‘Countryside leaflet is propaganda’ claims residents

A LEAFLET about controversial plans to build homes on the former Harold Wood Hospital site have been branded as a propaganda tool.

Harold Wood residents have hit out against the leaflets sent out by Countryside Properties this week about their proposals to build new homes and tower blocks on the site in Gubbins Lane, Harold Wood.

Harold Wood Cllr Brian Eagling (RA) said: “This is nothing more than propaganda to try to sway public opinion just before it goes to planning.

“I am just disgusted in the way that Countryside have behaved and how they are treating the residents.”

The leaflet was sent to 7,000 residents highlighting the changes made to the application for the Harold Wood Hospital site since it was deferred at a planning meeting last year.

In the leaflet Countryside claim that they have worked with residents to reduce the number of homes by 64 to 810 including reducing the number of apartments by 90 and will invest �2.1m funding to schools in the area.

But the residents argue that they have had no consultation with the developers since last year and they argue that they are trying to sway public opinion before the application goes to the planning committee next week.

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Resident Nigel Broom said: “It is just a propaganda leaflet that is a cynical ploy at this late stage in the process and it is very frustrating because we have never really had a proper consultation with the developer even though they are claiming that we have.”

The residents are also gearing up to make their objections heard by organising a protest outside the planning meeting in Havering Town Hall next Thursday.

Cllr Eagling said: “I am concerned Countryside are not being truthful and have just pushed out this leaflet.

“They have just had so many objectors to the application and they are just trying to counter act that by getting people confused.”

The original plans for the site consisted of 874 homes including a nine storey block which residents argue were not in keeping with the area and would overwhelm health, education and transport.

A spokesman for Countryside said: “Following comments and suggestions from local residents considerable changes have been introduced before the plans are considered by Havering Council shortly.

“The changes allow the development to become more family-friendly with more of the site now planned to be traditional houses with gardens.

“They will also preserve and restore the attractive listed building on the site.”

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