Councillor clashes with resident over demolition of garages in Harold Hill

A councillor came head to head with an angry resident after a committee approved controversial plans to build houses on a garage site.

At the end of the vote on the proposals for Bridgwater Road, Harold Hill, which saw the plans approved by 10 votes to one, a resident shouted at Cllr Steven Kelly (Con, Emerson Park).

He said: “You fat b******, you do know what you are talking about.

“Which one of you took the backhand?”

It followed a heated debate about the plans to demolish the existing garages and to build eight semi-detached houses, during the regulatory services meeting in town hall on Thursday evening.

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They include widening the road to enable improved access and the provision of three parking spaces.

The committee also heard that there were concerns from the London Fire Brigade, but they could be overcome by installing sprinkler systems into the houses.

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Cllr Denis O’ Flynn (Lab, Heaton) said: “I am puzzled, people in this area find it to be one of the narrowest roads in Havering and how are fire engines going to be able to get down the road?”

Cllr Pat Murray (Lab, Gooshays) said: “This whole development seems to rely on the fact that the road is going to be widened, it is a case of the cart before the horse, it really should have been consulted on before agreeing to proposals.

“I am concerned about the safety of using such a narrow access and emergency vehicles which will not be able to use this access.”

There were also concerns raised from resident, Gill Pascoe based on lack of parking space, congestion and problems with recycling and refuse storage.

But Cllr Steven Kelly said: “The thing we must not lose sight of is that it is eight houses in a area that desperately needs housing and we talk about road and traffic problems, but it is a dead end.”

Afterwards, he said: “The man’s behaviour was totally unacceptable, most of what he said was right but I do not expect it to be told in public, but I definately do not take backhanders, I am creating houses for people.”

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