Gallows Corner: Numbers turn out to protest 'outrageous' housing proposal

Second protest against proposed development of Tesco Gallows Corner car park into 87 homes.
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There was a second protest on Saturday - September 4 - against the proposed development of the Gallows Corner Tesco. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Protesters have taken to the streets for a second time as plans to redevelop the Gallows Corner Tesco car park continue to attract fierce criticism.

Sizeable numbers turned out on Saturday (September 4) to make their feelings on the proposed 87-home development known.

The group gathered at the proposed site, a section of car park which developer Weston Homes would look to buy from Tesco should the plans go ahead.

A spokesperson from Weston Homes says it appreciates all feedback and is working closely with Havering Council to consider any issues raised.

Among the protesters was Ian Jacobs, one of the founders of the opposition group specifically set up to fight this proposal.

Second protest against proposed development of Tesco Gallows Corner car park into 87 homes.Picture

Protesters talking with shoppers outside the Gallows Corner Tesco. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

The Bartholomew Drive resident feels Saturday's demonstration furthered the group's cause: "We certainly had a lot of positive feedback from the public.

"Many were unaware of the proposal and showed support, which has been reflected in a surge of new members to the Facebook page."

Opponents have a number of issues with the development, ranging from the proposal's busy location near to an ageing Gallows Corner to the style of the homes which Ian claims are not "in keeping with the area".

Second protest against proposed development of Tesco Gallows Corner car park into 87 homes.Picture

Protesters have a number of issues with the development, chief among them a feeling that the area is being overdeveloped. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Protesters marched through the car park, before delivering letters directly to Tesco.

They say the retailer should not sell part of its car park to help facilitate such a fiercely-opposed development.

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That's certainly the view of Harold Wood councillor Brian Eagling, who attended alongside fellow ward councillors Darren Wise and Martin Goode.

Second protest against proposed development of Tesco Gallows Corner car park into 87 homes.
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Protesters pictured with Harold Wood councillors Darren Wise and Martin Goode. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

"Tesco have got to listen to the public, and to the residents of Harold Wood, who will be badly affected by this development," Cllr Eagling told the Recorder.

He continued: "I know we need housing, but what they're looking to build is unacceptable. I've been a councillor in Harold Wood for 12 years, and have seen a lot of developments.

"We don't agree with all of them, but this proposal is outrageous."

Second protest against proposed development of Tesco Gallows Corner car park into 87 homes.
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Harold Wood councillor Brian Eagling was also in attendance at the protest. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Ian says he too acknowledges the need for housing, but believes there are "better alternatives" to building on a car park in what he says is an already-congested area.

Also in attendance was Gooshays councillor - and fellow member of the North Havering Residents Group - Jan Sargent.

Pleased that residents had the chance to "demonstrate how they feel" about this contentious development, Cllr Sargent shares their concerns.

"I think this is a case of greed rather than thinking about the people who might live in these homes.

Second protest against proposed development of Tesco Gallows Corner car park into 87 homes.
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Cllr Jan Sargent - pictured in the green jacket - believes the development would spell bad news for residents. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

"What kind of outlook would they have looking out onto a busy car park with a petrol garage literally on their doorstep?

"Think of the added noise and air pollution this might bring. We need to think about the local infrastructure and people's wellbeing."

A decision is expected by September 23, with Ian hopeful the application will be called in to be decided by the council's strategic planning committee.

Though this would afford the group a greater platform, Havering remains subject to a legal presumption in favour of sustainable development.

Second protest against proposed development of Tesco Gallows Corner car park into 87 homes.
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Councillors from the Harold Wood Hill Park Residents' Association also attended the protest to voice their dismay. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

This means planning permission should be granted unless "any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits", and is in place because the council has only delivered about 35pc of the housing required over the past three years. 

Ian added: "We just want to do everything we can. I don't want to be moaning about it if it goes ahead, and feel that I did nothing about it," he said.

Tesco has been contacted for comment.

A spokesperson for Weston Homes said: “We appreciate all the feedback from members of the public who have participated in the consultation on our application for 87 new homes and we are now working closely with Havering Council to consider and respond to the issues raised.” 

Learn more by searching for reference P1190.21 on the council's planning portal.