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Four sites across Havering to be sold to property developers but two saved

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 January 2017

Havering Town Hall

Havering Town Hall

Archant

Two sites earmarked for housing developments will be preserved after hundreds of people opposed the proposals.

Residents said being “delighted” to find out Havering Council’s Cabinet “listened to local people” and agreed not to go ahead in selling two plots of land to build homes.

Proposals to sell a site on Hitchin Close in Harold Hill and the Elliot Playing Fields, off Hubbards Chase, in Emmerson Park, to property developers have been abandoned.

More than 1,590 objections were made over the plans in Hitchin Close and 126 people objected to the proposal in Hubbards Chase.

But leader of the council Cllr Roger Ramsey told cabinet: “There are signatures from all over the country and the world - including from Hong Kong, Brazil, the United States, Spain and Mexico and I don’t understand it...”

A village green application has now been submitted to the council to protect Hitchin Close site from future developments.

The Elliot Playing Fields are believed to have been donated to the Hornchurch Urban District Council by the Elliot family in 1953 to be used “for the benefits of the inhabitants of the area and for any public purpose”.

Chairman of Emerson Park and Ardleigh Green Residents’ Association Geoff Llyod said: “We are delighted that the council listened to local people and that we can keep the land for local children to play on.”

In both cases, a council report concluded the green spaced were “valued resources” for the area.

But four other sites in the borough could be sold and redeveloped with homes under the same proposal.

Land off Priory Road, Harold Hill, Rainham Road and Tweed Way in Romford will be disposed off by the council and homes could be built if planning permission is granted.

More than 600 people objected to the development on the 1.35 acres site in Priory Road but the report notes the demand for new homes outweighs the loss of space.

“Whilst any loss of open space has to be carefully considered, the demand for new homes is great and the local area also benefits from a much larger expanse of open space within the immediate vicinity,” the report states.

Cllr Ramsey told cabinet: “This will contribute to a much needed increase in our housing stock and will put the pressure off building on the green belt.”

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