Editor's comment: Plenty of support for Beam Park
PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 May 2018
So, unsurprisingly, the plans for a huge housing development at Beam Park have gone to the Mayor of London's Office for a decision.
That was always going to happen once Havering Council’s regulatory committee threw out the scheme in April.
Almost certainly the Mayor’s Office will approve the plans for 2,900 homes, two new primary schools and nurseries, a number of community spaces and a new c2c train station.
But before everyone complains about the Mayor of London making a decision against the wishes of Havering Council and residents, it must be remembered that in December the council leader Roger Ramsey called the Beam Park proposals “one of the most ambitious and exciting regeneration schemes this borough has ever embarked upon”.
He exclusively told the Recorder at the time: “For too long South Hornchurch has not got the investment it deserves, and that’s because there hasn’t been the same socio-economic climate as there has been elsewhere in the borough.”
Steven Moore, Havering’s director of neighbourhoods, said at that time: “This isn’t about building houses, this is about building places.
“To do that we want to listen to local residents, and ensure that what we’re planning meets their needs – not just now, but going forwards into the next 10, 15 years.
“This whole process, where we are constantly consulting with people in that area, is about offering sensible, affordable alternatives for them to use if they choose to do so.”
And a poll on the Recorder’s website asking if the regulatory committee was right to reject the proposal has so far attracted 894 votes, with 59 per cent saying yes while 41 per cent said no, the need for homes is so great the development should go ahead.
But any planning decision imposed on the borough from outside will always upset residents who feel the borough should make its own decisions.