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Residents ‘euphoric’ after housing plans for Rainham’s New Zealand Way green refused

PUBLISHED: 10:36 01 July 2016 | UPDATED: 12:18 01 July 2016

Residents gathered in front of the Town Hall last night to protest against plans to build 32 homes on the green off New Zealand Way

Residents gathered in front of the Town Hall last night to protest against plans to build 32 homes on the green off New Zealand Way

Archant

Delighted residents celebrated last night after plans to build 32 homes on their “green gem” were refused.

Relieved residents cheered in the public gallery of Havering Council’ chamber last night, when councillors unanimously voted to oppose the plans for the new homes to be built on the green off New Zealand Way, Rainham, bordered by Queenstown Gardens and Gisborne Gardens.

Phillip Bowen, 63, who has lived behind the site for more than 30 years and previously described the green as a “gem”, said residents were “euphoric” about the decision.

He added: “But there is more work to be done and I would really like residents to take control of the green now to make sure it is used.”

More than 15 residents holding banners and placards reading “Save Our Green” had gathered in front of the Town Hall ahead of the regulatory service committee meeting.

Residents had been opposing the plans since February with more than 240 people signing a petition.

Cllr Reg Whitney and Cllr Graham Williamson agreed the green was an important part of community life and ensured the well being of its residents.

“We need to think about why that green space was built in the middle of a housing estate in the first place,” said Cllr Whitney.

Cllr Williamson added: “I don’t want to see this borough destroying its quality of life. It makes no sense whatsoever to pursue this.”

Cllr Steven Kelly also added there were plenty of other residential developments planned for that part of the borough and this one was not immediately needed.

Other concerns included fears over the lack of parking, the restricted access for emergency services and the disruption to the local wildlife and bats living on the green.

Sonia Roberts told the committee: “The plans will take away the amenity that has been used by residents for the last 60 years and it will take away the area, where our children can play safely.”

The green is also the location of a commemorative memorial stone, which was placed there in the 1950s as a tribute to The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), based in the area in the First and Second World War.


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