Havering Council: Conversion of bungalow into house in Porchester Close, Emerson Park, to go ahead

Cllr Ron Ower said successive planning applications were "nibbling away" at Emerson Park

Cllr Ron Ower said successive planning applications were "nibbling away" at Emerson Park - Credit: Archant

Debate over Havering Council’s policy on building works in Emerson Park dominated last week’s planning meeting.

A proposal to turn a bungalow in Porchester Close into a two-storey house was flagged up and brought before the committee by Cllr Ron Ower (Residents’ Association, Upminster).

But the application was passed by nine votes to two.

Cllr Ower said the proposed extension ran contrary to the policy, which sets minimum distances between houses and is intended to preserve the character of the area.

Neighbours also raised concerns that the extension would overlook their homes and that construction works on similar developments had caused disruption and disturbance on a constant basis.

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Ward councillor Roger Ramsey (Conservative) said he was concerned planning applications for houses in the area were “stretching the limits” of the policy in their size.

Cllr Ower said: “We really do need to look at the Emerson Park policy. We should adhere to the principles that were agreed back in 2009.

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“At nearly every meeting there have been people trying to break these rules – nibbling away here and nibbling away there.”

As a result, he said, Emerson Park is “not like the ideal homes exhibition any more – it’s like a builder’s convention.”

But deputy chair Cllr Steven Kelly (Conservative, Emerson Park) said: “Unfortunately, that’s life at the moment, with development going on all over the borough.”

It was noted that Porchester Close already has a number of two-storey houses and so the development wouldn’t be out of keeping with the area.

Officers said the fact the proposed development was on a large corner plot meant it wouldn’t be harmful to the “spacious character” of the area, which the policy was intended to protect.

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