Action urged over dangerous 2m high walls that block Rainham drivers’ visibility
PUBLISHED: 18:30 04 May 2017
Cllr David Durant
The lives of pedestrians are still in danger after action has failed to be taken over two-metre dangerously high walls.
Residents of Wilfred Avenue, Rainham, signed a petition about the walls shortly after they were erected more than a year ago.
Initially Havering Council had told the owners that just the front part of the walls needed to be lowered, but in January the Planning Inspectorate stated the walls would “severely obstruct visibility” to drivers carrying out a reversing manoeuvre resulting in significant danger to pedestrians.
“It’s dangerous,” said John Tovee, 78, who lives next to the walls.
“My nextdoor neighbour had the window cleaner [round] and I was backing out. I couldn’t see him, I just saw his ladder, then I stopped and he came along.
“The council just hang on and hang on and let this guy get away with it.”
Despite the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, Havering Council once again sought legal advice from the Towns and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Comittee in March.
This led Cllr David Durant (Independent Residents Group, Rainham and Wennington) to accuse council leader Cllr Roger Ramsey and coalition partners of “evading” their responsibilities.
“It’s time after 18 months to tell the owner to lower the entire walls or remove them completely,” he said.
Cllr John Mylod (Residents Group, Saint Andrews) added: “Having now seen a photo of the wall, to be honest I cant understand why the delay in enforcement.
“Surely it is self evident and doesn’t show us in a good light if such a silly thing is allowed to drag on for what appears to be for ever.”
The committee then met on April 19 and following the legal advice obtained, confirmed the walls were unauthorised and enforcement action could be considered.
But so far no action has been taken.
A spokesman for the council said: ““The owner has indicated that they do not agree that the whole length of wall should be reduced and has sought further legal advice.
“The council is preparing an enforcement notice which will be served shortly.”
Although, no time date was given but Mr Tovee hopes it will be soon.