Campaigners angry over council’s refusal to appeal Secretary of State’s decision on Dovers Corner

CAMPAIGNERS against the controversial Dovers Corner Development have slammed Havering Council for refusing to challenge the Secretary Of State’s decision to allow flats to be built on the site.

On Friday Havering Council announced that they would not be appealing the decision made by the Secretary Of State to allow the development, dubbed Tower City to be built in Rainham.

Campaigner and chairman of Adamsgate Action Group, Graham Williamson said: “I am disappointed and very upset by the council’s decision.

“I understand the financial reasons but their decision is totally wrong and if it was to go ahead it would not only affect everyone in Rainham but also the rest of the borough.”

The decision, by the Secretary of State to allow 634 flats and 95 houses to be built on Dovers Corner was originally made in February after a five year long campaign from residents.

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Residents and campaigners had urged the council to call a judicial review of the decision before work could begin,

but the council has argued that the cost of losing the legal challenge would be too much.

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Graham also claims that the decision was upheld by the Secretary Of State because Havering Council have breached their own planning rules which state that buildings of more than three storeys high should not be built outside of Romford Town Centre, except for in exceptional circumstances.

Graham said: “The council are the ones that have got us into this mess because they have breached their own planning rules so the planning inspector took advantage of it and said that he would breach it too.

“As far as we are concerned that was the biggest mistake that they made and now they are just backing down when things get too tough.”

The campaigners and protesters have vowed to force the council to rethink their decision.

They are now appealing for residents to write letters to the council forcing them to change their minds and are also appealing to Barking and Dagenham Council to appeal the decision before the closing date on March 11.

Rainham and Wennington Cllr David Durant said: “Havering Council’s decision is a bit premature because we can persue it with Barking and Dagenham Council to put in a joint application and that way it will keep the costs down.”

Leader Of Havering Council, Michael White said: “We were disamayed and very disapppointed to receive the Secretary Of State’s decision to allow the developers appeal and grant planning permission.

“We immediately asked our lawyers to go through the decision very carefully to see if we could take any further action.

“They have advised that we only have a very limited chance of getting this decision quashed by the High Court and if we lost we would be liable for not only our legal costs but those of the Secretary Of State as well.”

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