Rainham councillors and residents want decision on Dovers Farm to be made by planning inspectorate
PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 February 2019
Residents and councillors are calling for the decision on whether Havering Council will build homes on land close to Dovers Farm in Rainham, to be made by the planning inspectorate.
Back in August, Havering Council was finally given the green light to build 30 homes on an open space close to the estate, after having a previous two applications refused.
The closing date for objections to the application was on Friday (February 22) and now the Mayor of London will decide if the decision should go to a public enquiry.
Those who live close to the Green are hoping it goes to the highest level, and is determined by the planning inspectorate.
It has been an ongoing battle since 2015 between residents and the council, and in a bid to save the plot of land, last year residents submitted an application to give the open space Village Green status, which would protect it from any future developments, but was refused 12 months ago.
After rejecting the Village Green application the council passed a planning application to build on the Green, it was said because it is regarded as ‘Highways’ land they also obtained a Stopping Up Order to change its’ designation.
Local residents however are not accepting the loss of their Green and have complained to the council for a number of reasons, including: the land was never previously used as a highway, that a war memorial would have to be moved and desecrated if homes are built, and they have spoken of a fear of traffic safety issues given the increase of vehicles in the relatively small area.
South Hornchurch councillor Natasha Summers said: “The council owns this land, they are the applicant to build on it and own the highway around it too. Clearly the council has a conflict of interest and any public enquiry on its future status should be chaired by a truly independent body.”
Councillor Graham Williamson also added: “The administration promised the electorate last May that they would keep Havering Special e.g. open spaces and low density. There is no evidence that they have done so.
“The Dovers Farm Green is a symbol of Havering’s ‘green environment’. I am calling upon the council to honour their promise to ‘Keep Havering Special’ by saving the Green!”.
Councillor Trevor Mckeever said: “This is a blatant desecration of our war memorial area, which totally denigrates those soldiers who one hundred years ago sacrificed their life’s for us. This area was dedicated in remembrance to the ANZAC troops for their contribution in defending our liberty in the first world war, their contribution has allowed Damion White to sit in his council offices, free in the knowledge that he can dictate to all residents.”
Havering’s leader of the council, Councillor Damian White said: “We are determined to help local people who are struggling to find accommodation into quality affordable homes.
“This site will deliver 30 homes for local people, helping to create a strong community for Havering residents.”