A proposal to redevelop a Victorian property into new homes in Romford has been approved by Havering Council.

A planning application was sent by Gralaw Limited in 2021 to build two blocks - one five-storey and a part six-storey - with some commercial units on the ground floor in Victoria Road.

The buildings will provide eight one-bed, 22 two-bed and seven three-bed self-contained residential units, with at least 10 per cent of the units earmarked for 'affordable' housing.

The scheme also includes associated landscaping, car and cycle parking, and refuse facilities.

The site was previously occupied by a two-storey Victorian residential-scale building, with a large warehouse structure on the rear side.

A statement attached with the application states that the development provides a “high quality” design which includes “vital commercial space, family accommodation” and will relate to the height, scale and character of the area, “enhancing its setting”.

It claimed that all units have been designed to benefit from access to daylight and sunlight.

A public consultation was carried out by the applicant, with leaflets sent to 483 nearby properties inviting them to register for a virtual drop-in session. The statement claimed that only 12 people came forward with feedback.

The issues that were raised included parking problems, impact on local infrastructure, lack of need for new homes and removal of the existing building on the site among others.

Read More: Havering Council approves Tweed Way, Romford development

The applicant said in response that the need for new homes is identified as a core objective in both national, regional and local planning policy. The site, they explained, is located within a parking zone which restricts parking to permit holders only between certain times.

The proposal was discussed at the council’s Strategic Planning Committee meeting last March 24 last year after a call-in by Councillor Judith Holt.

The objections she highlighted were around overdevelopment of the site, inadequate car parking and demolishing the existing Victorian villa.

However, a heritage assessment of the site concluded that the building had already undergone significant internal changes that has detracted from its architectural character.

It said that the overall significance of the building to portray local historic character is minor.

The council’s heritage consultants too advised that the structure’s demolition will not have a major heritage impact.

To mitigate the development’s impact on local community infrastructure, the proposal attracted levies of £446,337 in total.

The council’s planning officers recommended that the plans be approved as the development would contribute to boosting housing supply.

It was given the go-ahead by the council after more than a year on Friday (December 1) with 56 conditions attached.

A list of these and detailed planning documents for the site can be found on the council’s website- https://development.havering.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/planningDetails?reference=P1789.21&from=planningSearch