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Revealed: Where thousands of new homes could be built around Havering over the next decade

PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 September 2020

A series of major developments are planned in and around Romford over the next decade, to meet government housing targets.

A series of major developments are planned in and around Romford over the next decade, to meet government housing targets.

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This interactive map shows where thousands of homes could be built in Havering over the next decade.

Havering Council is currently in discussions with government inspectors over its Local Plan – a legal document all councils must produce, outlining how they will meet government-set housing targets.

At least 17,551 new homes will need to be built in the area between 2016 and 2031.

Council papers said: “Havering’s Local Plan has been prepared in the context of growth and development within London and the wider south east region. The entire sub-region is experiencing significant development pressure to meet the needs of the growing population.”

Documents show that if the Local Plan is signed off, 11,701 new homes must be delivered by 2027.

A computer generated image outlining what the Waterloo Estate redevelopment could look like. Picture: Havering Council/Wates Regeneration LLPA computer generated image outlining what the Waterloo Estate redevelopment could look like. Picture: Havering Council/Wates Regeneration LLP

In this map, we have identified all proposed housing developments of more than 400 properties. Click on each area to find out what is planned.

The bulk of the homes will be delivered across two ‘strategic development areas’ - in Romford and Rainham.

Plans to redevelop the Bridge Close retail park for housing have been dealt a blow recently, as the council's private sector pulled out, saying the project was not commercially viable enough. Picture: Laura Caicedo Lopez.Plans to redevelop the Bridge Close retail park for housing have been dealt a blow recently, as the council's private sector pulled out, saying the project was not commercially viable enough. Picture: Laura Caicedo Lopez.

ROMFORD STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT AREA

Romford was initially intended to accommodate 5,300 homes but, following discussions with government planning inspectors, must now take “over 6,000”.

At least 5,000 of them would have to be delivered by 2027.

A 630-place primary school is proposed and developers who take on major sites will be asked to improve local transport links to sites like Queen’s Hospital.

An artist's impression of the proposed Bridge Close development, alongside the River Rom. Photo: Havering CouncilAn artist's impression of the proposed Bridge Close development, alongside the River Rom. Photo: Havering Council

Other proposals for the Romford strategic development area are to “open up access to the River Rom”, create “new and enhanced public spaces” and build a “health hub” and a leisure centre.

The Local Plan document doesn’t break down how many homes are planned for which locations – but a second document does give some idea.

The council’s Brownfield Sites Register lists previously developed sites which could be redeveloped for housing.

The level of detail given by the register varies. For some sites, it simply gives the location and the proposed number of homes.

The Bridge Close Business Alliance has protested against Havering's plans for the Bridge Close development. Pictue: BCBAThe Bridge Close Business Alliance has protested against Havering's plans for the Bridge Close development. Pictue: BCBA

The Romford sites listed as capable of taking more than 400 homes are as follows.

WATERLOO ESTATE

Land around Romford station has been identified for potential residential development.Land around Romford station has been identified for potential residential development.

The Waterloo Estate, could take the largest number of new homes out of all the sites in the brownfield register.

The 4.29-hectare site, off of Waterloo Road, could be knocked down and rebuilt, yielding 1,165 units.

The former site of Romford Ice Rink site is earmarked to take more than 600 new homes.The former site of Romford Ice Rink site is earmarked to take more than 600 new homes.

SEEDBED CENTRE

The Seedbed Centre could have at least 1,100 new homes.

The retail estate, accessed via Davidson Way, forms part of a chain of potential new residential developments along Waterloo Road, beginning with the Bridge Close retail estate, taking in the Homebase site next-door and then the Seedbed Centre next-door to that.

The Rainham Steel site is one of several pieces of land around New Road which have been identified for possible housing development. Picture: Richard CarrThe Rainham Steel site is one of several pieces of land around New Road which have been identified for possible housing development. Picture: Richard Carr

BRIDGE CLOSE ESTATE

The 3.13-hectare retail estate, located by the roundabout at Waterloo Road and Oldchurch Road, is earmarked for 1,033 new residential units, of which 375 would be designated “affordable”.

This development would also be the home of a new 630-place primary school and a health centre.

Council leader Damian White said businesses on potential development sites off of New Road would be helped to find new premises. Picture: Havering CouncilCouncil leader Damian White said businesses on potential development sites off of New Road would be helped to find new premises. Picture: Havering Council

Notes on the brownfield register say Havering Council owned 34 per cent of the land, but was prepared to use Compulsory Purchase powers to obtain the rest.

John Brown, owner of Express Windows, said he had already accepted an offer of compensation from the council to move out of the retail estate and relocate to Brentwood.

He said he believed the redevelopment was for the best.

“It’s so badly run down now and there were all sorts of things going on: prostitutes, drug-dealers and all sorts,” he explained.

“We were glad to get out of there, to be honest with you. There was always needles out the back. Last summer we had refugees all tented up along the river bank. As soon as you came in in the morning, you had to leave everything shut up because you didn’t know who was walking about.”

But Julia Herold, from heating and air-conditioning company AC Preou, has formed the Bridge Close Business Alliance to oppose the plan.

She said businesses had been “living under the shadow of compulsory purchase” for a year, describing it as “a hellish experience”.

Asked why she opposed the plan, she said: “From a very personal point of view, I think the development is an over-development of the site. I think the project should be low-rise homes with gardens.

“I don’t think 1,100 flats, a school and a medical centre is appropriate. I’m a conservationist. I think it’s actually morally wrong. Especially when I see sites up in Stratford where they can’t even sell the properties. So do they really need all these new homes? I’m not sure.”

The council had entered into joint venture with First Base Ltd and Savills Investment Management Ltd to deliver this development, but they pulled out this month “due to the slowing down of the housing market, increased construction costs, design enhancements and inflation,” leaving the council to go it alone.

STATION GATEWAY AND INTERCHANGE

Development around the railway station could deliver 670 new homes.

The proposed 2.24-hectare development site spans both sides of the railway track.

It is bordered at the north by Havana Close and to the south by Regarth Avenue. Its eastern boundary is South Street, whilst its western-most point is the boundary of the Bridge Close estate.

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ROMFORD ICE RINK

The former Romford Ice Rink site could take more than 600 new homes.

The site, almost three hectares in size, sits opposite Queen’s Hospital and is encircled by Rom Valley Way/the A125.

Council files say the site could be used to provide 650 residential units and 830 square metres of commercial space.

The development already has planning permission.

HOMEBASE

The Homebase site sits just across Oldchurch Road from the Bridge Close retail park.

The brownfield register says it could take 550 new residential dwellings.

ROMFORD GAS WORKS

The Romford Gas Works and Depot, opposite Romford Cemetery, is thought capable of accommodating 450 homes.

The site is bordered by Crow Lane, Nursery Walk, Sandgate Close and the railway line.

RAINHAM AND BEAM PARK STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT AREA

The second strategic development area is known as Rainham and Beam Park, which would take 3,500 new homes.

It falls within the wider London Riverside Opportunity Area, which includes “extensive land in both Havering and adjoining Barking and Dagenham”.

The riverside area is expected to accommodate 26,000 new homes and create 16,000 new jobs.

In Havering, the riverside development would focus on “intensification of industrial land”, whilst its share of the residential development would be in the Rainham and Beam Park strategic area.

The properties would be built on “a series of connected sites to the south of New Road, extending from the River Beam in the west to Dovers Corner/Bridge Road in the east”, and on smaller sites north of New Road

A new Beam Park train station is included in the plan, with retail and commercial units.

The Local Plan claims the developments would create “a new green neighbourhood”, linking existing settlements in South Hornchurch, Orchard Village and Rainham Village.

It would transform New Road “from a traffic dominated corridor into an attractive, high quality, green street”, the plan states.

The brownfield register does not identify any individual sites in the Rainham and Beam Park strategic development area which are capable of taking hundreds of homes. Instead, most of the homes are spread across smaller sites dotted along New Road.

However, it does identify four pieces of adjoining land which, together, are expected to accommodate a large number of new homes. They are south of New Road.

SOUTH OF NEW ROAD

Four connected sites are identified south of New Road, which could collectively accommodate more than 900 new homes.

They are Suttons Industrial Park, Beam Parkway RW4B, Rainham Steel and Mudlands Industrial Estate.

The four sites currently house a number of businesses.

Council leader Damian White told the Romford Recorder: “The Local Plan does not specify the uses that will be expected on individual sites within the strategic development area, but it is anticipated that the sites south of the A1306 will be residential led.

“The council is working with those businesses within the area subject to regeneration proposals to find solutions that meet their individual needs.”

OTHER SITES

Havering’s green belt will be largely spared from the bulldozers.

The Local Plan states: “The council is satisfied that all of the green belt in Havering fulfils its purpose... there is no planning justification for releasing land from the green belt.”

However, there are two “opportunities” to build on plots of green belt which are already partially developed.

One is at St George’s Hospital in Hornchurch and the other is at Quarles Campus in Harold Hill.

The plan does not say how many homes could be built on either site.

To spare the green belt, the Local Plan says thousands of homes must be built on brownfield - or previously developed – sites.

However, all sites on the brownfield register capable of taking upwards of 400 new homes are located within the Romford strategic development area.

The register lists 90 brownfield sites in total, but points out that some – such as a suggestion of knocking down Harold Hill’s Hilldene shopping centre and replacing it with residential units – are not viable.

More than two-thirds of sites on the brownfield register are listed as being able to accommodate fewer than 100 residential units, and more than half of the sites are thought capable of accommodating 25 or fewer.


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