surrounding area.”
A spokesman for Havering Council said only inert material that does not decompose and is not reactive (such as sand and concrete) will be used, and once completed, the hill would “provide a more interesting long-term leisure environment for residents,” with no loss of parkland.
He said: “This is a big project. The land will be a great place for visitors and wildlife.”
The initial pre-planning consultation work started on May 27 and will end on June 10. Members of the public can attend a meeting on June 13 for detailed information. It will take place at St Johns Church in South End Road, Rainham from 4pm to 7pm.
Posting on Streetlife, Ann W said: “What a mess this is going to be. They have just finished making the park look nice.”