Havering Council planning round-up

A THREE-BEDROOM house in Hornchurch was given the go-ahead by the Regulatory Services Committee despite objections that development would damage two preserved trees.

Cllr Georgina Galpin called in the application to Romford Town Hall on Thursday (November 18) on behalf of angry residents of Osborne Road.

“Excavation will cause some damage to roots,” she said. “It will most certainly weaken the trees. Death will not be imminent but could happen in time. The character of the area must be preserved.”

However, a spokesman for the developers, Stanmore Properties, insisted the company abided by the highest building standards.

“We understand the anxieties,” he said, “but we are considerate builders with an excellent record. We want to preserve the character because we want to build a nice home in a sought-after area.”

Planning officer, Helen Oakerbee, added the council had called in an arborologist.

“The advice is: the trees will be okay,” she said.

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The committee voted in favour of the development with ten votes to one.

SYMMETRY was the name of the game in a debate over an extension and loft conversion to a semi-detached home in Gidea Park.

Cllr Wendy Brice-Thompson argued the house in Crossways should keep the characteristics of its twin, in a bid to safeguard the personality of the area.

She said: “I believe the symmetry of the houses would be imbalanced by the additional work. It will have a negative affect on what makes Gidea Park so remarkable.”

But eagle-eyed Cllr Barry Tebbutt dismissed Cllr Brice-Thompson’s case, pointing out that the balance of the homes was already disrupted by mismatching garages.

“There is a distinction between the two houses already, so the point isn’t valid for me,” he said.

The committee voted in favour of the changes with nine votes to two.

EXTRACTION and removal of a rich deposit of sand and gravel from land in Rainham was approved by the committee.

A vein of mineral was discovered by builders working on the new 27-hole golf course in Moor Hall Farm, in New Road.

A set of conditions, including a strict timescale for extraction, and subsequent restoration of the site, was laid out by the council’s planning department.

However, Coral Jeffrey, speaking on behalf of the Rainham Preservation Society, demanded officers keep a close watch on events. “The project has already run over,” she claimed.

But Helen Oakerbee, planning officer, said: “We are satisfied there are appropriate conditions in place. We can’t monitor the site on a weekly basis. We are satisfied the land will be restored.”